Friday, 7 March 2014

International Women's Day (Saturday 8th March)

International Women’s Day (IWD) is an opportunity for women across the world to celebrate their achievements at all levels of society in campaigning for gender equality. It is also an opportunity for the NFWI to recognise the enormous contribution of WI members and all other women across the world in fighting for equality.

Since 1915 WI members have campaigned on significant issues for women and communities with great success. The WI, for example, had a big impact on the struggle for women’s rights at the beginning of the 20th Century by helping women to become active citizens in the years straight after women received the vote. WI members have also been actively engaged with issues affecting millions of lives across the globe such as HIV and AIDS.

IWD is also a time to reflect on the barriers that are preventing us from achieving gender equality. One in four women in Wales will experience domestic violence at the hands of a partner during their lives and 150,000 women in Wales will suffer some form of gender-based violence. As early as June 1943, the WI passed a resolution that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work yet women continue to be fighting for equal pay. Between 1919 and 1925, WI members were discussing the importance of women standing for election to local councils and supporting the appointment of women to public posts. However, currently only 26% of local government councillors in Wales are female and women continue to be under-represented on our public bodies today. We all have a role in empowering and supporting women in our communities to get involved in public life to ensure that women’s voices are represented at all levels of decision-making.

On 8 March, the Women Making a Difference project, hosted by NFWI-Wales, will be holding its annual Women’s Summit in Cardiff bringing together hundreds of women to celebrate the important role of women in society and to also explore, during roundtable discussions, the barriers that need to be addressed such as the perception of women in the media, women and technology and educating for equality.

Further information is available at

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