THIS week there have been two significant days: International Women’s Day and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ordination of the first women as priests in the Church of England.

International Women’s Day’s tagline #BalanceforBetter, filled social media. The national news debated the huge workplace discrepancies between women and men. It was pointed out that the percentage of women film directors and even lead female roles remains embarrassingly few. For the sake of everyone, International Women’s Day asked us to wake up to inequality, “A balanced world is a better world. Help forge a more gender-balanced world. Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality”.

The Church of England isn’t proudly celebrating the anniversary of the first women to become priests, it had taken far too long; the celebrations are actually a huge thank you for the tireless work done by those brave women. Justin Welby hosted the main celebration service at Lambeth Palace where many women told their personal story; painful stories of being called and fully-qualified, but for years and years not allowed to fulfil a role deemed solely for men.

The Church of England is not the only British organisation that still wrestles with gender-balance inequality. . Last week in Christian Comment the Quakers challenged us “to love our neighbour as ourselves… to realise how similar we all are”. Maybe this is something we should continue to prioritise: how each of us might find ways to work for greater equality of every sort where we live, work or have influence.

the Rev Jane Thompson, Braishfield Benefice