Celebrating International Women’s Day at The Jo Cox Foundation
One of Jo’s most powerful qualities was her ability to lead collaboratively, and nowhere was this truer than in her feminism.
Jo was that rare person who could both encourage and empower, a woman whose activism was infectious and whose firmly-held values inspired you, even if you’d never met her, to act. And so many women have been inspired by Jo’s example.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are sharing stories of women and initiatives who are taking action to drive positive change in Jo’s memory...
Campaign Bootcamp Jo Cox Scholars
In 2017 and 2018 the Jo Cox Foundation funded the Campaign Bootcamp Jo Cox Scholarship for women campaigning on issues that Jo cared about. Through the training, 16 women activists have benefitted from the skills, confidence and community needed to plan, launch and run successful campaigns.
Afsana - a Jo Cox Scholarship Campaign Bootcamp graduate - campaigns on human rights, women’s rights, gender violence, equality and free speech.
She said: “As a sole activist, I have found this support and community invaluable. I am extremely grateful to the Jo Cox Foundation. Without their help, I would not have been able to access this course.”
You can apply to be one of the 35 activists on Campaign Bootcamp’s next residency training in July here.
Jo Cox Cymru Awards
The Jo Cox Cymru Awards launched last year and were designed to recognise the efforts of individuals in improving the lives of people in their communities in Wales.
Labour AM Eluned Morgan, who sponsored the award, said: "This award was founded to highlight the fantastic work happening all over Wales on the issues Jo cared so deeply about. I could think of no better way to celebrate her legacy or to share her message of unity and compassion that to pay tribute to the kind and selfless acts happening in Welsh communities every day."
Heather, who works for the BAWSO organisation in Cardiff as an advocate educator, won the Jo Cox Women's Champion award. She provides support to vulnerable and hard to reach victims of domestic abuse, and works with local GPs to encourage the early identification and referral of women to the service.
Heather said she was "very humbled" to win. "It really touched my heart and brought a tear to my eye.”
Follow #JoCoxCymru for latest updates.
In November 2018 we worked in partnership with 50:50 Parliament and the Fawcett Society to host the first ever #AskHerToStand Day in Parliament.
We supported 321 women from all walks of life to join their MP in Westminster to mark the moment women first got the right to stand for Parliament one hundred years ago. It was billed as the first time women outnumbered men at Westminster.
Suraiya, 18, said she did not see many people like her in politics, but the event had made her to want to change that. “What it says to me is that I do belong here, there is a space for me,” she said.
Do you know a talented, inspirational woman who would make a fantastic MP? You can #AskHerToStand through 50:50 Parliament here.
Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme
In January 2019, the third cohort of diverse and talented women began their journey on the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme, run by the Labour Party and Labour Women’s Network. In the months ahead, they will be supported with the training and mentoring needed to make their voices heard and become future leaders.
Deeba, 2018 participant said:
“I never met Jo, but I feel as though I knew her as a friend. Being a woman in politics is often extremely difficult: it can feel like people want you to fail. That’s why it’s been so life-changing for me to form a bond with women who will listen, help and support each other.”
Apply to be part in the 2019/2020 cohort here.
Great Get Together champions
Laura is a working mother of two young children who had never been involved in her community until she organised a Great Get Together in 2017. Inspired by Jo and seeing the opportunity to make a difference, Laura now runs a volunteer group that does year-round work to make a difference in her local area.
She said: "The death of Jo really struck a chord with me. She was a Mum of two young children the same as me and seemed to want nothing but to make the world a better place; a champion of tolerance and togetherness. Seeing her family reach out to the nation and ask for people to celebrate her life I just knew I had to be a part of it and try and make a difference in my local community"
DFID / Jo Cox Memorial Grants
Jo was a dedicated humanitarian who fought for gender equality at home and in developing countries.
At the end of last year, the Department for International Development awarded £10 million of funding to help support women and girls in developing countries to build better lives in memory of Jo. The grants are a reminder of Jo’s passion and her determination to inspire others.
We will be sharing some stories from the women whose lives will be transformed by this funding in the coming months.
These stories offer just a taste of the amazing work that is being done in Jo’s memory to empower women and create a fairer society.
If you are someone who has been inspired by Jo’s example or would like guidance on how to take action, we want to hear from you!
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org telling us how Jo has inspired you to take action or use the hashtag #InspiredByJoCox on social media - we would love to hear your stories!
Jo is here beside us all – working towards true equality – still marching, still restless for change.