TODAY (Thursday) sees people all over the world give a nod to International Women's Day, with Southend being no exception when it comes to marking the occasion.

Southend Borough Council, Southend Unison and Metal Southend are just some of the bodies in the area who will be holding events, which everyone is invited to attend.

Samantha Reed, adaptations officer at the council, said: “All staff and the public are invited to join the Council and Unison in celebrating International Women’s Day on Thursday March 8.

"2018 is a very special year as it’s the Centenary of the Suffragette movement and the partial right to vote for women. Don’t miss the display of some of the Southend women involved in "suffrage.

"We've got lots planned and it promises to be a great day."

It starts at The Hive, in the Beecroft Gallery, Victoria, where Your Red Dress Ltd will be holding a career development and networking session.

Tickets are available from

From 12noon until 2pm in the Civic Centre, in Victoria Avenue, you can take the opportunity to engage with special guests Caroline Nugent (President, PPMA), Linda Durant (Unison Eastern Women’s Officer), Frances Neal (WASPI), Lynsey McCarthy Calvert (Mothering Matters), Debbie Schofield (CEOP rep) and Sharon Houlden, during Q&A sessions in Committee Room 4a of the Civic Centre, covering a variety of topics including gender parity, achievements of the past 100 years, mandatory voting, technology and robotics.

The will also be an array of stalls on the first floor foyer of the Civic Centre including WASPI, Southend Soroptomists and Rayleigh Red Tent.

From 7:30pm until late, at the Twenty One culture cafe in Pier Approach, Western Esplanade, will be a charity gig featuring music from three all-female bands (Angel and the Melodyhorns, Molejoy and Petty Phase) featuring the Essex Feminist Collective's All Women's Playlist between bands.

Meanwhile over at Metal, the arts organisation based in Chalkwell Hall, Chalkwell Park, Westcliff, is dedicating its regular Future Park event, (Future Park is a networking and information sharing evening for practicing artists), specifically to celebrate International Women's Day, from 7pm.

The fully female line-up will see a "celebration of creativity and expression", including Three Minute Wonders from women who have a way with words, sharing stories, readings, poetry and presentations. Hear Cat Howe, Claire Collison, Jacqui Johnson, Martha Schofield, Ann Robson, Clare Charles, Nina Jervis, Julia Delmas, Jennine Roberts and Maria Solecki.

Following the speed-presentations, will be a live performance from Beckie Margaret, a favourite of BBC Radio 6 Music, Radio X and BBC Essex.

Guest speaker, Helen Linehan, the co-writer of hilarious BBC Two hit comedy series, Motherland, will complete the evening.