This week on the podcast we talk about the women who inspire us personally. We share the characters and moments that inspire us most and why we choose to draw inspiration from a whole range of different women, including the women we are lucky enough to interview on the podcast!

We also share about something new coming soon on the podcast which we are calling The Change Making Women Book Club. Each month we will be doing a show about a book written by a woman who has created change and talk about her story and why it inspires, motivates or challenges us. We will also be inviting listeners to get involved with this.

Listen to this episode to find out more & follow us on Instagram where we will be sharing what our first book is going to be soon!

Ruby is the CEO and Co-Founder of WUKA Wear. She is a passionate environmental scientist who combines her scientific knowledge and passion for lean startup methodology to solve the problems that surround disposable menstrual products. She was born and brought up in Nepal and with WUKA , she wants to break taboos around period worldwide.

This week on Change Making Women we talk to Ruby, who is originally from Nepal about how she developed the idea for Wuka Wear Period Pants and went about testing, developing and launching the product.

Listen to the show to hear more about the process of envisioning an innovative product, the environmental imperative for us to get into the habit of using reusable menstrual products, breaking down the stigma and taboos about our bleeding and the importance of addressing period poverty worldwide.

Find out more about Wuka Wear (& get yourself a pair of period pants!)

Twitter: @WukaWear
Facebook: @WukaWear
Instagram: @WukaWear

In this week’s show Ziada and Mary Ann speak to Marcie Goldman about her approach to coaching and supporting women around food and nourishment. We hear about why she does the work she does, why she believes that flourishing is feminist and how she helps women unpick restrictive dieting and eat what they want.

There’s nothing that lights up Marcie Goldman more than teaching women to nourish to flourish.  She does this by eliminating toxic dietary beliefs, not food groups. She teaches women how to work “with” their bodies, not “on” their body’s, like a a project. 

Once you’ve unlearned all the so called “nutrition facts,” she fills you up with a combination of real food, Nutrient Therapy and a mind-set for rapid recovery. 

Her work combines functional medicine strategies, herbalism and nourishing wise woman traditions; a stellar combination she’s honed over the last 20 years in her professional one-on-one practice as well as group programs. 

Marcie graduated from the Institute for Integrated Nutrition in 1999, has had extensive training in herbalism and plant healing, and most recently she’s become a certified Addiction Recovery Nutrition Coach through the Alliance for Addiction Solutions. Currently, she offers feminist health coaching with individuals and groups. 

Find out more about Marcie and her work

Instagram: marciegoldman

Facebook: marciegoldman

 

 

TOPICS WE DISCUSS IN THIS EPISODE

  • Mary Ann talks to Aisha Hannibal about their work together establishing the Red Tent Directory and how it has organically grown and now lists almost 100 Red Tent Circles for women across Europe.
  • What’s special about red tents and other women’s circles?
  • They talk about what they have learnt in the process about sustainable growth and leadership,
  • What is important to them about attending Red Tents and other women’s circles
  • How Red Tents and circles differ from other forms of women group.

Some quotes from the show:

‘When people say how are you? we rarely answer honestly.’

‘We often don’t know how we really are until we slow down’

‘We sensed there was a need for the directory and that got validated in the process’

‘Whenever I find something that I really enjoy my next thought is, everyone should have this’

‘We started off with five listings and I remember thinking oh blimey we have only got a few and we are going to have to launch with what we have got..we just kind of went with it’

‘We didn’t have a clear plan or targets set but the whole point was I thought people will find us’

‘Actually it’s this network of women coming together all over the world’

‘We’ve tried to work as much we can in a way that reflects the concept of red tents so to not to completely wind ourselves up and exhaust ourselves with all the things we have got to do on the Red Tent Directory but to be very mindful of how much time we have got to put into this, it’s a voluntary project, and not the main thing that any of us do and do it in a way that is about staying connected to yourself, giving yourself time to rest, giving yourself time to stay connected to what your own needs are and then also to the needs of women around you, that’s been a really interesting journey for me.’

‘I think it’s looking at female leadership and saying, can we do it in a way that doesn’t lead to burnout?’

‘We are a vehicle with lots of happy people on the vehicle waving flags and and throwing flowers out’

‘I love that red tents can happen anywhere and that anyone can start one’

‘The toolkit is really about saying, yes you!’

‘We are giving voice to that way of being, that women can be a real force of support and encouragement for each other. I wanna see that voice more in the world and in the media which is where we see this cat fighting and other view of women’

‘There is something quite counter cultural about it even though red tents can be quite simple’

‘There’s is something quite counter cultural about really allowing it to be a meeting of women that’s not any of those kinds of judgemental or commitment kinds of interaction and really being clear about that and having a really clear structure that every women gets to share for a specific period of time. We are not interrupting or giving our take on it or any of the things that we might normally do that we might do in our work places and familial or in our everyday lives’

‘Just in that simple act of sharing and letting it be what it is. It’s like switching on a different way of being, it’s ok for her to be her and you to be you and to support each other in that’

‘It sounds simple and yet it’s a real call out to a different way of being I think’

‘You also realise that you’re not alone in this’

‘What would be different in the world if there was more of this kind of space?’

‘I’ve learnt how to communicate better because actually listening is a real skill that I think a lot of people could do with having an opportunity to practice a bit more’

‘When you really listen and you’re not thinking about what you have to say you can really just sit back there and I think empathy comes from a place where you have compassion for another person and whatever they’re saying you can hear it and you have a sense of what that might be like for them and for me the more empathy we have, women are 51% of the world you know the more empathy that we can share with each other about what’s happened, what people are experiencing on a day to day basis you know I think that fosters peace you know the compassion that can come from really listening is really powerful’

‘I think of this work as a critical component of how we change things in the world. There is something about women coming together in ways that we’ve not being doing because our culture has pushed us away from each other that feels like a little seed of something and it feels like the ripple effects of that can make a difference not just for the women that show up but the people around them, their families, the other women they know.’

