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Jane Last: Pancake Tuesday actually means more to me today

TODAY is Women's Day.

It's also Shrove Tuesday which my housemate is marking with a pancake party.

My housemate is the same age as me, female and a young(ish) professional. Neither of us knew it was Women's Day until I was told by a work colleague, who laughed when he saw my clueless expression.

But really, should I be embarrassed that I forgot, or should I be more embarrassed that such a day exists?

I think I'll opt for the latter.

I know, from the remarkable and strong women in my family, of the struggles they endured when they were growing up. It's thanks to these women and their fight for rights that I have the life I lead now.

I have a great job, a wide circle of family and friends -- and I have time for leisure. Something unheard of for most of my mother's generation.

Are women still to be viewed in 2011 as a minority who need their own special day on the calender?

This day came into effect 100 years ago -- surely the biggest sign of how much women's lives have changed would be to ditch it.