Women meet at Jo Cox Wood to share inspirational stories

To mark International Women's Day 2022 a community event was held on Saturday, March 5, at the Jo Cox Community Wood to celebrate the inspirational women in the Batley and Spen area.

By Jessica Barton
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 3:30 pm
Both women and men came together to talk and share their stories at Jo Cox Community Wood last Saturday.
Both women and men came together to talk and share their stories at Jo Cox Community Wood last Saturday.

Both women and men came together to talk about who inspired them and why, and to celebrate the area's rich and diverse heritage and culture.

International Women’s Day is all about promoting equality, fairness and parity for everyone as we work towards a gender equal world - a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination, where difference is valued and celebrated.

A spokesperson from Upper Batley High School said: “Collectively we can all break the bias and empower our young women to be the best version of themselves, and ensure our young men grow up to respect women and treat them as equals.

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After they had shared their stories they each wrote down which local women inspired them and why.

“In Batley and Spen we pride ourselves on working hard to always be the best version of ourselves - we promote and celebrate our rich cultural diversity and see this as a real strength of our area.

“Empowering women both young and old to have their voice heard, valued and respected is a key aspect of our work.

“As is working with young men so they see women as equals and go on to be respectful fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, friends, neighbours etc.

“As a great woman once said: ‘We all do have far more in common than that which divides us.’

“Jo was an inspirational woman. Fiercely intelligent, a true humanitarian and a great sister, mum, daughter and MP.”

After Jo’s murder the Batley and Spen community wanted to do something to turn a tragedy into community action.

Local group More In Common was set up after Jo's death and several annual community events have arisen such as the Big Iftar, Run for Jo, the Jo Cox Way cycle ride and Step into the Future schools event

The spokesperson added: “Our community and our schools take part in the Great Get Together events every January and June to bring people together, and use every opportunity we can to build a legacy to Jo.

“The Jo Cox Foundation was set up to build Jo’s legacy at a national and International level.”

The community event at Jo Cox Wood last Saturday was backed by the office of local MP Kim Leadbeater, Jo’s sister.

Ms Leadbeater said: “It was heartwarming to gather in the Jo Cox Wood and share stories about inspirational women as part of the International Women's Day celebrations.

“Batley and Spen is full of fantastic women from all walks of life making a huge difference in our community day in and day out.”