International Women’s Day – 8 March 2018

Kings Lynn Soroptimists and their shop table
SI Swindon had this fantastic stand in the library
SI Barnstaple and District celebrating International Women's Day and the centenary of women having a vote
London Chilterns Region held a "What Have We Achieved?” event
St Albans Soroptimists attended the St Albans Girls’ School Inspiring Women Careers Event
St Albans and District wore the Suffragette’s colours of Green, Violet and White to their Club meeting
Perth Soroptimists held a Because Women are Worth It event
St Helens Soroptimists held many events including a showcase of women with small businesses
Newtown Soroptimists held a march


The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”.

This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change.

People around the world are mobilizing for a future that is more equal. This has taken the form of global marches and campaigns, including #MeToo in the United States of America and its counterparts in other countries, protesting against sexual harassment and violence, such as #YoTambien in Mexico, Spain, South America and beyond, #QuellaVoltaChe in Italy, #BalanceTonPorc in France and #Ana_kaman in the Arab States; “Ni Una Menos” (‘not one less’), a campaign against femicide that originated in Argentina; and many others, on issues ranging from equal pay to women’s political representation.

International Women’s Day 2018 is an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.

Echoing the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, International Women’s Day will also draw attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population and majority of the 43 per cent of women in the global agricultural labour force.

They till the lands and plant seeds to feed nations, ensure food security for their communities and build climate resilience. Yet, on almost every measure of development, because of deep seated gender inequalities and discrimination, rural women fare worse than rural men or urban women. For instance, less than 20 per cent of landholders worldwide are women, and while the global pay gap between men and women stand at 23 per cent, in rural areas, it can be as high as 40 per cent. They lack infrastructure and services, decent work and social protection, and are left more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Making the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals a reality, to leave no one behind, needs urgent action in rural areas to ensure an adequate standard of living, a life free of violence and harmful practices for rural women, as well as their access to land and productive assets, food security and nutrition, decent work, education and health, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Rural women and their organizations represent an enormous potential, and they are on the move to claim their rights and improve their livelihoods and wellbeing. They are using innovative agricultural methods, setting up successful businesses and acquiring new skills, pursuing their legal entitlements and running for office. Recently, as hundreds of courageous women from the film, theatre and art industry in the USA started speaking against sexual harassment and assault by powerful men in the industry, they found a powerful ally in Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, the national farmworker women’s organization, no stranger to the abuse of power.

On 8 March, join activists around the world and UN Women to seize the moment, celebrate, take action and transform women’s lives everywhere. The time is NOW.


International Women’s Day Website

On the International Women’s Day website this year they are calling for you to #PressforProgress motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

Soroptimist International Women’s Day Events

International Women’s Day is a huge occasion in the Soroptimist calendar with events planned throughout the federation. Here you’ll find a snippet of some of the events planned:

  • Saturday 3rd March London Chilterns Soroptimists Regional Meeting and International Women’s Day celebration will be held at the Lancaster Hall Hotel London 10am to 4pm. Soroptimist Irene Cockroft Member of SI Greater London will be speaking, she’s a historian, author and expert on Women’s suffrage – find out more.
  • Thursday 8th March Soroptimists from Perth are holding a ‘Because women are worth it’ event. Find out more.
  • Thursday 8th March St Helens Soroptimists will be holding a day of action including a delivery of books for women and children at St Helens Women’s Refuge. On Saturday 10th March they will also be holding a Women’s Day Event in St Helens Town Hall.
  • Thursday 8th March Soroptimists from Kenilworth & District have invited local voluntary organisations and regional Soroptimist Clubs to join them to ‘Sing for our Supper’ to celebrate International Women’s Day – find out more.
  • Thursday 8th March Croydon and District Soroptimists are holding a dinner to celebrate the achievement of women reaching their potential.
  • Sunday 11th March 2018 Soroptimists from Slough Windsor and Maidenhead, Thames Valley, and High Wycombe and District are joining forces to hold an event for International Women’s Day in Maidenhead Town Hall. Interested in attending? Please see letter and flyer for more information.

Mahila’s Movement

The Good Shepherd International Foundation is releasing their newest documentary,”Mahila: a Women’s Movement Rising,” on March 8th International Women’s Day, to celebrate the power of women helping each other and to support a movement of women working together to enforce their rights. You can watch the film (about half an hour long) by clicking on the arrow below.


This year, an easy – but valuable way – we can support women who are survivors of war is by logging onto the Women for Women International website, and filling in a card of support. The message can only be short – 240 characters, so won’t take much time. This message will be sent to an individual woman who will value the friendship of another women, a woman who has cared enough to complete the card and send the message.

Send a message now.