INTERNATIONAL women's day- a date where people come together to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women around the world.

Observed since the early 1900s, some would argue that 2018 feels particularly significant for the day with campaigns such as #metoo and #timesup raising mainstream awareness to the struggles 21st-centuary women still face.

Now, in a special nod to inspiring women from in and around Lancashire, we take a look at some of the achievements of the county’s most respected women- old and new.

Lydia Ernestine Becker 

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

Lydia Ernestine Becker is a woman highly regarded as the individual who awoke the suffragette movement. 

Born in 1827, Ms Becker of Altham dedicated much of her life to suffrage- touring up and down the country campaigning for the rights of women. 

The suffragette was extremely important to the cause of women's rights and was the founder of the National Society for Women's suffrage, the first national group to campaign for a women's right to vote.

Ms Becker has also been named as the person responsible for Emmeline Pankhurst's involvement in women's rights. 

The Altham woman spoke at a meeting at the Manchester Nation Union promoting women's suffrage in the late 1800s, and event that was attended by Emmeline Pankhurst at the age of 14.

Ms Pankhurst has since credited this speech that Lydia Becker made as 'awakening her interest in the cause of women's suffrage.’

A self-taught botanist, Ms Becker had no other option than to learn the art of her science by herself, as at the time women were officially barred from learning and reading science. 

In 1864 she penned letters to Charles Darwin and sent him a copy of her book- later she was recognized for her scientific contributions and went on to win a national prize.

Now, members of Hyndburn Labour Women's Forum have announced they are looking for funding to recognize the life of Lydia Ernestine Becker.

Speaking about their want to erect a plaque in her honour, Kimberley Whitehead, a founding member of the forum said:

"To celebrate international women's day and 100 years of women having the vote we are looking to erect a plaque to commemorate the fascinating and incredible achievements of Altham local, Lydia Becker.

"Hyndburn Labour Women's Forum are currently in talks with the Parish council and further details will be available in due course."

Barbara Castle 

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen: Barbara Castle

Fighting for a better world was something Barbara Castle, who was the MP for Blackburn from 1945 to 1979 was no stranger to.

Castle was tipped as the future Prime Minister before Margaret Thatcher came to prominence and was arguably one of the most notable women politicians in the history of the labour party. 

Originally a journalist, in 1944 Barbara officially began her politics career after being selected to hold a seat for Blackburn, a seat she held until her retirement in 1979.

A major figure in the Labour movement, she served as MP and MEP, as minister and Cabinet minister, and, after leaving politics, as a tireless campaigner for pensioners.

When the politician died in 2001, the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair said: "She was courageous, determined, tireless and principled, she was never afraid to speak her mind or stand up for her beliefs.

"She was loved throughout the Labour movement and recognised as an outstanding minister in the many high offices she held."

Kathleen Ferrier 

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen: Kathleen Ferrier Crescent, Laindon

Culturally East Lancashire produced one of the world’s greatest opera singers, Kathleen Ferrier.

The daughter of a Lancashire village schoolmaster, Ferrier could not only sing, but was a talented pianist. 

Kathleen left school at the age of 14 to work for the General Post Office in Blackburn before her music career began to take off at the age of 18.

She spent many years entering- and winning- competitions as a pianist before she took up singing.

She made her stage debut in 1946 in the Glyndebourne Festival premiere of Benjamin Britten's opera, The Rape of Lucretia.

Kathleen sang for the first time in New York in 1948 and then began tours of America, Canada, Holland, Scandinavia and America again. 

She had many collaborations with the likes of Roy Henderson, Benjamin Britten and Sir John Barbirolli.

After a short time singing all around the world, Kathleen was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1951 dying at the young ag of 41 in 1953.

Josephine Cox 

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen: BLACKBURN LASS Josephine Cox

Sunday Times Bestselling Author Josephine Cox also hails from East Lancashire. 

Born in Blackburn, the critically acclaimed author has penned more than 50 titles picking up awards such as "Superwoman of Great Britain" along the way. 

Despite being offered a position at Cambridge University after the birth of her two sons, the author turned the position down as it would have meant leaving home and her family.

Cox instead took up teaching and shortly after began writing her first novel.

It was during this time that she was given the “Superwoman of Great Britain” award and has since found herself at the top of the Sunday Times best seller list on more than one occasion.

Julie Hesmondhalgh

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen: Star: Julie Hesmondhalgh

Born in Accrington, Julie Hesmondhalgh is best known for her role as Hayley Cropper in ITV's Coronation Street.

The cobbles aren't the only place you'd find her though as the actress has also had leading roles in hit shows such as Happy Valley, Cucumber and Broadchurch.

Her acting career began at the age of 18 when she applied to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. 

Throughout the 90s she appeared in television dramas such The Bill and Victoria Wood's comedic television movie, Pat and Margaret. 

In 1998 Hesmondhalgh made her debut on the cobbles as Hayley Cropper, a role she for 15 years.

During her time on the show she was involved in high-profile story lines, including a role which saw the character undergo a sex change.

In 2011 Hesmondhalgh appeared on ITV's The Cube, winning £20,000 for her Accrington-based anti-poverty charity, Maundy Relief.

The actress is also a patron of numerous charities such as Trans Meda Watch, Marple Drama and The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.