International Women’s Day is a day to appreciate and celebrate the achievements of women and girls from all over the globe. But anyone looking for inspiration this IWD needn’t look too far afield – Merseyside is bursting with incredible women who deserve to be celebrated.
From sportswomen to screen stars, fundraising to food empires- the women of Liverpool certainly don’t mess around when showing the world what they’re made of.
In 2019, Killing Eve took the world by storm and audiences were particularly captivated by Liverpool-born Jodie Comer’s portrayal of assassin Villanelle. Jodie’s first acting job was a radio play for BBC Radio 4 when she was 14, and even before Killing Eve she was attracting praise for her roles in My Mad Fat Diary and Doctor Foster. Jodie’s incredible knack for accents might make it hard for her fans over the world to recognise that distinctive scouse twang when she’s in character, but listen to any interviews with her and it’s clear she’s lovely, funny and down to earth- all the things we’ve naturally come to expect from Liverpool ladies!
Ask anyone from Liverpool what sets us apart and most will tell you it’s our big hearts- and charity fundraiser and businesswoman Katie Walker is no exception. After being hospitalised by an ex-partner, Katie set up her charity KatieCares which helps women in domestic abuse situations. Now a business owner with a salon and soon-to-open boutique to her name, Katie’s strength and resilience has earned her Pride of Britain and Merseyside Woman of the Year award- and we couldn’t be prouder.
It’s no secret that football is the bread and butter of Liverpool, but long gone are the days when the only rising stars coming out of the city were fellas. England forward Nikita Parris, from Toxteth, joined Everton at the age of 14 and since then her career has gone from strength to strength. Last year’s season saw Nikita snatch the title of Women’s Super League all-time goalscorer, and named Women’s Footballer of the Year by the Football Writer’s Association. Since moving from Manchester City to Lyon last year, she’s scored a brilliant 17 goals in 23 games, and now has her eyes set on a Champions League win- and we’ve no doubt that scouse determination will make that a reality.
Nisha Katona (Mowgli CEO)
The only thing we love more than a savvy businesswoman is a savvy businesswoman with a foodie empire at her feet, and Ormskirk-born Nisha Katona certainly fits the bill. After 20 years working as a barrister in Liverpool, Nisha gave up her law career to dedicate herself to her passion for food. Now the founder and CEO of Mowgli Street Food restaurants with ten locations across the country, the author of three cookbooks and director of the Mowgli Trust which donates £100,000 to charity each year, Nisha is a brilliant example of how women who follow their dreams can do incredible things and that it’s never too late to follow your passions.
A look at the inspirational and influential women from Liverpool wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the women who paved the way for future generations. Born in 1899, Bessie Braddock was Liverpool’s first female MP and had a particular interest in child welfare, youth crime, maternity and mental health. She had a reputation for speaking her mind at meetings, saying “if you didn’t do something outrageous, nobody would notice you.” Towards the end of her life she was the first woman to be granted the Freedom of the City, and after her death in 1970 her obituary in the Guardian called her “one of the most distinctive political personalities of the century”.