INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: Sheffield women highlight important issues

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Two Sheffield women are marking International Women’s Day by taking part in a fringe festival.

Evie Muir, a mentor with the National Citizen Service, has been helping Angel Orola, who signed up for the service through a youth organisation called Groundwork.

This week Evie, Angel and VIBE’s Girl Power Project will be working with SheFest, the city’s main event to mark International Women’s Day, held today.

The festival puts the spotlight on women’s achievements in Sheffield, highlighting ‘key social issues’.

Evie said: “I’m so excited to be taking part and can’t wait to see the ways in which young people engage in important gender issues within their local community.”

She added: “I love getting involved with International Women’s Day as it’s such an important opportunity for raising awareness, and engaging with gender issues within our local, national and global community.

“As part of this event, VIBE’s Girl Power project provides young women with contemporary skills in how to create and publicise successful gender-centred campaigns by using mediums such as blogs vlogs, video diaries and social media.”

The city centre festival is one of a number of events taking place in Sheffield to mark International Women’s Day. Film screenings and talks are among the other headline activities.

The SheFest celebration is taking place along The Moor on Saturday, featuring music, dancing and family activities.

The festival, now in its second year, starts at 11am with a performance by the Sheffield University Samba Band, before the Hype Dance group showcase their talents.

A contemporary dance piece has been prepared by Janka Kormos highlighting womanhood and gender, while the Romano Jilo troupe is promising an insight into Roma culture.

At Theatre Delicatessen - the old Woolworth’s shop - there will be a choice of 10 free workshops, ranging from lessons in belly dancing to an exploration of sexual consent.

Taster sessions all last less than an hour, and must be booked in advance. There will also be market stalls and refreshments - including gluten-free cake and tea until 5pm.

Festivities are set to continue into the evening with an international fashion show at the Broomhall Community Centre and a club night at the Great Gatsby on Division Street.

A host of further events are taking place, too.

Today at 12.30pm in the City Hall, the venue’s weekly community choir will be singing songs about inspirational women, while at 6.15pm a free screening of the film Belle takes place at Sheffield University Students’ Union.

Tomorrow, the Nightstop South Yorkshire charity is hosting a discussion about the impact of homelessness on women from 6pm to 7pm at its city centre base on Eyre Street. Then on Friday at Theatre Delicatessen the film Carol, directed by Todd Haynes and adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel, is being shown at 7.30pm.

A charity fashion show in aid of Macmillan and City Hearts will take place at the Novotel hotel on Arundel Gate from midday to 5pm on Saturday, showcasing garments by female designers.

And events wind up on Sunday when the Sunday Assembly gathering will be entertained by comedian and artist Chella Quint. The show starts at 11am at DINA on Cambridge Street in the city centre.

Is there stIll a glass ceIlIng for women In work?

Dave Thomas, 30, of Ecclesall

“I think there is a glass ceiling still in some respects. When you look at the number of woman in big companies from FTSE 250 or the FTSE 100 company lists it’s quite low. It is getting easier as time moves on with women in positions of power but it could be better in business and positions on boards. It is changing though.”

David Grant, 67, of Arbourthorne

“I think there is a glass ceiling still. It might not be that evident today but I think it still exists in some areas. For many cases it’s still a man’s world. I still think there’s an element of unequal pay as well.

The Government should do more to promote gender equality but it takes forever to get anything through in legislation.”

Anne Holmes, 79, of Stannington

“I’m retired now but I’ve not come across any experience of this from my own family members. Women have been fighting for true equality for decades and I think there’s been real steps and successes but in other areas probably more needs to be done.”

Angela Collins, 62, of Broom Valley

“It still exists but less so now. I work in nursing and it definitely doesn’t exist there. I think if you move into other areas of work and society it’s more prevalent. Men and women should be paid the same.”