Renfrewshire Council

Michaela Schneider dinner

Celebrating International Women's Day

People around the world will come together to celebrate International Women's Day 2018 today (Thursday 8 March).

International Women's Day has been celebrated for over 100 years and this year's campaign theme is #PressforProgress.

With the recent global movements and news reports around gender disparity, there has never been a more crucial time to strive for progress and equality.

International Women's Day is also an important time to celebrate the work of our local women, as well as their heritage.

In September, I was privileged to spend a wonderful evening with a number of influential women from Renfrewshire and a special visitor from Germany, Michaela Schneider.

Michaela is a member of the Women's Museum in Paisley's sister town of F├╝rth and visited to find out more about the area's history of powerful women and broad cultural diversity for its latest exhibition.

Spending time in the company of Michaela and so many influential figures in culture, music, arts, sport, business and politics from across Renfrewshire to discuss the area's rich feminine heritage was so inspiring.

And it's great to see some of those women - musicians Carol Laula, Linzi Clark, Lisa Kowalski and friends - performing at the Wicked Women evening of music at Paisley Arts Centre to mark this year's International Women's Day.

We will also be marking International Women's Day across Renfrewshire with a number of local buildings lighting up for the occasion.

Both Paisley and Johnstone Town Halls will be lit up in purple tonight and it's sure to be a stunning sight.

I am looking forward to attending the International Women's Day fashion recycling/upcycling event at Johnstone Town Hall this evening, which has been organised by Kairos - the fantastic new women's centre in Johnstone.

I urge everyone to unite and celebrate International Women's Day, while motivating everyone to be gender inclusive.