What is International Womens Day?
Each year International Women's Day is celebrated on March 08th. It's an international event celebrating the cultural, political, social and economic achievements of women. The day also acts as a call to action for accelerating gender equality.
Organisers say that that the occassion is one of the most important days of the year to celebrate the achievements of women as well as to educate and raise awareness.
When did it start?
International Women's Day grew out of the labour movement to become a recognised event by the United Nations in 1975. The roots of the movement were planted in 1908 when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote.
The idea to give the day international an reach was suggested activist by Clara Zetkin in 1910 at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. The day was then first formally celebrated in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
What's the theme for 2023?
For this year the theme has been announced as Embrace Equity. They are calling on people to challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination and seek out opportunities for greater inclusion in 2023.
In a statement organisers said:
"People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging requires open-minded and equitable action."
"We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. Collective activism is what drives change. From grassroots action to wide-scale momentum, we can all embrace equity."
Here at Hanwell...
We thought we'd recognise International Women's Day this year by finding out more about the women who help run and support Hanwell Town. You can find our catch ups with Elsa, Katy, Cidinha, Lucy, Jane, Frances and Karen below.
My name is Karen, I'm Jack Hutchinson’s mum. I live in Hendon in Northwest London. I've worked in a primary school for 21 years as a special needs teaching assistant, mainly with children with physical needs. My Dad was Irish, from beautiful Achill Island off Co Mayo and my Mum was English/Irish.
Jack was kicking a ball from about 2 years old and had his first Chelsea kit even before that. The fact that his dad Terry had played at a good standard was a big part of Jack’s love of the game and Chelsea FC. Terry played all over Europe and received his U16s England schoolboys cap which we still have. He also received a cap for U16s playing for Middlesex County. Terry went on to play for Southend and Hendon.
Jack went one better and played for U16s and U18s receiving his caps, tie and trophy, I would say that was one of my favourite achievement of Jack. There have been other proud moments such as his signing at Barnet Academy for a period of time which was a great experience for him.
Football was a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My 3 brothers all played football from an early age - school teams and Saturday football. I remember going to watch my older brother play quite often.
My Dad took me to my first professional football match when I was about 11/12 years old. He was a passionate Man Utd fan but my brothers were all Spurs so he took me to Man Utd v Chelsea hoping I’d support his beloved team. I almost immediately fell in love with the atmosphere of Stamford Bridge and would travel on the bus to matches with my friend. It was the early 70’s and the attraction of the teenage skinhead boys at Chelsea was probably another reason.
Jack joined Hanwell about 4 years ago. I mostly come to the games on my own. Before the promotion last season, I was there for nearly every game. Unfortunately due to the increased distance of the away games recently, I have missed a few that I’d have loved to have gone to.
Of course when Hanwell win, Jack’s mood along with the teams is hugely lifted.
I've been coming to Jack’s games with his Dad since he joined Princes Park aged 7 and I can’t see that changing. Not only because I enjoy the games but also for Terry who rarely missed a match.
It was a huge blow to Jack when he sustained the injury at Bracknell. He was on good form prior to that so it definitely had an impact on him mentally, especially in the weeks after the injury.
He knew that he would be out for several months and that was tough for him (and me). However, Jack always picks himself up pretty quickly and has been determined to get back to full fitness as soon as possible.
The support he got from the Club and his teammates was overwhelming. However, I think it does knock a player’s confidence when they’re out for some time with an injury.
I think Hanwell is a brilliant club to be a part of. The improvements to the ground and clubhouse have been significant. There's a real sense of community throughout and I’ve made some good friends at Hanwell.
The supporters are the best though - somewhat noisy but very passionate about their beloved London Geordies.
I help out in the boardroom making tea and coffee for our visitors and Hanwell committee members before the game. Then at half time (with Jane) washing up (with Jane) making sure everyone has a drink and a meal at end.
I first got involved with the club around 1992 helping in kitchen at 5-a-side weekend.
Seeing that our visitors have had good hospitality.
Carrying a full tray of mugs to and from kitchen!
My first memory was how gloomy and basic it was. There were stag heads on the walls of the clubhouse covered in dust!
When we won the London Senior Cup!
Everything. Clubhouse, kitchen, bar, toilets, pitch which used to flood and stand which we didn’t have.
I was born and lived in Enfield until 1965 when I married and moved to Perivale.
I go to 3 exercise classes, lunch out once a week, litter pick on Saturday morning when Hanwell away and I read, just love books.
