International Women’s Day is about reinforcing the fact that everyone has a role to play in forging a more gender-balanced world and celebrating the achievements of women and calling for gender parity. This year’s theme is choose to challenge. For me, a challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change.

From small grassroots gatherings and local celebrations to large scale events, people are celebrating the achievements of women across the globe. While we have seen some remarkable changes in women in leadership in the last decade, we still have a lot more to do to reach equality.

From being head girl at school, the first female in a boardroom at work, to becoming an MP, or the first female Vice President of the United States whose is also a woman of colour, we should celebrate women’s achievements by breaking through the glass ceiling.  However, we must not forget that there are women who are facing challenges every day, whether that be being, trapped in domestic abusive relationships, losing loved ones, working from home and supporting learning, being furloughed or even facing redundancy in this pandemic.

As Women’s Officer of Watford Labour, I chair monthly meetings where we discuss issues affecting women across our town – the impact of budget cuts on services, proposed voting system changes which will leave women being underrepresented to international issues such as the farmers protest in India where people are fighting for basic human rights and ownership.

COVID has shown that around the world, women have suffered the worse like we do in any conflict and war. We have lost many loved ones due to conflict or COVID.

So the 8th of March is a mark of remembrance and reflection for every woman and young girl. Happy International Women’s Day to you all.

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