Join us and celebrate International Women's Day 2021 #IWD2021 | Oldham Council
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International Women's Day
World War One nurse Sarah Hallam
Published: Tuesday, 02nd March 2021

A fascinating talk about an Oldham nurse who was prepared to stand up and challenge the norm is one of the events being held to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8.

Following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 Sarah Hallam volunteered to go to Brussels to help wounded Belgian soldiers.

Whilst Sarah was in Brussels the Germans occupied the city and after spending two months there, she was forced to leave and return to Oldham.

However, being the woman that she was, Sarah was not content to sit out the war at home.

Towards the end of 1914 she volunteered to work for the French Flag Nursing Corps which had been set up to provide certified British nurses for French military hospitals.

To find out more about Sarah Hallam’s extraordinary life join our free Zoom talk at 3.30pm, which has been organised by Gallery Oldham.

Later, from 7pm until 9pm, Oldham Libraries are proud to host Irish poet, novelist and teacher, Martina Evans.

Why not join us for an exclusive Zoom discussion and Q&A focused around Martina’s work and becoming a published author? Don't miss out, celebrate women in literature.

Both events can be booked via Eventbrite.

International Women’s Day is held annually and is dedicated to raising awareness about gender parity and celebrating the achievements of women.

The theme of this year’s event is #ChooseToChallenge

You can take part on twitter by taking a photo and raising your hand high to show you're in and that you commit to Choose to Challenge and call out inequality.

Strike the Choose To Challenge pose and share on social media using #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021 to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world.

Councillor Arooj Shah, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for COVID-19 Response, said: “Throughout history Oldham women like Annie Kenney, Lydia Becker and Sarah Hallam have led the way and helped shape the Oldham we know today  

“They are all great examples of women who have chosen to challenge rather than just sit back and accept what they have been told.

“International Women’s Day is about celebrating the achievements of women and also raising the profile of the great work that is being done locally.

“Across all our communities there are women doctors, council staff, teachers, social workers, volunteers – the list is huge - all of them doing excellent jobs, working to improve Oldham for our residents and for future generations.

“There is also a lot of unseen work that women do day in, day out that goes unnoticed and they are the real heroes of our neighbourhoods.

“It’s really important to remember what women have achieved, but also how far there is still to go to achieve true equality.

“Due to Coronavirus restrictions Oldham’s IWD programme of events is smaller than in previous years but the council will be marking the occasion internally and we’d encourage you to do the same at home, at work and in our schools.”

For more information on IWD visit   

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