THE first female leader of Leeds City Council will talk about her career at an event to celebrate International Women’s Day.

An Evening with Judith Blake is the title of a free online talk to be held at 7.30pm on Tuesday, March 9.

The event is being held by Otley Women Together who will welcome Baroness Judith Blake, first woman Leader of Leeds City Council, to talk about her career in politics so far and her hopes for her future role. There will be a chance to ask questions after the talk.

Baroness Judith Blake has recently been elevated to the House of Lords and will shortly be standing down from the council after more than five years in the leadership role. She will take her seat in the Lords on March 25, when she will be sworn in as Baroness Blake of Gledhow in the City of Leeds.

A spokeswoman for Otley Women Together said: “The theme of International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge’. Baroness Blake has helped to challenge male dominance of politics and has encouraged equality in local government.

“Otley Women Together is an informal group, created, with the help of a grant from Otley Town Council, to mark International Women’s Day in 2016. Since then, it has hosted many speakers and events of interest to women and men of all ages and interests. Otley Women Together would like to thank Otley Courthouse for support in holding this event.

“To book a place at the event, please go to What’s On. The event is free but your details are needed for an invitation to be sent.”

Cllr Blake was among the new peers announced by the Government at the end of last year. Other on the list included Archbishop of York John Sentamu and former head of MI5, Sir Andrew Parker.

Cllr Blake has served as Leader of Leeds City Council since 2015 and was deputy leader for five years before that. She has been a councillor in Leeds for 24 years.

After the announcement she said: “I am honoured to be selected to join the House of Lords at this hugely important time. It has been a great privilege to serve as Leader of my home city of Leeds for the last five and a half years.

“Joining the House of Lords will allow me to continue to represent the interests of our city in Westminster. It has never been more important to have regional voices with experience of local government represented at a national level.”

The International Women's Day campaign theme for this year is #ChooseToChallenge.

The IWD wbsite says: "A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.

"We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge."

International Women's Day is a global day, marked annually on March 8, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Groups around the world celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness about women's equality, lobby for accelerated gender parity and fundraise for female-focused charities. International Women's Day dates back to 1911.