International Women’s Day is the United Nations’ marked day for recognising women’s achievements, often in the face of adversity, whilst also calling for gender equality.
Celebrated each year on March 8, International Women's Day is acknowledged in many countries around the world.
International Women's Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.
Since those early years, International Women's Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike.
The growing international women's movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women's conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women's rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BalanceforBetter. According to the UN’s tagline, “Better the balance, better the world”. The theme encourages activists and campaign groups internationally to call for a more gender-balanced world.
Here in Wirral, there are many people calling for gender equality through their actions as well as their words.
We’d like to celebrate the borough’s women, forging their way in the world by smashing gender stereotypes and flourishing in, often, male-dominated arenas. Below, we profile just a few of Wirral’s enterprising women ahead of International Women's Day...
Leigh D’Arcy – Graphic Designer
Leigh recently flouted hundreds of competitors to win the Borough of Culture’s logo design competition. Having designed for around 4 years, the Wallasey based artist has had an interest in art and design from a young age.
“My university course [Product Engineering] was predominantly a male heavy course. I think a lot of sectors which employ mostly male staff could potentially profit from having a female perspective and the more diversity a work team has, the more beneficial it will become on multiple levels.”
Leigh encourages other women to follow in her footsteps as working in design, “allows you to interact with lots of different industries and individuals who you otherwise might not have had the pleasure of working with.”
Keep an eye out for Leigh’s work throughout Wirral’s time as Borough of Culture!
Louise McLoughlin – Golfer
Making waves in Wirral’s sports scene, golfing star Louise McLoughlin, of Bromborough Golf Club, is up for the Young Ambassador of the Year award at this year’s England Golf Awards. A ‘Girl’s Golf Rocks’ ambassador, Louise’s love for the sport began when she was 11 which led to her playing for Cheshire at age 14. She was inspired to play golf by her late Grandad who encouraged her to excel, “even though she was the only girl.”
As a result, Louise believes that encouraging young girls and women in sport is important, just as her Grandad did for her. The Bromborough resident implores other young people to try the challenging sport as, “it keeps you fit, you meet wonderful people and make friends for life.”
We wish Louise the best of luck with her nomination!
Mollie Rose Mckee – Hive Ambassador/volunteer
Mollie has been a Hive ambassador at Wirral’s Hive Youth Zone for almost 18 months, making sure the opinions of her and her peers are heard within the youth centre. A ‘Young Leader’ since 2017 and committed volunteer at Neo Community café, Mollie plans to study health and social care at college. And as if that wasn’t enough, she sings! Choir leader of the junior pop choir, Mollie is a member of Edge of Seventeen, a vocal group who have performed at several events including Wirral’s recent royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Speaking of gender equality and women’s representation, the young go-getter believes that everyone deserves the same opportunities, “because everyone is equal, no matter their gender.”
Poppy Cain – Member of Young People’s Parliament
Poppy Cain has been involved in Young People’s parliament for the last three years after joining the Creative Youth Development team. Interested in helping others she has helped to run a yearly Youth conference and Youth Parliament for her area. Passionate about how arts can help people with additional needs, the Woodchurch resident was also awarded ‘Youth Focus North West’, by the Young Citizens Awards in 2018, for helping to pioneer Wirral’s first SEND Youth Conference in 2018.
When it comes to equality, Poppy strongly believes in all voices being heard.
Speaking of her involvement in politics Poppy adds, “It helped me build my confidence and self-esteem and realise my voice and views are important. We need more role models for young women!”
For more updates on wonderful Wirral women, follow Community Action Wirral at @ActionOnWirral where they are celebrating the women making a difference in Wirral this International Women’s Day.