Education Secretary and Women and Equalities Minister, Nicky Morgan used International Women’s Day to not only celebrate women but also to remind people that there is still a huge amount of work to be done to create gender equality.
Speaking at the Churchill War Rooms, Imperial War Musuem in an event hosted by MP Penny Mordaunt, she said she was delighted to be marking the day and celebrating how far gender equality has come.
“But it’s also an opportunity to take stock of how far we still have to travel to create an equal and inclusive society for women and girls.”
Expanding on this, Morgan spoke of the continued use of sexual violence, harassment and slavery of women around the globe. This comes as it is announced that 85 per cent of women in the UK have suffered some form of sexual harassment.
Continuing, she said, “Our overarching theme for this International Women’s Day is the importance of women’s representation and empowerment.”
“Someone who truly championed women’s empowerment was former foreign secretary Lord Hague who was absolutely right when he said that the ‘greatest strategic prize for our century is the full social, political and economic empowerment of women. And we need men and boys to be advocates for this.”
“An equal world won’t be one that improves just for women – it will improve for men and boys too.”
Morgan also drew upon the positive achievements within gender parity, such as women’s representation on boardrooms and in Parliament, and the ever-decreasing numbers of victims of domestic abuse.
Morgan also announced that the government was extending the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women to the British overseas territories of Anguilla and the Cayman Islands.
Ending her speech, she said, “I hope that you will join me in committing ourselves to reaching our destination – a place where women and men are truly equals.”
“Equals who walk side by side in pursuing the safer, freer and more prosperous world that we all want to live in.”