International Women’s Day and Gxlentines 2019

When I look at the back of my hand and notice the beautiful menhdi fading, my memories of International Women’s Day and Gxlentines 2019 are still so strong.


Since 2016 IWD I have been marking it with my involvement with photography. This year was slightly different and I was included in an amazing blog post by West Midlands Photography Collective alongside some amazing women photographers. For once I didn’t feel out of place regarding my ability to capture a story.

The photo I submitted was of my friend Katie. I don’t get to see very often as we don’t work together anymore but we are in touch online. To read more about the photo and the other amazing female photographers click here.

On IWD 2019 the University of Birmingham’s BAME network held a panel discussion called “Amazing women and where to find them.” They were definitely amazing women who are passionate about evoking change. I found myself nodding in agreement to so many points and gaining a vibe of positivity.

Poppybead story Blog Biscuit with brave embossed

Then on Saturday 9th March I went to an event which took me out of my comfort zone. Usually I am quite a sociable person, but I can struggle with social anxiety and meeting new people doesn’t come easy. I have avoided events because it. Rida and Rabya organised an event called Gxlentines.

Women came from all over the country to talk, laugh, listen and educate each other. Most of these women had forged friendships via Instagram, through common interests, experiences and support from online.

A friend and former colleague introduced me to Rida’s feed on Instagram. This friend had opened my eyes to another world of creativity that I once would of dismissed as I am not a mother. I stopped being so judgmental and started following many of the women who were at this event and more. They have so much to say and share, showing the reality of motherhood, what can be achieved creatively, hints and tips that can benefit everyone.

I had my first mendhi done by the wonderful Fadhiladesigns who also made the biscuits.


I met some wonderful people at this event, who have been supportive, kind as well as honest with their words and educated me in many aspects of life. I look forward to the next event.

I created an IGTV video of my experience at Gxlentines.

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