Marking International Women’s Day

Friday the 8th of March was international women’s day. This year there have been some great examples of events and activities both in local parties and in Local Government.

In Camden the local party held a celebration dinner to celebrate all the women that had put themselves forward for election with Caroline Pidgeon AM as guest speaker. Caroline has been a Councillor and member of the London Assembly and is stepping down this year after nearly 25 years of service.

In Wales, Bangor Aberconwy Liberal Democrats hosted two virtual coffee catch ups. One for Liberal Democrat members and one for non members. The aim of the meeting was to connect, share stories and for women to support each other in discussing ways to inspire and foster equitable inclusion for women everywhere.

In Portsmouth, the University worked with Portsmouth city Council and unveiled a plaque of “Portsmouth Trailblazers”, to highlight the women that had contributed to a project which established the extent of women’s community activism in Portsmouth since 1960.

In Scotland, Councillor Aude Boudaker-Calder wrote a motion to be debated an next week’s Full Council meeting in Fife on tackling misogyny which you can find here.

In Yorkshire, Beverley Town Council and East Riding Council turned as many things purple as possible using fairy lights and purple foil. They also linked this with promoting awareness of the White Ribbon Campaign which aims to combat violence against women and girls.

Lib Dem women also introduced their new executive. This year’s leadership team will be chaired by Councillor Donna Harris, who was first elected after a strong campaign against Lambeth Labour in 2022.  Donna transformed the local party’s approach to campaigning, encouraging activists to run a Borough-wide petition on Violence Against Women and Girls.  She is now the party’s group leader.

Councillor Harris will be supported by Young Liberal Chair, Janey Little, and Helen Cross as Vice Chair, Sue Vincent as Secretary and Lizzie Jewkes as Treasurer.  They are joined on the executive by:

  • Cllr Hannah Perkin, Leader of Swale Borough Council Lib Dems and a member of the Federal Council
  • Cllr Jennie Batt, Ex Chair of the Lib Dem Sutton Council Group
  • Cllr Kate Gregory, Cabinet Member for SEND Improvement, Oxfordshire County Council
  • Cllr Hina Bokhari AM, member of the London Assembly and a Merton Councillor
  • Cllr Ellen Nicholson, Executive Member for Communities and Leisure on Woking Borough Council
  • Rebecca Jones, GLA candidate for North East
  • Jacqui Harris Baker, a former local government chief solicitor and executive member of Lambeth Liberal Democrats
  • Eleanor Kelly, honorary vice president of the Young Liberals
  • Trish Kilgour, GE Election Agent for Newbury, local party chair
  • Alison Rouse, Chair of the English State Party, and the English Council

In Faversham, we unveiled a stone of remembrance for four local  women that were executed as Witches in 1645 in one of Kent’s most famous witch trials. What was particularly uplifting about the event was that earlier in the week the Mayor had been contacted by two girls from a local primary school who had written to him to say that they had been told about the trial at the museum and wanted something permanent to remember them. This coincidence meant that the girls were able to attend the ceremony, which was attended by about 100 local people, and pull the red cloth away from the stone. It was a great moment where women from the past were remembered by women of the future through the work of women in the present.

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