What are you doing to celebrate International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day will be on Friday 8th March. Please share your plans to celebrate it in the comments below.

Here in Southwest London the local parties in the boroughs of Kingston, Sutton, Merton and Richmond have developed several projects, both political and non-political.

First, we are jointly running a conference with Liberal Democrat Women titled “WOMEN: Shaping the future, making a difference!“. A number of influential women have been invited to share their stories with us including Floella Benjamin, Sam Smethers (Fawcett Society), Siobhan Benita (candidate for London Mayor) and Lorely Burt.

There will be workshops led by practitioners on Women in Business, Tech, Political Activism, Community Activism, Creative Industries and Public Life. Christine Cheng will reprieve her TEDx talk on strategies for encouraging women to participate, and Sal Brinton will give a summary speech at the end of the day which should send us out energised and enthused.

The conference is open to anyone, of any gender, sympathetic to the Liberal Democrats.

In addition, councillors in the boroughs have worked with their Councils to develop some public events.

For example, in Kingston Councillor Sharon Young has worked with officers to create a programme that includes taster, talks and inspirational days at a local college, a community hall and with the Fire Brigade, plus poetry and music from female artists in a pub. Libraries are highlighting five key books and inviting an author to explore them with participants, and also holding an event which will showcase games that have a female lead character or apps that have been designed by women. The University is holding a seminar on ‘Women and War’.

So what are you doing in your area? The website for International Women’s Day has some useful ideas.

PS. May we ask for a bit of love from our male readers? Comments like “But what about the men?” (which often follow posts like this one) are not really appreciated. We’ve had hundreds of years of patriarchy, so give us a break.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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