With a rich heritage in lace and manufacturing, Nottingham’s working women have done their fair share of ‘grafting’ alongside their male counterparts. In similar spirits on March 8th of this year, women and men across the city joined forces to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Events took place at Nottingham Central Library and Nottingham Women’s Centre; raising awareness of the discrimination women face on a daily basis, as well as celebrating the socio-political achievements of notable women throughout history.
It doesn’t take a genius to recognise that education, economic independence and political engagement is vital to bridging the gap of gender inequality across the globe. For instance, only 19% of women in the UK find themselves in a senior management role.
Alongside this, horrific sexual and human rights abuses give testament to why IWD is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.
A little background…
IWD’s first celebration was in the US in 1909, and is now recognised as a national holiday in 27 countries, though the UK has yet to follow suit.
International Women’s Day not only gives men an excuse to treat their wives, daughters and lady-loved ones to some well-deserved TLC, but it also serves as a platform for discussion around issues facing women in our world today.
To add to its significance, the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meet at this time to discuss women’s human rights and make commitments to improve the conditions of women in the member states.
There have been 100+ International Women’s Days to date, and over the years we have seen the world evolve to encapsulate the ‘female’ experience which was once, and in some ways still is, viewed from the male lens.
The struggle is not over…
Progression has been given a backhander; in the US, access to safe abortions and healthcare is being chipped away; in Pakistan, a young girl, Malala Yousafzai, was shot by the Taliban for campaigning for education for girls; female genital mutilation; human trafficking; rape; forced marriage… I could go on.
This is why it is important that women stand together, with men by their sides, to celebrate, promote and inspire social, political and economic evolution – in fact, revolution – bringing an end to violence against women and gender apartheid.
Janine Pounder is a writer, copywriter and general wordsmith. Her interests include human rights, poetry and politics. When away from her laptop she enjoys travelling, sunny days and real ales. One day she hopes to write something beautiful.