In chaotic, multi-cultural London it's easy to feel lost and alone, which is why clubs - everything from the swish mansions of St James' to the weird and wonderful offerings on meetup.com - are thriving in the capital. One lesser known branch of these is the assortment of women's clubs which provide welcoming, well-respected communities for women of all ages and backgrounds in London and whose worth was amply demonstrated by the Federation of Women's Associations in London at their conference on Monday.
Focusing on the theme of 'women of vision', the event delivered a series of inspiring speeches from community leaders who are continually striving to aid their fellow females around the world. Particularly memorable were Baroness Goudie's stirring call for a renewed campaign to acheive equal rights for women and Zainab Salbi's incredibly moving description of the plight of women living in former war zones and the work that her organisation, Women for Women, is doing to help them rebuild their lives. Incredibly, Salbi's organisation is not only educating these women as to their human rights and employment opportunities but also talking to the male leaders of some of the most misogynistic regions and convincing them to change their ways. The phrase 'girl power' frankly doesn't even come close.
The conference was also a good opportunity to learn about the indivual clubs which make up FIWAL and it was heartening to see so many supportive communities and such a diverse mix of cultures and ages. Including everything from the Arab Women's Council to the Kensington and Chelsea Women's Club FIWAL probably has a club for everyone and, as all of them provide fantastic event programmes and a whole new set of friends, it seems worth giving one a try. Moreover, all clubs are also involved an an amazing array of charitable projects to aid women worldwide and, when you think about the 536,000 women who die every year due to mostly preventable complications in childbirth, the hundreds of thousands of innocents raped and abused every day or even just the glaring gender pay gap here in the UK, perhaps we should embrace any organisation that can teach us to become women of vision.
Know of a good women's club not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments below.