Women express importance of International Women’s Day

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Women that are in positions of power have spoken out about the importance of International Women’s Day, and how more needs to be done for them to be treated equally.

International Women’s Day is held on Thursday (March 8) this year, with events taking place across the country.

This year marked a milestone for women across the world, as Tuesday (March 6) was the 100 year anniversary for women earning the vote.

Liz Barnes, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Staffordshire University, said: “For us its 100 years since we got the vote, but we have still got a lot to do in terms of insuring more equitable treatments of women and more equitable arrangements for women in the work place.

“Look across the world, there are still many girls that don’t go to school, women that can’t drive, women that are not allowed to earn.

“There are countries where domestic violence against women is acceptable, there is so much we have still got to put right in terms of supporting women across the world.”

Only 66 percent of countries have reached gender parity (a system to show that equal amounts of girls and boys are attending) in regards to elementary education, according to a study done by UNESCO.

Cynthia Bruce, 69, from Stoke-on-Trent and owner of Aisle of Brides, said: “Being in business so long, women weren’t accepted like that and we had to stand our ground and make sure they knew we were here.”

Studies show that Stoke-on-Trent has over double the amount of self-employed men, than women.

Based on research carried out by Nomis – Official Labour Market Statistics, there were 8,800 self-employed men (aged 16 – 64) in Stoke-on-Trent between October 2016 and September 2017.

During the same period of time, there were only 4,200 self-employed women in Stoke-on-Trent.

Ms Bruce continued: “I think there are just some things where there are no equal rights for women, and its time they change.”

Graph showing earnings by place of work in Stoke-on-Trent based on Nomis reports 2018

Graph showing earnings by place of work in Stoke-on-Trent based on Nomis reports 2018

According to the Global Gender Gap Index 2017, the gender gap is expected to be closed in 100 years, whilst the workplace equality gap is expected to take 217 years.

Ms Bruce added: “I am a big believer in women, because it used to be a man’s world but its no longer that now.

“We are equally as good and the whole world is now realising that women have rights.”

There are a number of events being held in Stoke-on-Trent this year, to celebrate International Women’s Day.

The Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce is holding talks and workshops at Tillington Hall, Stafford, on March 8, to to give advice and inspire women in business.

See StaffsLive‘s interviews with Liz Barnes and Cynthia Bruce below:

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