It’s the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day next Tuesday, 8 March, and recent headlines are testament to the great advances made by the sisterhood over the last century.

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Women now have an equal right to pay over the odds for car insurance; one of the world’s biggest pop stars, Beyonce, says she has to wear high heels to entice Jay-Z into bed, and leading fashion designer John Galliano feels liberated enough to imply he wants “ugly” women fans sent to the gas ovens.

You’d think London would be ahead of the game for sex equality, but think again. The gap between men’s and women’s pay in London is bigger than in the rest of the country, thanks mainly to the domination by men of the top jobs in finance and the domination by women of the jobs cleaning the offices of the top jobs in finance.

On the other hand, there are some areas of work where men face severe discrimination. For example, it is all a bit of marketing wheeze for women to use their breast milk to make ice-cream. But when my uncle, a chef at a London hotel, tried secretly sticking his man-milk into a stroppy customer’s meal, he was pulled off the job at a stroke.

Visit the official site for events in London celebrating International Women’s Day.