It's International Women's Day!

 

With 8 women running the show here at Salt-Water Europe, it's Women's Day every day! so we're more than happy to shout about the official celebration on March 8th. Everywhere around the world has been observing the same day since the early 1900s - but with the shocking findings stating that gender parity is over 200 years away (source: 2017 World Economic Forum's global gender gap report) well, there's never been a more important time to #pressforprogress

International Women's Day celebrates all the incredible achievements made by women and is a chance to think about how we can create a more balanced world. We decided to take a look back at some of history's pioneering female trailblazers.

 

Marie de Gournay. Photo courtesy of Marie de Gournay. Photo courtesy of wikipedia

 

Born in Paris in 1565, Marie de Gournay was a writer, poet and biographer. She was totally self taught and her studies led her to the work of Michel de Montaigne, a great French Renaissance philosopher who she worked closely with. Much of her writing advocated equal education for women and in 1622 she published a fierce defence of Women's Rights called Egalite des Hommes et des Femmes.

She died in 1645 and is buried at the Saint Eustache Church in Paris. Marie de Gournay is now recognised as the first woman in France to argue for equal rights.

 

 

Ada Lovelace Ada Lovelace. Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

Born in 1815, they say her mother was terrified that she'd inherit her father, Lord Byron's, poetic temperament so Ada Lovelace was brought up under a strict regime of science, logic and mathematics.

As a child she drew endless designs of imaginary machines inspired by the scientific journals of the time. She is credited as being the first computer programmer because in 1843 she wrote the instructions for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. Her published notes were to inspire Alan Turing's work on modern computers in the 1940s. The computer programming language ADA is named after her.

She died at only 36 years of age but her vision and passion for her subject have made her  a powerful symbol for modern women.

 

Emeline Pankhurst. Image courtesy of Pinterest Emmeline Pankhurst. Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

 

Born in 1858, Emmeline Pankhurst founded and led the Women's Social and Political Union whose members were known as the Suffragettes. She was the eldest of ten children born to politically active parents and was often taken along to meetings and rallies as a child. She fought for women's rights throughout her life and was imprisoned many times.

Emmeline did not live to see it, but on July 2nd, 1928, Parliament gave women voting rights on par with those of their male counterparts. She died in London and is buried at Brompton Cemetery.

You can read about all of these women and more, all complemented by a stellar list of female movers and shakers in Hannah Jewell's awesome compendium "100 nasty women of history"

 

 

and then go check out loads of the special events being held across the UK to celebrate IWD.

Find out more about London happenings HERE

 

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