Press release

Gender agenda: Celebrating 102nd International Women’s Day

On the 102nd International Women’s Day, British Ambassador hosts the embassy’s annual reception bringing over 100 high profile women.

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Special guest, Ms. Jin Xing, the famous dancer and choreographer shared her unique perspective as a transgender woman on what The Gender Agenda means to her.

To celebrate this year’s global theme “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum” special guest, Ms. Jin Xing, the famous dancer and choreographer shared her unique perspective as a transgender woman on what The Gender Agenda means to her.

This is the fourth year in a row the British Embassy has held a reception to mark International Women’s Day. This year, the event was attended by a broad range of powerful and inspiring women, including all of the female EU Ambassadors, the heads of UN missions, senior government representatives, media stars, senior businesswomen and NGO leaders.

British Ambassador, Sebastian Wood said:

I really believe in the importance of this event and marking International Women’s Day. I’m conscious that all too often when I hold events and attend meetings, there is a visible lack of women both here and in the UK. So it really is meaningful to be able to hold this event in which we’re able to bring together so many inspiring and accomplished women.

The British Government is committed to protecting women’s rights and gender equality both in the UK and abroad. We believe that a world which does not discriminate against women and girls will be a more prosperous, secure and better world. One way to ensure a better future for women and girls is to ensure that they have an equal say in how their societies develop. When women are empowered, included and influential, their societies are more likely to protect their rights, their safety and their welfare.

But women’s participation in political, social and economic leadership remains too low in many countries around the world, including the UK. According to a recent report, in the UK today, only 23% of MPs, 15% of high court judges, 17% of FTSE 100 company directors and 5% of national newspaper editors are female. We still have a long way to go before British women enjoy equal representation at all levels of our society but we’re working hard to change that.

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to recognise the achievements and contributions of women around the world but also a time to recognise the continued challenges women and girls still face in society.

Published 8 March 2013