International Women's Day

Kelmscott is celebrating its fourth year of 'International Women's Day'. Each year a theme is followed, this year the theme is #pressforprogress. Staff sent names of women who had inspired them and also those who felt they pressed for progress in society now and in the past.  Some of the people Kelmscott community got to find out about were:


Halet Çambel was a Turkish archaeologist and Olympic fencer in 1936. She was the first Muslim woman to compete in the Olympic Games. She played a key role in the decryption of Hittite hieroglyphics with the help of the Phoenician alphabet after their discovery of Karatepe Bilingual Inscription.


Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan, aka Nora INAYAT-KHAN, was a British heroine of World War II renowned for her service in the Special Operations Executive. She also went by the name Nora Baker and was a published author of Indian and American descent who was posthumously awarded the George Cross for her service in the SOE, the highest civilian decoration in the UK. As an SOE agent she became the first female wireless operator to be sent from Britain into occupied France to aid the French Resistance during World War II, and was Britain's first Muslim war heroine.


 Joan of Arc “The Maid of Orléans" is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years' War and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. Joan said she received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence after the siege was lifted only nine days later. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims. This long-awaited event boosted French morale and paved the way for the final French victory.


Charlotte Cooper was a female tennis player from England who won five singles titles at the Wimbledon Championships and in 1900 became Olympic champion. In winning in Paris on July 11th 1900, she became the first female Olympic tennis champion as well as the first individual female Olympic champion. After giving birth to her second child she went on to win her final Wimbledon Championship. Cooper Sterry had an offensive style of playing, attacking the net when the opportunity arose. Her excellent volleying skills stood out at a time when this was still a rarity in ladies tennis.

What can you do to #pressforprogress?