People across the world will be celebrating International Women's Day this weekend and in England it represents an opportunity for the towns, cities and villages of this green and pleasant land to make their voice heard. With so much going on, it would be impossible to cover the plethora of options in one article, so keep an eye out for what is happening locally. Here is a taster of just what England has to offer though.
Derby - England football star Sophie Bradley joins the group of "inspiring" women who will speak at the IWD festival in the city centre on 7th March. This year's theme is 'make a difference', with a multitude of inspiring speeches, workshops, live musical / dancing performances and life-changing causes to be involved with. Activities will include face-painting and sports taster sessions.
Group chairwoman Vanessa Boon said: "It is easy to forget that many of the women's rights and opportunities we enjoy today were hard fought. Many brave campaigners who speak out for women's rights, locally and globally, still face a backlash today."
Plymouth - plenty of fun activities will be held across Plymouth on March 8th to celebrate IWD and also in support of Sport England's national This Girl Can campaign, aiming to overcome the judgement barriers women face in taking part in physical activity. Activities include basketball, cardio tennis, buggy fit and Nordic Walking. There is a minimal cost involved, but a female friend or relative can be brought along free of charge to the centre where the activities are being held.
Louise Chaves, the activities manager, said: "We're really looking forward to International Women's Day and providing an opportunity for our female members to have fun and enjoy a range of different activities. The theme for this year's event is 'make it happen' and that's exactly what we'll be doing here at Plymouth Life Centre.
"The This Girl Can campaign also has a very strong and inspiring message for women and what better way to celebrate it than on International Women's Day."
London - the British actress Emma Watson will be discussing the topic of gender equality before a select audience on IWD itself. The star of the Harry Potter films will hold the Q&A session as part of the U.N. Women's HeForShe campaign on gender equality. Prior to the event itself, she asked fans to describe in 500 words or less, what they are doing to advance gender equality. The best responses have been invited to attend the event in person, but everyone else can watch it live on her Facebook page.
At the U.N. headquarters in New York last year, she called for all men to "take up this mantle so that their daughters, sisters, and mothers can be free from prejudice," as part of her role as U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador.
Since then nearly 230,000 men and boys across the world have joined the campaign, including the U.S. President Barack Obama, and the actor Matt Damon.
Also in London, there will be the Million Women Rise march on Saturday 7th March as part of the IWD events, helping to raise awareness of the ongoing exploitation and violence faced by women and #Children across the world, including the UK. The march will begin on Orchard Street and proceed to Trafalgar Square. The march offers a chance for women to unite and speak out against their experiences of discrimination and abuse. Just five percent of rapes that are reported to the police result in convictions, with one woman in four experiencing sexual assault in this country, suggesting that there is still much to be done.The march also seeks to draw attention to the plight of children, which is why the march is for women and children only. Each year, two million girls aged between 5 and 15 are either abducted, coerced, sold or trafficked into sex slavery internationally and more than two million females are killed before or at birth simply because of their sex.