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International Women’s Day: Rotary chief on improving equality

Saturday, March 8, 2014
9:00 AM

To mark International Women’s Day, we talked to some of the most influential women in Redbridge and asked what challenges they have overcome and what women still have to face.

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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is observed around the world on March 8 every year with thousands of events to inspire and help women.

Although the celebration started in America during the early 1900s while women campaigned for the right to vote, as well as better working rights, it spread quickly and has become a national holiday in some countries.

In some places, men honour their mothers and loved ones with gifts and women are given the day off work.

In the UK, the focus tends to be celebrating women’s achievements and campaigning for equality.

Equal pay, the “glass ceiling”, domestic violence, sexual health and discrimination are topics for conferences, activities and events.

It is also an opportunity to raise money for charities supporting women’s issues.

Organisers say they want to “make every day International Women’s Day”.

Visit internationalwomensday.com for more information.

As the first female district governor for Rotary in London, Eve Conway-Ghazi made history in 2012.

She has been involved with the Rotary Club for about 30 years and was previously president of the Redbridge group but still works in broadcast journalism.

Eve estimated that women make up roughly 12 per cent of the international organisation.

She said: “There are a lot of women in senior positions in Rotary already and more coming through but we always like to see more joining.”

It has been a fast turn-around since 1987, when women were allowed to become members for the first time following a Supreme Court judgement in the US.

Eve will also become the President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland in 2016.

The organisation, which is more than 100 years old, is open to business and professional leaders aged 18 and upwards.

Eve said she has never felt disadvantaged herself but has worked to help women’s causes through Rotary.

The organisation helps local charities and runs international campaigns, including fighting to rid the world of polio.

One of the recent projects sent midwives, gynaecologists and nurses to slums in Mumbai to teach women about giving birth safely.

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