International Women’s Day 2014

Every 8 March, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated around the world. The first event was held in Chicago in 1908 before the idea spread to Europe where,...

Every 8 March, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated around the world. The first event was held in Chicago in 1908 before the idea spread to Europe where, in 1910, an International Women’s Conference was held in Copenhagen. 

Today IWD is a celebration of the achievements of women, but also an opportunity to highlight, examine and address the struggle of women worldwide and the ongoing fight for genuine gender equality. 

Co-operatives have traditionally been an area of progressive opportunity for women. Co-ops gave UK women the vote 88 years before parliament legislated for universal suffrage for general elections – and internationally, co-operative enterprises have provided positive environments for women, ensuring greater opportunities, support and safe working conditions.

In the run up to IWD 2014, we met some valuable co-operatives set up by and for women and spoke to a number of inspirational women who are leading by example at some prominent co-operatives.

  • International Women's Day: Elaine Dean

    As International Women's Day approaches, we've spoken to a number of inspirational women who are leading by example at some prominent co-operatives ... ELAINE DEAN is a Director of Central England Co-operative and Chair of Co-operative Press.

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  • International Women's Day: Margaret Clark

    As International Women's Day approaches, we've spoken to a number of inspirational women who are leading by example at some prominent co-operatives ... MARGARET CLARK is Chair of Plunkett Foundation.

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  • Chris Herries, Director of Co-operatives UK

    International Women's Day: Chris Herries

    As International Women's Day approaches, we've spoken to a number of inspirational women who are leading by example at some prominent co-operatives ... CHRIS HERRIES is a Director of Co-operatives UK.

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  • International Women's Day: Linda Ward

    As International Women's Day approaches, we've spoken to a number of inspirational women who are leading by example at some prominent co-operatives ... LINDA WARD is a Director of Co-operatives UK.

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  • Ursula Lidbetter, Chair of the Co-operative Group and CEO of Lincolnshire

    International Women's Day: Ursula Lidbetter

    As International Women's Day approaches, we've spoken to a number of inspirational women who are leading by example at some prominent co-operatives ... URSULA LIDBETTER is the Chair of the Co-operative Group and CEO of Lincolnshire.

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  • International Women's Day: Shelagh Young

    As International Women's Day approaches, we've spoken to a number of inspirational women who are leading by example at some prominent co-operatives ... SHELAGH YOUNG is the Chair of The Phone Co-op.

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  • A holiday centre set-up by women for women

    Over the past 23 years, Horton Women’s Holiday Centre has been providing affordable holidays for thousands of women and children in the UK. A charitable co-operative, the centre was set up in 1981 by a group of women involved in feminism and the women’s liberation movement who wanted to offer affordable holidays with a sliding scale for payments according to income.

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  • Women’s co-operative promotes British wool and traditional craft skills

    The Wool Clip was established 13 years ago when a group of women designers and makers from Cumbria set up an artisan co-operative to promote British wool and traditional craft skills. At the time they were trying to juggle their work with farming, families and other commitments.

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