I am really fortunate to be able to travel a lot and when I do, I really like to look out for new ways of incorporating accessibility and inclusion into public spaces and in the long run, bring some of those ideas back to Vancouver and my clients.
I'm #blessed to be really good friends with Katie Griffiths, who worked on some of the Mayor of London's campaigns listed below, so I asked her about their importance and value to her as a woman living in London:
"I believe finding similarities with people you find inspiring can be a powerful and important tool to creating change. Through my close work on the #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign, I have had the chance meet and learn in depth about some of the truly inspirational women who have made their mark on gender equality in the capital. I count myself incredibly lucky that publicity of these women and the campaign as a whole is part of my job."
Here's a few things that really stood out to me:
1. "Not Every Disability is Visible" bathroom signs
Lots of public bathrooms in shops, community centres and public spaces had signs that read "Not Every Disability is Visible" . These signs are really important because they indicate that a lot of people may require the use of an accessible bathroom with accommodations such as a single stall, hand rails and low toilet seats but it may not be immediately clear.
Signs like this can help people to use bathrooms safely and comfortably and mitigate unnecessary questions or harassment from other patrons.
2. "Please Offer Me a Seat" badges
A lot of people in London ride the Underground to get to work or for a day out in town. The Underground is notoriously busy and crowded. There's a very high chance you'll have to stand up, squished between a bunch of other sweaty and exhausted people.
Transport For London, run by the Mayor of London have rolled out a campaign that includes a series of badges and pins that people can wear, asking other passengers to offer them a seat.
3. #BehindEveryGreatCity Campaign
2018 marks 100 years since some women gained the right to vote in the UK so they Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has started a year-long campaign that celebrates women and their contributions to feminist activism and to the city of London. Events will take place around the city all throughout the year and women will be celebrated and commemorated in many different ways.
"Over the next year, and beyond, we will highlight how women of all ages, ethnicities, faiths and backgrounds make London the great city it is. More importantly, we will redouble our efforts in the fight for gender equality. We must do all we can to remove any barriers to women’s success and to unlock their full potential." - Sadiq Khan
Millicent Fawcett was an early feminist and campaigner for women's right to vote in Great Britain. She's now remembered fondly for her activism work. As part of the #BehindEveryCityCampaign her statue was created by feminist artist Gillian Wearing and placed in the centre of London.
"It followed a campaign by the feminist writer and activist Caroline Criado Perez, who also led last year's successful effort to get Jane Austen to appear on the £10 note. She said she came up with the idea for the statue when she was out running on International Women's Day in 2016 and realised the only historical figures commemorated there were men."
Our Time is seizing the moment to tackle gender inequality in the workplace and break down the social and cultural barriers that prevent women from reaching the top. The initiative is part of the Mayor's #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign to tackle gender inequality in London.
"The flame of discussion around the subject of gender equality in the capital has been boldly lit. I hope that shining a spotlight on this seemingly never-ending list of incredible women who continue to make their mark on tackling gender inequality will support and inspire current and future generations." - Katie Griffiths