Yes do my classes and walk. my playing squash days are well and truly over!
International Women’s Day (IWD)...
I feel perfectly at ease. I started watching football at an early age, there were always plenty of girls there. It was the actual game itself that was male dominated - not now though eh!
The same time as Elsa really. About 5/6 years ago I took Elsa to a game because Glyn went to watch Hull play. Elsa wanted to go and I said I would take her.
Talking to the regulars on the gate...and you of course Russ!
No major specific challenges but you do get the odd person who isn't too happy for some reason.
Hanwell won and Elsa said "...Dad you have to take me to their next game!".
When we won the play-off final at the end of last season. It was a nail bitting thriller of a match!
Gareth Chendlik of course - he's Welsh!
The home kit this year with the bridges - it's fabulous.
We have much bigger crowds now and the ground has changed significantly. Plus there lots of Glyn's handy work around - biased on that of course!
Not originally but I've lived in Hanwell for 27 years now.
I'm an Assistant Head Teacher.
International Women’s Day (IWD)...
I'm treated with respect and if you give an opinion about the game or player you're listened too.
Please come and visit the most friendly, family orientated football club in West London - one visit and you'll be hooked!
Becoming a fan…
How did you first come across Hanwell Town?
We came a few times when I was very little but I didn’t start coming properly until lockdown when Premier League clubs closed their doors and we couldn’t go to Spurs! Then we started coming to Hanwell regularly and we got addicted!!
Are you from Hanwell / West London originally?
I am from Pitshanger so not far from Hanwell so unfortunately I'm not a true Hanwell girl.
How many Hanwell games have you been to so far / this season?
Approximately 20 - I think.
Do you have any good luck rituals or superstitions pre / post match?
Obviously have to get a 50/50 ticket and say hello to my best mate Dave!!
Who was your favourite team whilst growing up? Do you currently support any other teams?
Tottenham Hotspur - who else!!
Do you play or support/follow any other sports?
Don’t know if it counts but running - I ran the marathon last year and Hanwell supporters were amazing!!
Do you have a favourite...
Spot to watch a game at the Powerday
From between the dug outs, but behind the goal is fun too.
Hanwell player (past / present)?
Near far we LOVE YOU DAN CARR!! As for past players, Adam and George.
Game of the season so far?
We did lose but I loved when we played Ebbsfleet. The atmosphere was great and we played really well.
Overall memory of the Club?
Obviously getting promoted! But also beating Staines 12-0 last season stands out.
International Women’s Day (IWD)…
Football has too often been portrayed as a male dominated environment, so what’s it like being a women supporter at Hanwell Town?
All the fans are so kind and friendly to everyone so have always had a fab experience being a woman supporter. I think at lots of clubs football fans can just assume that girls don’t know anything about football, but I don’t feel that’s the case at Hanwell.
Is there anything else that Clubs can do to ensure they’re more inclusive to women either as a player and / or a fan?
At Hanwell I have always felt very welcomed but I think that all clubs should have more women on committee - every club needs an Elsa!!
I got involved because my son used to play for our youth club. One day we were doing tea/coffee outside at bank pitches and our lovely Bob Fisher started to come and watch the games on a Sunday morning. One day he asked Michelle and myself if we were able to run the kitchen for the senior club at the Saturday home games.
My favourite part of my role is that I get to see and talk to the fans, players from both sides as well as talking about football in general.
My most challenging moments are when we're busy or I'm trying to get staff to help out. Our aim at the bar and kitchen is to give a good service to our customers and to avoid big queues in the Club House.
Whilst you’ve been at Hanwell...
Meeting Roy on Sunday mornings. He used to go to the Club to wash the first team kit and we used to chat. He loved our cup of coffee. I could stay and chat with him for hours - such a lovely man!
My favourite memory is when we got promoted last season.
My favourite player has to be Calum Duffy of course!
The biggest change I’ve seen since I've been involved is the Club House & toilets, the pitch, the boardroom and the changing rooms. It’s unbelievable how the Club changed for the last 4/5 years.
Away from the Club...
I live in Ealing.
I run a netball league as a job and I'm heavily involved with the Hanwell Town Youth Club.
I'm involved in the Hanwell Youth Club Development Centre every Saturday morning and I managed the U14 team.
International Women’s Day (IWD)...
Being in an environment that's mainly male dominated can often be be tricky. As a match referee, I've heard all comments that you could imagine over the years...
