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International Women's Day 

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on the 8th March every year since 1911. However, it was only honoured in Austria. Denmark, Germany and Switzerland from 1911 and, at that time, on 19 March. After international collaboration and discussion, it was decided that IWD would follow the Gregorian Calendar and be commemorated on the 8th March.   On the 8th March 1914 there was a march in support of women’s suffrage from Bow to Trafalgar Square, London.  This was to become the first participation in IWD activities for Britain. 2024 thus marks 110 years of celebrating women’s achievements and seems an appropriate time to make the voices of the nineteenth century women of Punch heard and accessible to a wider audience (this summary of IWD history is available to be read in full at  


Writing on 11 March 1914, N. R. Martin, writing about the march from Bow to Trafalgar Square labelled it “The End of it All”.  


Whilst no biographical data exists to help us identify who N. R. Martin was, it can be presumed that this was not the voice of a female contributor. For, here was a piece that satirised the militant ways of the WSPU, the bewhiskered men wearing green and white wigs, making a mockery of the purple, green and white worn by the suffragettes. How ironic that the ‘spectacle’ witnessed that day was indeed ‘the beginning of it all’, rather than its end. For so too as the turn of the century witnessed a change in women’s roles, so too did Punch see an increase in the number of women writers contributing to the magazine. For the first time, this project will identify the voices of The Women of Punch, 1868 – 1900, and make their work available to scholars. In line with the 2024 theme of IWD, to #InspireInclusion, it is hoped that this project will faciliate scholars across the world to begin to identify and engage with this exciting range of voices, in order that we can incorporate their research and work into our project. In this way we are ‘removing barriers’ to studying the voice of the female contributor and, as IWD advocates, ‘promoting creative and artistic talent of women and girls’ in a call to ‘celebrate women’s achievements’ (  

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