Local councillor recognised on International Women's Day for her work with domestic abuse surviv

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, a day where women are recognised for their achievements and also the importance of gender equality.

The day has been celebrated for well over a century, with the first International Women’s Day gathering in 1911.

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society said: “Despite a 21stcentury resurgence in feminism, we are still living in a 20thcentury world which was designed by men, for men.

“We need International Women’s Day more than ever but more than that, we need real change.”

Of the 5,911 companies that reported pay data as of March 29, 2018, 78% of companies paid men more, according to the Office of National Statistics.

An analysis published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) claims it will take 60 years for the gap to close at the current rate of progress.

The theme for this year is #balanceforbetter, stressing the importance of a gender balanced world.

Hillingdon Labour Group have chosen to recognise one of their community leaders and celebrate the years of dedication towards helping women in need.

Councillor Janet Gardner (Lab, Botwell), has spent much of her life helping victims and survivors of domestic violence in the local area.

An estimated 1.3 million women experienced domestic abuse in 2018.

Recognised by all political groups on Hillingdon Council for her work, she has been appointed the Domestic Violence Victims Advocate.

Speaking on International Women’s Day, Cllr Gardner said: “I am all about empowerment. I give all the women I meet the tools to help themselves.

Councillor Janet Gardner

“I am glad there is an international day to celebrate women, but as a woman, I celebrate who I am every single day.

“It’s quite sad that a day has to be set aside to celebrate women internationally. If there wasn’t a gender gap then there would be no need to celebrate us as women, we would all be equal.”

Women’s aid is a charity that help domestic abuse victims. For more information: https://www.womensaid.org.uk.

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