International Women’s Day
On 8 March, people all over the world come together to celebrate International Women’s Day. This day highlights the struggles of gender equality and brings people together to help diminish this.
It’s a chance to take action, and raise awareness of the economic, political and social achievements of women across the world.
What is the theme this year?
Bias and discrimination have been holding women back for centuries. This year’s official theme is #BreakTheBias, which looks at how we can collectively break the bias and misconceptions in the interest of creating a gender-equal and inclusive world.
You can get involved with the #BreakTheBias campaign by sending in photos of yourself with crossed arms as seen in the below image, or taking a selfie with one of the pledge cards, which you can download here to show your support.
As part of the celebration, we asked a few women leaders across the campus about who inspires them and why and how we can break the bias in education.
Clare Fitzgerald, Head of Business Engagement and Growth at Keighley College, speaks about her mum being an inspiration.
“My late mum, Sheila, was a trailblazer. Evacuated from Manchester to Ramsbottom in World War Two, she gained a scholarship to go to Haslingden Grammar School. Sheila loved sport and was the captain of the hockey team at college and university. My mum loved being in education, she went on to study for a degree at the University of Leeds to become qualified in social work. A true grafter, she also went to agricultural college during her university holidays.
“Until retirement, Sheila worked for the social services department in Wigan. She was a single mum and had a ‘never say never’ attitude. She loved watching sport and was a season ticket holder at Manchester United, as well as captaining the crown green bowling team for almost 20 years. My mum travelled extensively and had a huge lust for life; she never gave up, never saw limitations and was a true inspiration to me.”
Clare says in order to #BreakTheBias there needs to be “fairness, inclusion and opportunities for all. Recognising, celebrating and actively encouraging diversity.”
Jo Rusden, Deputy Head for Adult and Community, also talks about her best friend being an inspiration to her.
“My best friend inspires me. She’s a silver-haired curve model who didn’t go into modelling until her 40s. She continually battles for women of all ages and sizes to be heard and seen.”
Jo says: “To break bias is to educate and to bring in role models from all communities to speak to pupils and students.”Take a look at the International Women’s Day resources here.