Liverpool is marking International Women’s Day (IWD) 2018 with a series of events taking place across the city.
The worldwide campaign, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, returns today (8 March) with the theme #PressforProgress.
Ahead of IWD, the city’s female “movers and shakers” converged on Liverpool City Council’s headquarters in an attempt to prove exactly how ‘equal’ the city is.
Nationally, just 33% of all local councillors are women but in Liverpool half the council chamber is female.
To recognise and celebrate this, the Mayor of Liverpool’s office has put together an online resource of poetry, blogs, music and art.
There are also video interviews with local women who speak about their greatest achievements, the challenges ahead and what it is like being a women in Liverpool today.
Deputy Mayor Councillor Ann O’Byrne says: “We have achieved gender parity by talent spotting community activists who are already out there advocating for their neighbourhood or community of interest.”
“We spend time encouraging them to think about stepping up and becoming an elected representative of their community. As a result, we have recruited some outstanding candidates who bring fresh insight and enthusiasm to the task.”
The local authority is also offering a day’s free access to its Lifestyles sports centres for girls (14+) and women.
However, plans by the council to celebrate the day at Pier Head with a traditional haka dance have fallen foul of the weather.
Female councillors were planning to get together in memory of Liverpool-born Kate Sheppard who led the suffrage movement in New Zealand which enabled women to vote for the first time 125 years ago – making it the first country to allow women to vote.
The council says it will look to celebrate the life of Kate Sheppard at some point later this year.
Elsewhere, National Museums Liverpool is marking the day with a programme of free exhibitions and events today and across the weekend (10 -11 March).
2018 is the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which extended the vote for women (over the age of 30), for the first time.
On IWD itself between 1pm and 3pm, a tour focusing on inspirational women will run at the Museum of Liverpool.
Lastly, on Bold Street a blue plaque marking the life and times of trade union organiser Jeannie Mole will be unveiled outside of the News From Nowhere bookshop.
Active in the city during the late 1800s/early 1900s, Jeannie was an early follower of dress reform, a feminist movement against the awkward garments of the Victorian era, and would regularly wear an outfit reminiscent of Greek robes.