International Women’s Day – 8 March

What is International Women’s Day?
It’s a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. It’s celebrated all over the world and is actually an official holiday in over 25 countries!

Where did it all start?
The first International Women’s Day (called National Women’s Day) was held in New York City in 1909. On the eve of World War I, women all over Europe held rallies to campaign for peace and to express women’s solidarity. In London, there was a march in support of women’s suffrage on 8 March 1914. Sylvia Pankhurst was arrested in front of Charing Cross station on her way to speak in Trafalgar Square. International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975. 

What’s the theme in 2017?
Each year, International Women’s Day chooses a theme – this year it’s #BeBoldForChange. Each one of us can be bold for change and can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over. Are you ready to #BeBoldForChange?

What can I do?

  • Challenge bias and inequality: challenge stereotypes and don’t stand for it when women are excluded
  • Campaign against violence: donate to groups fighting abuse or volunteer your help at a local charity
  • Celebrate women’s achievements: applaud social, economic, cultural and political women role models
  • Champion women’s education: support women inventors of new products or services and encourage girls into science/technology education and careers

What’s happening in my area?
Special International Women’s Day screenings of the documentary film ‘Embrace’ are being shown at the Plaza Cinema in Truro, the Regal Cinema in Redruth and, if it’s more convenient for you, at Reel Cinemas in Plymouth. ‘Embrace’ is a documentary by body image activist Taryn Brumfitt. The film follows Brumfitt’s crusade exploring the global issue of body loathing. She travels the world to interview an impressive range of women about their attitudes to their bodies.

In Redruth, the Growth Hub is celebrating with a roundtable ‘Women in Business’ debate featuring leading businesswomen from across Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. They will be discussing experiences of running a business, what challenges there are as a women and how we can make the most of the opportunitues and connections in the business community.

In Plymouth, an International Women’s Day conference will be held at the Holiday Inn on Armada Way. A number of city and west country businesses will be showcased and you will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with all of them. It’s a perfect opportunity to network and enjoy some inspirational speakers on such an important day for women all over the world. Speakers will include Ann James, CEO of Derriford NHS Trust, and Helen Roberts, The Bank of England’s Head of Technology Delivery. It is free to attend the conference, but you will still need to book a ticket. To book, click here.


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