UEA Feminism Society welcomed a number of speakers and events to campus to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March.

UEA’s International Women’s Day celebrations a successPhoto: Oliver Balaam

As well as an empowerment workshop, talks ran throughout the day, covering topics such as “Women in Sport,” “Body Positivity and Street Harassment” and “Women and Sexuality on TV”.

The society encouraged everybody to join in, promoting the day with the words: “Think globally, act locally. Join us in working together to ensure that the future for all women is bright, equal, safe, and rewarding.”

The celebrations continued into the evening, with comedy, music and poetry performed by talented women from UEA and beyond. President of UEA Feminism, Hattie Grünewald, told Concrete she was pleased with the success of the events.

“It’s important not only to celebrate and empower women, but to remind us what we still have to do both locally and worldwide. It was great to see so many students participating,” she said.

IWD organisations continue to promote the equality and rights of women throughout the year, and their theme for 2013 is “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum”. Clearly, although a lot has improved for women worldwide since 1857, it is important to remember that the fight for gender equality is not over. This year over 429 events took place in the UK, aiming to inspire women and celebrate local and global achievements.

IWD is increasingly gaining attention and status and this year Google adopted the women’s symbol as part of its logo, while the USA has extended the campaign as part of Women’s History Month.

8 March was first proclaimed a holiday in America in 1910 following an 1857 protest against textile factories by female workers who experienced poor working conditions and low wages.

IWD is now celebrated across the globe and is recognised as an official public holiday in over twenty countries.

Since 1967, feminists have reclaimed IWD as a means of campaigning for improved global health care, education and human rights for women.