1 March 2017

Celebrating International Women's Day


Jane Cordell writes about her nomination for two awards.

Now 106 years old, International Women's Day offers an opportunity to celebrate women's progress, achievements and to raise awareness of the work we still have to do to achieve equality. This year's theme is Be Bold for Change, emphasizing women͛s key role in countering prejudice, low expectations and inequality in society.

Since the day was first celebrated much progress has been made but it is worth reflecting on a few facts about women in the UK:
- the gender pay gap for full-time work is 13.9%
- 29% of our MPs are women, a long way short of the 51% which would be representative of the population. And according to the Fawcett Society, a disproportionate percentage (37%) of women-held seats could be affected by the 2018 Boundary Review
- at least 25% of women experienced domestic violence in their lifetime and approximately 11% experience it annually (1).

Confidence in our identity is vital to getting our voices heard as women. Too often we will give way to louder voices. Getting heard gives us influence and influence can lead to positive changes locally, nationally and globally. The diversity of our experience is also important, so-called inter-sectionality – whether we be women who are black or minority ethnic, LGBTQ,disabled, working class, poor an immigrant to our country or any combination of those things along with many others.

As well as developing confidence and supporting others to be heard, we also need to let ourselves celebrate all we achieve in our lives and in the contribution we make. As a social enterprise promoting inclusion and confidence, Result CIC is delighted about the Manchester's International Women's Festival. Manchester has a proud history of challenging the status quo and offering radical alternatives. The festival offers no less than 26 different workshops and events for a wide range of women whether you want to tell your story, sing, create, learn or simply meet other women like you to share experiences and enjoy yourselves.

Manchester City Council has decided to mark IWD itself with a special set of awards 'Our Manchester Women'. The day will include a women's sung performance of 'Let The Women Rise' from a musical about Elizabeth Gaskell, celebrity speaker, Commonwealth champion, Diane Modhal and networking hosted by local business leader, Claire-Maria Boggiano, it looks like being quite a party!

As a Mancunian with a lifelong love of her city, I am bowled over to have been nominated and shortlisted in two award categories. What a fabulous opportunity to celebrate – thank you Manchester!

NOTE: (1) All data taken from Fawcett Society's studies.

Read more about Jane Cordell.

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