Building fairer, safer and more equitable societies for women and girls will be under the spotlight at an event being held to mark International Women’s Day this week.


Professor Kezia Dugdale, director of the John Smith Centre, will be joined at the event in conversation by Helena Kennedy KC, City Council Member, Ukraine, and John Smith Fellow Kateryna Musiienko, and Leah Duncan-Karrim, policy and public affairs officer at Barnardo’s and a former participant on John Smith Centre’s Minority Ethnic Emerging Leaders Programme.

The event will also celebrate women in public life and mark 30 years of the legacy of John Smith QC MP.

John Smith’s daughter, Catherine Smith KC, board member for the John Smith Trust and co-founder and chair of the John Smith Centre, said: “International Women’s Day is a day to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women around the world and raise awareness of the challenges and issues women continue to face daily.”

“John Smith was an early champion of women’s rights, introducing all-female shortlists in the Labour Party in 1993 – paving the way for a record number of female MPs being returned in the 1997 General Election.”

“This event marks 30 years since his passing, but more importantly celebrates the incredible women who have benefited from the development programmes that have run in his name since then. Amongst them are many game-changing lawyers, and the Faculty of Advocates has been hosting these talented women for many years. John Smith was a very proud member of Faculty in his day, so we are delighted to be celebrating his legacy in partnership with them,” she added.