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Int. Women’s Day 2021

Despite lockdown Swindon Soroptimists have been determined to still celebrate International Women’s Day (#IWD2021).  Held on March 8th it is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.  Not being able to ‘Stand on the Bridge’, or have a display in Swindon library, Swindon Soroptimists held an online event via Facebook.

Joining forces with Marlborough Ladies Who Latte business women’s group, they celebrated women’s achievements and stood together to support the #ChooseToChallenge campaign theme to help forge women’s equality.  It is still important to remind everyone that women are still not equal in the work place, the law making institutions, the scientific establishments or our political governments.

#IWD2021 asked everyone to raise their hand high and pledge to #ChooseToChallenge, so we collected photos of  members of both our groups doing this and selecting a word or phrase to celebrate women.  On the day itself we held a  live event and listened to some of the ladies to talk about why that chose that word.

We had a number of Soroptimists from our own Swindon Club as well as St Austell, Cheltenham and Cirencester clubs and ladies from Marlborough Ladies Who Latte.  We had a great time chatting to each other and the words and thoughts to relate to women chosen by the ladies were inspiring and humbling.

One of our Regional officers Kay shared her thoughts from a previous IWD, which sums up the ladies chosen words so well!

This is our day. A day created to help raise the profile of women, to focus on our gender and to mark what we have achieved. Today we remember the women who live in fear, the women who everyday struggle to feed and keep their families together, to women who simply survive.

Whatever you do today, don’t forget the women who worked and fought for our rights, building us a platform on which we stand today, to promote and celebrate womanhood.

We stand proud. We can be counted. We have a voice. Make sure you make it heard today and everyday. We are women. We are Soroptimists.   –   Kay Turner, St Austell Soroptimists

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.  Soroptimist Clubs around the world have supported IWD since their creation in 1921, with the Swindon club doing the same since their start in 1960.