International Women’s Day, 10 March 2014, City Hall, London
On the 10th of March 2014 Ioana Tanasescu staff member of Barka UK attended the reception organised for International Women’s Day by London City Hall. The event took place in the form of a panel discussion, with four panelists: Victoria Borwick, Deputy Mayor of London (Chair), Kate Adie OBE, Author and Broadcaster, Sonia Brown, MBE, Founder and Director, National Black Women’s Network and SistaTalk and Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen and Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons. The subject was ‘Women Now and Then: How WWI Transformed Gender Roles’.
The panelists emphasised the fact that the role of women in society has developed greatly since exactly one hundred years ago. When war broke out in 1914 there were many women in the workforce but many jobs and professions were closed to them. Before the war most women’s work tended to fall into traditional female categories such as social work, nursing, teaching, dressmaking, secretarial work and domestic service. It was deemed unacceptable for married women to work. With so many men called to the fighting fronts, women were recognised as a valuable resource to maintain vital war industries, and they demanded to be allowed to play their part. Soon women were employed in an array of different jobs and their vital contribution to the war efforts was recognised across society.
Moreover, the speakers stressed that at present, there is a continuous commitment to promoting gender equality and actively seeking to make sure that gender discrimination will be obliterated. There is still a huge pay gap, therefore when women are employed, they earn on average less than men and the gender pay gap is wider in London than the rest of the country. Deputy Mayor, Victoria Borwick drew attention on the fact that there are over three million women living, working, learning and caring in London. Their contribution helps make London a dynamic, energetic, diverse city. London has world-class opportunities for all and we have to make sure that being a woman is not a barrier to being able to take advantage of everything that London has to offer.
To read more: International Women’s Day GLA