It is as important today as it ever was to mark International Women's Day. The first International Women's Day was held in 1911 and at that time British women were not allowed to vote. At that time many brave suffragettes urged women to stand together to fight for the right to be treated equally. Some women died for this cause and many more risked their lives including Emmeline Pankhurst pictured here. Dr Helen Pankhurst who is the great grand daughter of Emmeline has today spoken out urging women to use their vote in the General Election. At the last election over nine million women who were eligible to vote did not do so. Your vote is your voice and I urge all women to make it heard. Across the world there are many women who are still denied this most basic of rights. Here in Britain since 1928 all women have had the chance to vote and the chance to vote for positive change and in that time we have come a long way but there still so much to do. Even though it is forty years since the Equal Pay Act women still only earn 81p for every £1 earned by their male counterparts. A quarter of all working women are on low pay. The majority of people employed on Zero Hour Contracts are women. This Government has made £26 billion of savings by changes to tax and benefits and £22 billion of this has come from the pockets of women. Domestic violence is on the increase and yet women's refuges across the country are facing closure because of Government funding cuts. The number of young women who are unemployed has increased by 29% since 2010. These inequalities persist because less than 20% of MPs are women and millions of women don't use their vote. The Labour Party is committed to giving women full and fair representation ensuring that they have access to the same opportunities as men but we can't do it without your support. Women now as in the past must stand together. I urge everyone to use their vote on May 7th but I would particularly want to remind all women that other women died to give us the chance to have an equal say. The very least we can do is to vote.