Church of England Marks International Women’s Day 2016 with “Women Inspiring Women” Video Stories


Seven women Bishops in the Church of England have nominated women who have inspired them in a series of short videos to mark International Women's Day 2016 (IWD2016).

From the first female judge in Pakistan who participated in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda through to the serving Poet Laureate and from Gold medal winning Olympic rowers to nurses working with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, the Bishops nominate individual women from across the world whose lives, work and achievements continue to inspire. A short film combining the nominations can be seen here

The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt. Revd. Christine Hardman, explains how she hopes her two granddaughters will be inspired by people like Olympic rowers, Heather Stanning and Helen Glover who made history as the first British women to win a rowing gold Olympic medal. Bishop Christine says, 'It was clear from their faces that this was the culmination of hours and hours of gut-wrenching training, and that they had to work together so closely as a team. They really supported one another in that race, worked closely together, and, at the end of the race, when Heather was nearing exhaustion, she heard Helen behind her saying, "Keep going, keep going! They're just behind us".

Dame Sarah Mullally, the UK's former Chief Nurse and now Bishop of Crediton, highlights the dedication of an individual in serving mothers and children living with HIV who have been marginalised in Zimbabwe . Her nominee, Sister Eugenie, is the source of inspiration: "It was her faith that motivated her to be compassionate but also to find solutions for people. To find solutions for those that are most marginalised with minimal amounts of resources. So I hope that my faith will not be dead, but be seen in action. And that I can use the resources I have in an imaginative way, to make a difference to people's lives, because it's often the simplest things that make the biggest difference to people."

The Rt. Revd. Alison White, the Bishop of Hull, is inspired by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy: "She can write very movingly and deeply about some of the most personal things in life. She can challenge us to deal with some of the big issues that are facing us, so she's written poems about MP's expenses, she's written about climate change, she's written about the war in Afghanistan. And somehow, she holds those two aspects together, the deeply personal and how that plays out in the public issues that face us all. And that's the kind of place that I think I am called to inhabit as a Bishop, to live with the profound things of our human life. Not to be afraid of the difficult things, but to be able to laugh at the really joyful things, and to treat tenderly the things that are important about the way we are human beings. How inspiring is that?"


Notes to editors

Website for IWD:
Church of England webpage:
Twitter hashtag - #IWD2016

Video Links:

A Prayer for International Women's Day

A photo of the seven bishops at a recent event at Church House, Westminster