When we discuss homelessness or poverty, we often talk about the barriers and the dire circumstances that people are in. Today is International Women’s Day. A time to celebrate women who have been influential in the world and this year’s slogan: #BreakTheBias seems fitting when considering those who have climbed out of poverty and homelessness to create a new life.
How many women are homeless?
Rough figures suggest that 14% of those rough sleeping are women however, women are more likely to be hidden from statistics as they will hide, sofa surf, or stay in exploitative situations.
According to Simon on the Streets, three in ten women will experience sexual violence and 35% have found themselves homeless due to domestic violence. Female homelessness highlighted ahead of International Women’s Day | Charity Today News
In one survey, 40% of the victims of domestic violence had found themselves hidden homeless: sofa surfing. How does homelessness differ for women? - The Big Issue
Famous women who were homeless and why
Shania Twain grew up in an abusive household and when she was a child found herself squatting in a shelter with her siblings and mother. When she was 16 she would sleep in a vacant house or on buses so that she was sheltered. Now Shania is a multi-award-winning singer.
The all-famous Ella Fitzgerald grew up in poverty with an abusive family. Passed from her parents to her aunt, she was eventually deemed to be a “wayward” child and was placed in an institution. The beatings continued until she ran away. Ella became a homeless woman until her big break when someone heard her voice and gave her a chance to prove herself despite her dishevelled appearance.
Many women have not experienced or said they have personal experience with homelessness and poverty yet use their status to make a difference.
Women celebrated for their influential work with homelessness and poverty
Michelle Obama, spent her time as the First Lady championing equal rights and advocating for American families in poverty.
Jack Monroe, made famous by her blog providing cheap recipes for families, is a campaigner for poverty and hunger. Following her complaint that poor people are being hit the hardest by inflation and food prices, she lobbied for a change in the government to calculate inflation for poor people as well as the rich. With success!
Through the use of vouchers, The Clothing Collective attempts to support the reestablishment of pride, dignity, and respect. You too could help the homeless and those facing poverty.
To help those in need, you can make donations to the Clothing Collective here
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