International Women's Day
Grey's Monument covered in knickers for International Women's Day 2018

Grey’s Monument will be turning red for International Women’s Day this year, when it wears hundreds of red pompoms and flies red streamers from its top.

Women in Newcastle, a group of women and organisations from across the city, are organising a range of events and activities to celebrate International Women’s Day.

One of their themes for this year is raising awareness of period poverty and stigma, and promoting a message of period positivity.

They are inviting the people of Newcastle and around to get involved and make red pompoms to adorn Grey’s Monument on International Women’s Day 2019.

The pompoms are a visible reminder that periods are natural, normal and should not be a source of shame, embarrassment or disgust.

One in ten girls have been unable to afford sanitary protection while nearly half of girls aged between 14 and 21 in the UK are reportedly embarrassed by their periods.

Cllr Joyce McCarthy, Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council said: “The pom-poms are a great and easy way for people across the city to get involved in our International Women’s Day celebrations and raise awareness about this important issue.”

“Period poverty is a growing challenge facing many women and girls and dealing with periods is a struggle for many.”

“Too often women and girls are left feeling ashamed, embarrassed or uncomfortable about their period, and this event and the use of red pom-poms is a fitting way for people to come together and challenge the taboo surrounding periods.”

The event on March 8th begins at 10.00am when a pop-up choir will come together to rehearse some songs in the Bewick Hall in the City Library before moving to Grey’s Monument at 11.30am to sing songs and decorate the Monument with red pompoms.

Pompom collection boxes will be available in Newcastle Civic Centre main reception and the City Library between 26 February and 1 March, so if you can make some pompoms, please drop them off at either venue. Community groups, local clubs, knitting circles, schools, crafting groups and staff groups are all encouraged to get involved.

Pompom instructions: The pompoms will be strung together, so please make sure you include two long threads so they can be attached to each other: pompoms of around 10cm diameter are ideal but all sizes welcome. They must be red.

Anyone who would like to participate in the event (popup choir and Monument-decorating) should register in advance.

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