Marked annually on March 8th, International Women's Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year to:
The first Briton in space
In 1991 27-year-old Helen Sharman from Sheffield became the first British person to go into space! We can all aim for the stars!
First Black Woman To Gain an MBE
Born in British Guiana, Sybil Phoenix, 83, started fostering for Lewisham in 1961 before starting her own hostel for girls and becoming a community worker. She was the first black woman to be given an MBE in 1973. She received an OBE in 2008. An important local one to note!
The first British woman to climb Mount Everest
In 1993 former journalist and Tomorrow’s World presenter Rebecca Stephens became the first British woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. She was awarded the MBE in 1994. A reminder that we can all climb those mountains in our way!
Britain’s first female fire fighter
In 1976 Mary Joy Langdon joined the East Sussex Fire Brigade becoming Britain’s first female fire fighter. Although there is still work to be done, we can feel grateful that women are now represented in most male dominated professions!
First female Prime Ministers
On May 4th 1979 Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain’s first woman Prime Minister. But the world’s first female PM was July Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike who was elected to rule Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1960. Massive steps for gender equality!
Britain’s first black female MP
In 1987 Diane Abbot became Britain’s first black woman MP. Still representing her community and tirelessly championing gender and racial equality, Diane is a great reminder of commitment and perseverance!
"There are not many people in my life that I look up to, but my foster carer is one of them. She is like a mum to me and what I admire about her most is that even when I’m not there she is always there for me, she has always stood by me. She is warm, empathic, loving and kind and I really look up to her. I want to be a mum to my children in the way that my foster carer is to me."
"There is nothing specific that Lindsay does, she just has a lot of time for young people. She has a drive that I admire and her ambition is helpful and inclusive. I feel part of a positive collective experience when I’m with her. Lindsay goes above and beyond to help further others progress and dreams and I think she will always be in my life in some way as a professional guide and mentor. Lindsay is also unique, unlike any other human I’ve met, she knows it’s ok to be strange, in fact it’s fine! It’s to your advantage to be different. Lindsay is warm, caring and understanding and one of the best things about her is that she accepts me for who I am without judgement."
Author, poet and civil rights activist. Her words inspire so many people, publishing many books over 50 years.
She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
Favourite quote: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
British political activist and head of the British Suffragette movement.
She was an influential female activist who shifted women’s rights in the UK forever, helping women to win the right to vote in 1918.
Activist for female education and the youngest noble peace prize winner.
She is known for her advocacy for human rights and the education of women and children.
Her story has influenced an international movement and brought awareness to such issues.
We are women of praise
Give a shout of joy as we count the days
Immaculate structure in all her ways
Divine and warm hugs
To cure the graze
A love so sweet It burns my cheeks
Where did we go wrong?
For some we wait so long
Crowded with emotions
That floats on the ocean
Bathed with tender waters
So strong I sleep in the comfort of protection
Most crowns fall so deep
There is no one to treasure it and keep
A queen stands up for what she believes in
So come along a woman is to be adored with all her children
Attention! Our presence salute
Grand rising our names written in the stars shooting off a parachute
Signed: Supreme Descendant (Uwana)