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Vera Baird speaks at event to mark International Women’s Day

8th March 2016

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird was joined by inspirational women across the region today (March 8) at an event to mark International Women’s Day.

The annual awareness day is being celebrated across the world as the United Nations (UN) looks to promote women and encourage further gender equality.

To mark the day Women’s Health in South Tyneside (WHiST) hosted an event in South Shields today to celebrate women throughout history and promote justice for female victims of crime.

The event has been organised in partnership with a number of organisations from across Tyne and Wear who came together to inspire the next generation of women.

Commissioner Baird spoke at the event and talked about the work that has been done to provide better support to women and girls who contact the police.

She said: “It is a privilege to be part of International Women’s Day and raise the profile of this day which recognises the struggles and celebrates successes of women around the world.

“This event has seen some of the most influential women’s groups from across the region come together to celebrate the day and I am delighted to have been invited to take part.

“We have been working hard to achieve gender equality in the justice system and have made significant strides thanks to the hard work of both the police and these dedicated organisations.

“It is vitally important that we continue to give vulnerable women a voice and put support networks in place that will give them the confidence to contact the police.”

The Commissioner was joined by South Tyneside Mayoress Mrs Patricia Porthouse at the celebratory event at the charity’s Salus House headquarters this afternoon./

Other groups who helped organise the event include Sangini, CREST, Apna Ghar, Bright Futures and Hundu Nari Sangh. They are also supported by BAM SISTAHOOD, North East’s Women’s Network and Sunderland Women’s Centre.

Each group works closely with Northumbria Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to improve the wellbeing of women regardless of their age, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability.

It is hoped the event will raise the awareness of International Women’s Day and recognise the work being done by police and partners to put support networks in place for vulnerable women and female victims of crime.

Commissioner Baird added: “International Women’s Day provides an opportunity for us to talk about issues with our justice system and the work we can do to improve the lives of women who are experiencing violence and gender inequality.

“Violence against women is happening across all demographics in society and it is important that people are properly supported when they take the decision to contact the police or a charitable organisations such as those at today’s event.

“Anyone who falls victim of crime should feel comfortable in contacting the police. We will believe you, we will support you and we will make sure you are safe from harm.”

This year’s United Nation’s (UN) theme for International Women’s Day is gender parity and working together to help accelerate the closing of the economic gender gap.