Sheffield celebrates women and speaks out for gender equality People in Sheffield are joining others across the globe to celebrate International Women’s Day which this year has the theme ‘Pledge for Parity’. International Women’s Day (8 March) has been celebrated for over 100 years and has seen women go from strength to strength, fighting against the countless obstacles that have stood in the way of equality. Sheffield is marking the day with fringe festival – SheFest – which starts this week and runs until Sunday, 20 March. The main event takes place on Saturday, 12 March at the Sheffield Hallam Students Union (HUBS) and includes inspirational talks, lectures, networking opportunities, classes and workshops. The festival is being supported by a range of sponsors including Together Women Project, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and The Big Lottery. Beckie Brackett from Together Women Project said: “It’s so important to celebrate IWD, particularly as this year’s theme #pledgeforparity highlights how, even in 2016, women are still fighting for equality. While International Women’s Day is a great platform for discussing issues disproportionately affecting women, we also think the main event will provide an opportunity for Sheffield to come together and recognise the contributions of women to our city, be inspired, and have some fun!” The theme – pledge for parity – recognises that although much has changed and improved over the years, inequality still remains. Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield would not be the place it is today without the many women who lead and contribute to our businesses, organisations and communities. I’m proud to be supporting International Women’s Day and urge everyone to do their bit to achieve gender equality. This is about encouraging more women leaders, achieving equality in the workplace and helping women and girls from all walks of life to realise their own potential. We want Sheffield to be a fair city. Removing gender inequality is a big part of this.” Sheffield City Council encourages people to join its Equality Hub Network which gives under-represented communities in Sheffield a louder voice on issues that affect them – please visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/equalityhub for more information. People in Sheffield are being encouraged to make a pledge to gender equality on the Our Fair City website at www.ourfaircity.co.uk. More information about SheFest can be found at www.sheffield.gov.uk/iwd or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SheFestSheffield.