Happy International Women’s Day all!
Today we recognise the achievements and work of women everywhere and celebrate their accomplishments.
Whilst today is about recognising how far we have travelled in the fight for gender equality, we must also recognise how much further we have to go, both in the UK and internationally.
Around the world 62 million girls are not in school. Globally one in three women will experience gender-based violence in her lifetime. And this includes female genital mutilation. In the developing world one in seven girls are married before their 15th birthday, with some child brides as young as eight or nine.
Our challenge now must be to build on past achievements and push for full equality for women: financially, in the workplace, in families and homes and in public spaces.
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2016, SharpFutures have created ‘Women Change Manchester’ – a film showcasing some of the region’s most inspiring women from history, presented by inspirational women from today.
I contributed to this film and spoke about the inspiring Annie Kenney, a Suffragette born in Springhead. I really enjoyed making the film and you can watch my contribution from 06mins:09secs below.
On Sunday 6th of March, Mother’s Day, I attended a fantastic International Women’s Day event in Uppermill with my colleague, Angela Rayner MP. Organised by the Saddleworth Palestinian Women’s Scholarship Fund, the theme this year was, ‘Women of Palestine, living through trauma, building resilience.’
It was a truly inspiring and thought provoking event with a great speech from Arwa who told us about her experiences of daily life in Hebron.
To find out more about the work of the Saddleworth Palestinian Women’s Scholarship Fund please click here. They are currently supporting over 40 women in Gaza with their education which is making a real difference in their lives and the lives of their community.
Unfortunately two Palestinian women were unable to speak at the event due to visa restrictions which frankly seemed ridiculous given their backgrounds and previous travel to the UK. They were represented with photographs. Sorry you couldn’t be here Kholood and Kholoud. Although you were both here in spirit.
I also attended a packed International Women’s Day event at the weekend, organised by the Oldham Indian Association with Jim McMahon MP and the Mayor and Mayoress of Oldham. This was a fantastic event with some fab performers!