Opinion

In celebration of inspiring women

By Catherine Ross

Happy International Women’s Day. And before anyone gets sniffy about how there’s “a day for everything now”, allow me to point out that International Women’s Day has been celebrated since the early 1900s. Making it one of the longest standing international days of celebration in the world.

How are you celebrating? Me? I’m thinking about inspiring women past and present and I thought I’d share some of that thinking with you. First of all, the most important woman in my life is my mum. She’s amazing. A force for good and a source of great compassion, love, strength and support. Without her, I just don’t know where I’d be today. Whenever anything goes wrong, she’s there to help me through it; when it goes right, she’s there to celebrate with me. She deserves the credit for any and all good bits of me.

Next, a mention for our greatest Queens – Elizabeth I, Victoria and Elizabeth II. Royalist or republican, it’s difficult to argue with the idea that England has prospered under female monarchs. They are among our longest reigning rulers and have overseen times of great growth and stability. They also proved that women rule.

From real royalty to pop royalty, I think Madonna deserves a mention. She has been at the forefront of popular culture for as long as I can remember. She refuses to be cowed by society’s expectations and limitations and is a brilliant example of what someone with some talent and a brain can achieve. She’s a star. A real, live star.

In the more real world, the world inhabited by us mere mortals, there are millions of women doing amazing things every day. The ones I look up to are the ones who have identified a cause or a path and stuck to it.

One such woman is Carmel McConnell, founder of Magic Breakfast, the charity providing breakfast clubs to deprived children. Carmel started out by taking a few loaves of bread to a local school, she now runs a national, award winning charity providing healthy, nutritious breakfasts to thousands of children every day.

The list is endless. Every day I come into contact with, or read about, women who inspire me. I wish a happy International Women’s Day to women everywhere.

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