International Women's Day 2016 — celebrating the voice of women

8 March 2016

To celebrate International Women's Day 2016, we spoke to women from across our charity and from the worlds of media and sport to see why the day was important to them and why they are celebrating with us.

Kadeena Cox — T37 100m world record holder

Cathy Newman — Channel 4 presenter

‘I'm supporting International Women's Day because I want my daughters and everyone else's daughters to grow up in a world where girls can live without fear of violence of harassment, and where the gender pay gap is consigned to the history books.’

Sally Davis — chair, Leonard Cheshire Disability

Vicci Chittenden — trustee, Leonard Cheshire Disability

Vicci Chittenden quote

‘I want to celebrate International Women's Day along with all other disabled women and men across the globe, whilst recognising our differences, and our challenging struggles for equality.

‘I think women shouldn’t be classified, whether disabled or not. While it’s useful to classify people’s needs to support them, labels must never be used so much so that it dominates a women’s identity, her life or work.

‘We all express difference and diversity when living with an illness or impairment. But to encourage inclusivity and equal opportunities we need to continually strive to appreciate other’s needs.

‘So let’s continue to change the world’s view, as a lack of awareness and a poor understanding can easily disable us further.’

Clare Pelham — chief executive, Leonard Cheshire Disability

Sian Welby — presenter

‘I'm celebrating International Women's Day because I believe in equality for both men and women. Decisions, employment, and lifestyle should not vary based on sex.

‘We are all human and we all have feelings and talents and unique skills and that should be the most important thing above anything else.

‘In some parts of the world equality seems like a luxury most aren't lucky enough to experience.

‘I'm delighted to be involved in raising awareness on these issues and hope one day equality will no longer be a topic of discussion but a way of life.’

Dr Amanda Foreman — author, historian, presenter

‘I'm celebrating International Women's Day because it's a great reminder that women deserve more than just one day devoted to our history, contributions and achievements.

‘When you consider women like Murasaki Shikibu, who wrote the first novel, or the many women who worked to create the birth control pill — two things that shaped our society — it becomes very clear that "women's history" is the history of the world.’

Professor Nora Groce, director, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Research Centre, UCL

Nora Groce quote

‘International Women's Day is a day for all women. Here at Leonard Cheshire Disability we remain dedicated to ensuring the millions of women worldwide who live with a disability are equally celebrated.

‘Like all women, women with disabilities contribute in all spheres and realms, building a better life for themselves, for their families and for us all.’

Geraldine Jolliffe — volunteer, Leonard Cheshire Disability

‘I'm celebrating Women's Day as there are women who are in other countries who are not allowed a voice.

‘We need to support these women who deserve a voice.’

Sanah Rauf — Can Do volunteer

Aine Gilchrist — volunteer coordinator

‘I'll be celebrating International Women's Day to recognise the greater career choices and opportunities available to women in today's workplaces, as well as reinforcing the need for greater flexibility in how women pursue their careers while also meeting their commitments outside the workplace.’

Barkha Henry — regional fundraising manager, South Asia, East Asia and Pacific regional office

‘I celebrate Women's Day because I am employed! I am celebrating in a fulfilling acknowledgement of me being empowered by means of equality and empowerment where differences in gender or abilities have been overcome.

‘Celebrating is a way of reminding myself that still much lies ahead and everyday strive further to empower thousands of children and women with disabilities access to mainstream education and meaningful livelihoods through my work at Leonard Cheshire Disability.’

Pauline Perry — Baroness of Southwark

‘I'm celebrating International Women's Day because I have been lucky enough to work with so many wonderful women.

‘Perhaps most of all, I celebrate women having access to education, particularly when they are already mothers with childcare issues and financial worries.

‘We need to support women from all round the world to get the education they need and help them both as students and in their future careers.’

Lisa Oliver — GoIT! volunteer co-ordinator

‘I'm celebrating International Women's Day because I believe it is important for women to be valued equally and to be free from discrimination.

‘I think it is great that we have a day that allows us to celebrate the progress that has been made and also speak out about how we can gain equality for women around the world in the future.’

Revathi Rugmini — Asia and Pacific regional representative

‘I'm celebrating International Women's Day because it gives me immense pleasure and opportunity to pay tribute to my ancestral grandmothers who ruled the world being at the back of every success of a man.

‘Proving that the women's power can't be ignored at any point of time in the present or future course of history.

‘I vouch for the legacy and advocate for it through my words and deeds!’

Josephine Namirimu — campaigner, Cheshire Services, Uganda

‘I'm celebrating International Women's Day because I'm a confident and determined woman.

‘Girls and women with disabilities require urgent meaningful education to manage the double challenges that accrue to them due to them being women with disabilities.’

Allison Hardy — service manager, Athol House care home

‘I'm celebrating International Women's Day because as a service manager focussed on the day-to-day priorities, I need to remind myself that I am worth equal pay.’

Cheshire House Inverness

Freda — service manager

Maureen — resident

‘My name is Maureen and I am a resident at Cheshire House Inverness. I am celebrating International Women's Day because it's a fun thing to do and because of the way things have changed over the years.’

Judy — day service user

‘Hi, my name is Judy and I am a day service user at Cheshire house Inverness.

‘I am celebrating International Women's Day because I am a woman and it's more fun being a lady than it was when I was a child.’

Heather Mason — volunteer

‘I'm celebrating International Women's Day because of the progress we've made over the years.

‘People have fought for decades to get us things such as equal pay and voting and I think it is great that we have a day to celebrate this.’

Barbara — support worker

Linda — administrator

Fay Watson — resident

‘I am a visually impaired woman supporting International Women's Day, who thinks boxing is an excellent idea because it helps break down the stereotype that exists in a predominantly male sport.’

Janice Robertson — administrator

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