Friday 6 March 2015

Achievements of women in Sheffield and across the world are set to be celebrated as the city marks “International Women’s Day” this Sunday, 8 March.

The day has been marked since 1911, when the first International Women’s Day took place in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Sheffield’s own Women’s Hub will be hosting an all-day event, called “Make it Happen”, in partnership with Sheffield City Council.

The event will take place between 12noon and 5pm on Saturday, 7 March at Sheffield Town Hall and will include activities such as workshops, Q&A with inspiring women, access to an information market hall and a fashion show. It’s free and open to all but some spaces are available to women only.

Cllr Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council said: “International Women’s Day is an important event in that it serves as an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women across the world.

“However, it is also so much more than that. It is a day to reflect upon the struggles that women have faced in our fight for equality, and remember that that fight is far from over.

“Of the 650 MPs in Parliament, just 148 are women, and just five per cent of the FTSE 100 companies are headed by female CEOs.

“At the same time, 40 years after the Equal Pay Act was introduced, women still earn far less than men, which is something I feel should be tackled not just by women, or by those who identify as feminists, but by all of society.

“I hope that, this International Women’s Day, people across Sheffield will take the time to think about these issues and perhaps look more closely into what we can do both individually, and collectively, to strive for a fairer society.”

When International Women’s Day was established in 1911, women didn’t even have the right to vote in the UK. Until the Employment Protection Act was introduced in 1975, it was legal to sack a woman because she was pregnant, and marital rape wasn’t even a crime until as recently as 1994.

The fight for equality has come a long way – but there’s still a long way to go.

To honour International Women’s Day other events will be taking place across the city including a film screening of “Philomena” at the Sheffield’s students union on Thursday 5 March at 6pm and a Sheffield Tradeswomen Networking Event at the Rutland Arms on Friday 20 March at 7pm.

For more information about International Women’s Day and events taking place in Sheffield, visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/equalityhub; follow us on Twitter @IWDSheffield; or find us on Facebook.