“Oh don’t worry, she's a women. She doesn’t know anything about football”; and
“What do you expect? She is a women!”.
Thankfully things have started to improve and I've seen a great amount of change since the Lionesses won the Euros last year!
Whilst these are general comments, at Hanwell Town I've never felt excluded because I'm female. I feel respected but at the same time I wouldn’t expect to be treated differently just because I’m a women. Thankfull we're all equal at Hanwell Town.
The football manager is often the face of a Club but there’s the old adage that behind every successful manager is a football ‘widow’.
As part of International Women’s Day, we wanted to take the opportunity to find out if it applies at Hanwell Town.
So I’m Katy, I’m Chris’s partner, I’m 38 and mum to 3 children: Maisie who is 15, Rory who is 8 and Rudi who is 4.
I’ve been hairdressing for 20 years.
Being the partner of a football manager is sometimes tough but I see the passion and love Chris has and has always had for football, so watching him in a managerial role is something that makes me feel very proud.
I’m used to the routine of his football career so managing wasn’t much different apart from being a little more involved in all aspects of what goes into each game - choosing the right players, losing players due to injuries and the signing new players.
When I first met Chris he was playing for Brentford in League 1. The first time I ever met Chris, he had played Luton at home and was sent off for a nasty tackle. I will always remember that night because we were at a bar in Ealing and he was the only one in a suit. I later found out that’s not what he wore on a night out, but in fact what he had to wear for home games.
I’ve always really liked football but never really followed a specific team, I did however go to the 2006 World Cup out in Germany to watch England v Portugal. Later that year when I met Chris, I pretty much went to most of his home games.
Moments of Chris’s career that stand out for me would have to be Winning the league with Dagenham & Redbridge.
Becoming a manager for the first time in his career at Egham, me and my parents went with the kids to watch his first ever game there as manager.
...and how could it not be winning promotion with Hanwell town !!!
I have to say that winning game against Chertsey was probably one of the best games I’ve ever watched. Me and the kids went to Chertsey and watched and that’s something the kids will always remember.
When I found out Chris was taking over at Hanwell I was excited for him. His time at Egham wasn’t easy, plus Hanwell was just down the road from us so it made sense.
I try and come to as many home games as possible with the kids, they love coming to Hanwell on a Saturday.
Win or lose Chris has a similar approach, of course he can be more upset with a loss but he doesn’t dwell on it for too long. He’s straight back to sorting out what he can change and improve on, ready for the next game ahead.
Match day Chris does his own thing and I leave him to it. I’m usually being a “soccer mum “at football training in the morning with Rory, then if it’s a home game straight to Hanwell. Our weekends consist of a football theme, so after Rory’s training and Chris’s game we usually watch any football league or non-league that might be on over the weekend, followed by match of the day.
In terms of how the club can support me, I honestly don’t feel that they need to. I’m actually quite shy but I never feel uncomfortable coming to a game with the kids on my own. It's been nice getting to know the staff over the years.
I feel very grateful that Chris is managing at such a great club. Watching how supportive they are is with Chris is lovey to see. Even when things are tough it’s nice to know he has the Hanwell staff and the team behind him.
Around 8 years ago, my Dad and I found it on a bike ride. I started helping on the gate when I was 13/14 and then started helping with the Twitter when I was 15.
Meeting new people. Especially when you meet Newcastle Fans who have come down, shows how far we’ve come.
Whilst you’ve been at Hanwell...
Finding the club with my dad, going to our first game then driving past it the next day asking when we can go back.
Winning the play off, 100%. Nothing will ever top that.
Do you have either a favourite...
This season’s home kit. Enjoyed designing it and love looking at people wearing it around the world.
No shock, Chendlik. Gareth is my favourite person, helps a lot with ideas and execution, he’s a great guy.
It’s hard to name everyone but our play off squad has to be the best. Everyone was amazing, on and off the pitch.
Step 5 -> Step 4 -> Step 3
Away from the Club...
Yep! Born at Ealing Hospital. Love Hanwell!
I've been to 346 Hanwell matches over the year but I'm also groundhopper. For example, I've been to 41 matches already in 2023 and I've collected pin badges from 728 different clubs.
I’m part of the Non League Day which is always exciting! We went to Bilbao in January!
International Women’s Day (IWD)...
Love it, everyone at Hanwell is great. Sometimes I get funny looks if I walk into a boardroom at another club which used to annoy me when I was younger but now I love it. It’s funny how ‘old school’ some clubs still are!