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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (March 8) 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.


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.

Swindon Soroptimists have highlighted this day for many years taking part in many events. For several years we arranged the global “Join Me on the Bridge” campaign, standing on a footbridge in Swindon inviting anyone interested in issues of equality, violence against women, women’s health and peace in the world, to join with us. We aimed to show that Swindon people are willing to stand up for women to have equal status in every facet of life here and throughout the world. We have handed out leaflets on issues such as Trafficking and Ovarian Cancer and Healthy Relationships bookmarks.

In 2023 the campaign theme is #EmbraceEquity

For International Women’s Day and beyond, let’s all fully #EmbraceEquity. Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA. Each one of us can actively support and embrace equity within our own sphere of influence.

We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. Collective activism is what drives change. From grassroots action to wide-scale momentum, we can all embrace equity.

Everyone everywhere can play a part.

Swindon Soroptimists highlighted the theme on social media & got local networking groups to embrace the IWD ‘pose’. The Club then supported the Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre, who celebrated International Women’s Day and honoured all the amazing women they support, by holding an Afternoon Tea. Club members brought homemade cakes to contribute and add to their Bake Off cake competition! Swindon Club also handed out celebratory bunches of daffodils to clients and staff, including the Nelson Trust CEO. Member Corrine also helped at a collection at the Wildcats ice hockey game.

Members Alison & Lydia with Swindon Ladies Who Latte

IWD 2023: Swindon Soroptimists and Nelson Trust staff, ready for tea!

The IWD 2022 campaign theme was  #BreakTheBias

Imagine A Gender Equal World………

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

International Women's Day ~Break The Bias

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women’s equality.

Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

Swindon Soroptimists handed out 100 flowers to women in Swindon town centre to show their support for women, and held placards, encouraging all passers by to pledge to #BreakTheBias.

Club Activity In Previous Years

In 2021

Lockdown was in force but we ensured we highlighted IWD by holding an online Zoom event with a local businesswomen’s group, joined by fellow Soroptimists from our Region. Ladies were asked to show their support with the “#ChooseToChallenge” hands up symbol and to speak about the word of their choice to describe women.

In 2019

Swindon club joined the Salisbury Club celebrating IWD at the Town Hall with the Mayor and Mayoress

Salisbury Mayor & Mayoress Carrie & John Walsh with Swindon President Valerie


President Valerie and club member Lydia with the Club IWD stand in Swindon Central Library foyer

Member Lydia with the Club IWD stand in Swindon Central Library

Member Lydia with the Club IWD stand in Swindon Central Library
and the club’s new Soroptimists banner

In 2015 and 2014

In 2015 and 2014, a general IWD event was held at the Central Library.  The members mounted a Soroptimists display to show the different ways Soroptimists work to improve the lives of women and girls.

They spoke to users of the library and handed out information leaflets and their Healthy Relationships bookmarks.

They continued manning a display each year on IWD until 2018.


Club members joined a Regional Soroptimist gathering, when Members from throughout the South West converged on Taunton, with a March through the town and a presentation to the lady Mayor of Malala Yousafzai’s book.

Members Jackie and Lydia following the red theme to join fellow South West Soroptimists on the International Women’s Day march through Taunton

Members Jenny and Sandra in Swindon Central Library. next to the Club IWD stand in 2014

The flyer of activities for IWD at the Library in 2014


Members Jenny and Lydia with representatives of other local women’s organisations at the “Join Me on the Bridge” IWD event, braving the rain on the footbridge over Princes Street


Swindon members holding our Club banner to highlight IWD “Join me on the Bridge”


Frank Mullane from AAFDA and members of Swindon Club celebrating the IWD centenary in 2011