And while we know that gender parity won't happen overnight, the good news is that across the world women are making positive gains day by day. Plus, there's indeed a very strong and growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support.
So we can't be complacent. Now, more than ever, there's a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.
International Women's Day is not country, group or organisation specific. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. So together, let's all be tenacious in accelerating gender parity. Collectively, let's all Press for Progress.
March 8 sees the annual IWD campaign theme kick off for the year ahead, although many groups around the world adopt and promote the campaign theme from early in the year. The IWD campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize collective action. The campaign theme does not end on International Women's Day. It's just the start. Throughout the year many groups worldwide adopt the IWD campaign theme for further campaign work, gender-focused initiatives, continuing activity and events. A great example of this was in 2017 when the USA Women's Hockey Team went on to adopt the #BeBoldForChange IWD campaign theme to later rally for equal pay, boycotting the national finals unless a suitable deal was struck. Many fans and further teams supported the campaign.
Collectively we can all play a part
Collective action and shared responsibility for driving gender parity is what makes International Women's Day successful. Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."
Started by the Suffragettes in the early 1900's, the first International Women's Day was celebrated in 1911. International Women's Day belongs to all communities everywhere - governments, companies, charities, educational institutions, networks, associations, the media and more. Whether through a global conference, community gathering, classroom lesson or dinner table conversation - everyone can play a purposeful part in pressing for gender parity.
So make International Women's Day YOUR day and do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women. Press for Progress!
The Representation of People Act became law in February 1918. From that point on women over 30, who were occupiers of property or married to occupiers, were entitled to vote.
This was seen as a major success for women's suffrage and was also popular with the general public. The Act was not such a success for women under 30. They would have to wait another 10 years before they received the same rights.
Why it took so long for women to gain the vote
Women had to overcome many obstacles and face many challenges to gain the vote. Like middle and working class men before them, they had to convince Parliament to extend the franchise to them. People who have privileges are always reluctant to give them up, and this was an even bigger gamble for MPs than giving votes to some extra men - after all, giving women the vote on the same terms as men meant more than doubling the electorate. Politicians in both of the main parties were worried that the women might vote for their opponents.
Both socially and legally, women were regarded as inferior to men in the 19th century. This was changing, but too gradually to allow the campaign for the vote to succeed quickly.
There were divisions among women - some of them agreed with the view that women should not take part in politics, even that they would not be able to understand politics.
The tactics of the WSPU received massive publicity but much of it was negative, leading to arguments that women who acted like this did not deserve the vote. At one point, Churchill proclaimed that "their cause has marched backwards".
The very public disagreements between the suffragist and suffragette leaders, and later even within the suffragette movement, did not help to create a coherent campaign.
At the height of the campaign, the Liberal government had many other issues and crises to deal with - passing their social reforms, trouble with trade unions, the dispute between the Lords and the Commons over the Lords' rejection of the 1909 Budget, the naval arms race with Germany, the increasing likelihood of war in Europe, and the Home Rule debate leading to violence in Ireland. This meant that the suffrage campaigners were competing with all these issues for the government's attention. Fancy learning more? http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/electionsvoting/womenvote/overview/thevote/
Nikki Guy from the Stockport Women’s Centre She will be speaking about the charity that was set up by a social worker and psychotherapist. Nikki specialises in providing services for women surviving poverty, social exclusion and emotional trauma consequent to sexual and domestic abuse. For more information, please check out this link www.thewomenscentre.uk.net/
Mindfulness – 14 January 6-8 (Note now a Sunday) Book Club – 18 January Sewing – 26 January – flexible drop in session 10-2.30 Art and Craft – 30 January – 7.30 Social Events – Friday 19 Jan, Victoria & Abdul, Plaza 11am
Monday 19 February, Chilli Massala, Edgeley 8PM March – exact date TBC – Robinsons Brewery