‘I feel like there is something really transformative about this simple act, that is more than it appears’

‘If you are a change maker in the world, we need to make sure that we rest and take time to do that and time to be quiet and I think that red tents really offer that’

‘For change to be sustainable and long lasting radical self care is essential’

More information about Red Tents:

TOPICS WE DISCUSS IN THIS EPISODE

  • In this episode we interview Chiedza Muguti about her experience with Fibroids. We talk about
    Her symptoms and how they were finally diagnosed
  • The solutions she was offered to help fix them
  • Common misunderstandings about what Fibroids are how they affect you
  • Her advice to other women who may be suffering from Fibroids
  • How you can support other women who might also be experiencing them

Some quotes from the show:

‘Something that really helped me was to have people I knew who’d been in the same situation’

‘It’s very difficult to quantify bleeding, it is something vague you have to have an instinct about’

‘If a close relative has fibroids the likelihood is that you will have them’

‘I felt a bit shy about it, I had spoiled some clothes and some sheets and I didn’t want anyone near me’

‘I knew something had changed, but I just couldn’t’ put my finger on what it was. I felt broken and so run down and defeated’

‘I lied and said it wasn’t that bad.

‘Even now I just think what were you not accurate, what was the reason for that?’

‘I didn’t want seem like a hypochondriac, I didn’t want to seem like I was complaining’

‘Sometimes you see in life that everything is ordered for your benefit’

‘Know your dates, know your cycle, know how long it lasts, know how you feels during those four fives days’

‘There is a myth that when you get fibroids you have no chance of having children. It’s not the case’

‘Sometimes you see in life that everything is ordered for your benefit’

‘Know your dates, know your cycle, know how long it lasts, know how you feels during those four fives days’

‘There is a myth that when you get fibroids you have no chance of having children. It’s not the case’

ind time to decompress. I have quite a stressful job.I had to put up a front. I had to put up an act so I had to dig really deep to get through the day. Don’t underestimate how much that takes.’

‘Occasionally my body would just grind me to a halt where I just felt I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t do anything’

‘Listen to your body & if you go anywhere for help with a problem, tell the truth.’

Get in touch with Chiedza:
Email: chiedzajm@icloud.com
Twitter: @janetistaa

More information about living with Fibroids:
Boots Guide to Heavy Periods
Boots Guide to your Risk of Fibroids
Boots Guide to Uterine Fibroids
NHS Information about Fibroids
Net Doctor about Fibroids
British Fibroid Trust
Health Channel You Tube Video about Fibroids.

In this episode Ziada and Mary Ann speak about menstruation and how the taboos about it affected our lives growing up both in Tanzania and in the UK. They reflect on the fact that having periods is such a normal part of our experience as women, even if we can’t talk about it and how not talking about how menstruation and our cycles affect us it makes things harder. We do some honest talking about the particular challenges we each experience when we bleed and Mary Ann talks about how you can start to get more in tune with your menstrual cycle and plan you work and life accordingly. We also share something about how we experienced our first bleed, about the fact that the number one reason for girls dropping out of school is because they can’t afford sanitary products and Ziada speaks about why that needs to change and what the Tanzanian government is doing about it. We conclude that the change should start with us breaking the taboo and talking about our bleeding with the women and men in our lives.

Some quotes from the show:

‘To pretend that you feel fine is actually a massive effort’

‘It’s a very different state of mind when you are bleeding from the rest of the month’

‘When I am bleeding I’m tired of everything, I’m even tired of hearing myself talk’

‘Allowing yourself to say, you know what I can’t do it and if you do that even the weight of it and the struggle becomes lighter because you are acknowledging it, part of the weight of it and part of the struggle is actually because you are the whole time trying to pretend like you can cope.’

‘All the adverts for sanitary towels and tampons are about how you can do anything if you use then your life can continue as normal’

‘When you are bleeding might be a really go time to think inside of yourself, to do creative stuff, because you are in that slightly altered state of mind, even if you shut yourself in your room to be with whatever you want to be. Then when you are ovulating, that’s the time to go out and have business meetings, you should try to organise your life in a way that respects your cycle basically’

‘I guess it requires a lot of practice and a lot of acceptance’

‘There’s a few days before I bleed when I am really quite nasty, but I am so productive on day 14 or 15, I’m like, yeah, I can do this!’

‘Something that has been happening to women forever, it must have been, it’s part of how the life of our planet is sustained, this ability to create and shed life in our wombs – so why have we made it in to this thing that we have to pretend doesn’t happen?’

‘all these times in school growing up how shameful it would be because a bit of a stain would show on your skirt, you stress over that in class, you aren’t even concentrating’

‘It’s time we should teach our children that its ok, a normal thing and this should start at a younger stage, it needs to be normalised’

‘Growing up for my was different, right now you get hygiene and cleanliness education in school, children now a days know more, us growing up was different, we stayed in for seven days when we began to bleed’

‘I did not know about menstruation until I got it’

‘The thing that was weird for me wasn’t at home, and then it wasn’t like you could talk about it in school, I was like ten, quite young and you couldn’t put your hand up and say ‘I started bleeding’, so although it was factually open at home, at school it was this thing you were trying to hide the whole time, hide the tampons in your bag, not let there be a stain on your skirt, the whole day worrying’

‘We could work with them if we had that awareness, the taboo is holding us back and making it more difficult’

‘Urging everyone to normalise it, it happens to us until it stops happening, it shouldn’t be scary, it should be something as women we can talk about and teach our young woman’s that its ok, not to feel ashamed and embarrassed’