International Women's Day 2019

International Women's Day 2019

Date: 08/03/2019 14:58

International Women's Day is dedicated to championing women's achievements and challenging gender bias. To mark this year's event, we've selected clips from the Digital Film Archive that illustrate the wide-ranging contributions women have made to Northern Irish society.

Individuals who have inspired personal and societal change and empowering examples of the everyday struggles that women have undertaken to address systemic inequality.  

Born in Roden Street, May Blood (Baroness Blood) worked for many years in the nearby Blackstaff linen mill. When the mill closed in 1990, May was aged just 52. The second act of a remarkable life was about to begin. In the succeeding years, she would be awarded an MBE and a Life Peerage in the House of Lords, making history as the first NI woman to be honoured in this way. Through it all, she advocated for trade unions, integrated education and improving the lives of Northern Irish people.


Winning gold in the women's Pentathlon at the 1972 Munich Olympics, was the highlight of Mary Peters much-decorated sporting career. One of Northern Ireland's greatest sporting figures, Peters would represent Northern Ireland at every Commonwealth Games between 1958 and 1974. A figure whose popularity transcended the sport, she would win the BBC Sport's Personality of the Year in 1973 and would be awarded an MBE for services to athletics that same year. This amateur film captures Peters at the peak of her career.

International Women's Day is also about highlighting the ongoing struggle towards a gender-balanced world, not least within the world of work. These clips give a glimpse of attitudes towards women in the workforce over the years.