In honour of International Women’s Day, The Times wanted to celebrate the fantastic businesswomen who play such an important part in our town centres.

The annual event has particular resonance this year, as it marks the 100th anniversary of the first women in Britain to win the right to vote.

But the theme of this year’s campaign – Press for Progress – shows the fight for gender equality is far from over.

Most would agree, sole traders are the heart and soul of any town centre, and women are more important than ever to the district's economic prosperity.

The Times asked some high street traders why International Women’s Day was important to them.

Yolande Turgoose, who runs Fleurations Florist with daughter Nadine, said: “Women work hard in Braintree and I think all over the country.

“There is a lot of female shop owners who operate in the town, which is lovely to see.

“I personally haven’t been treated any differently.

“Whoever comes to the shop, from the richest to the poorest, I speak to them the same and I expect the same back.

“I give people 100 per cent all the time.”

Marion Horlsey and daughter Rebecca run everyone’s favourite milkshake shop Shake Express, in High Street, Braintree.

Rebecca said: “To us, International Women’s Day is a celebration of equality.

“We were thinking about independent businesses in Braintree and actually, a lot are run by women.

“Thankfully not very often, but we have experienced sexism from salesmen.

“It is good to know society is reaching gender equality.

“As a mother daughter team we play to each other’s strengths and we are proud of what we have achieved.”

Unfortunately we couldn't mention all the brilliant businesswomen by name - there are far too many.

And it isn’t just businesswomen who deserve celebrating, but mums, daughters, nurses, police officers, in fact every woman.

Big strides have been made towards gender equality, however International Women's Day is as important as ever to celebrate amazing women across the world.

Hundreds of events will take place and you can get involved.


We've sent up a contribution link and we want to hear why you believe International Women's Day is important.

Why is International Women's Day important?

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