How To Celebrate International Women's Day

Jenny Proudfoot

Whether you want to venture outside or stay at home this International Women's Day, here is a run down of events and campaigns across the country to help you celebrate...

International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8th March promises to unite women across the globe.

To commemorate International Women’s Day (and the week surrounding it), this is our run down of the best events across the country from plays, film screenings and conferences to books, films and activities to help you celebrate this awesome occasion.

South England:

Event: International Women’s Day Festival
Brighton & Hove, Saturday 5 March
Brighton’s Women’s Centre has put together an action packed day of IWD themed entertainment. From women’s history tutorials and marches to self-defence workshops and all-female musical performances, it promises to be an empowering day.



Event: Stemettes Rise Hack
London, Saturday 5 - Sunday 6 March
This tech-focused event by Stemettes is aimed at getting more girls into STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths) subjects and careers. Welcome to girls aged five to 22, the event aims to help young women to build interest and experience in the world of technology.

Must read: I Call Myself A Feminist
By Victoria Pepe
This newly released collection of essays showcases the views of twenty-five women under thirty, speaking out about what it means to be a modern day feminist and what the term has come tosymbolise.

Event: The Phenomenal Woman Tea Party
London, Saturday 5 March
The Phenomenal Woman Tea Party is not an event to be missed, uniting a diverse range of amazing women from across the country. Alongside delicious sandwiches and cakes, women from different generations will tell their stories and pass on their inspirations. Plus, did we mention that there is going to be cake?



Event: What More Can the Law Do For Women?
London, Saturday 5 March
Doughty Street Chambers is launching its first conference, comprising of three events. They are inviting lawyers, judges, NGOs and others from civil society to share their experience and knowledge, together addressing gender imbalance. There are drinks and canapés too which is a massive bonus. 

To join: Host A Life-changing tea
Lepra is encouraging you to gather your friends, bake some cakes and brew a few pots of tea, all in the name of International Women’s Day. This year the donations from the life changing tea campaign will be going to help women in India, Bangladesh and Mozambique who are affected by neglected diseases like leprosy and lymphatic filariasis. So if you can’t face venturing outside, stay in, throw a fundraising tea party and help women by talking with women.

Play: The Vagina Monologues
Brighton, Sunday 6 March
Speak Up! Act Out! is staging Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues as part of a global initiative for women survivors against violence. They have described the political play as ‘a must see for everyone whether they have a vagina or not!’ We’re sold already.



Play: Schlock!
Oxford, Tuesday 8 March
The Old Fire Station Theatre is putting on Schlock!, a powerful and subversive solo performance by Hanna Silva, that involves her ripping up her copy of Fifty Shades of Grey and slowly putting ‘the female body back together’. We’re intrigued.

Must read: The Second Sex
By Simone de Beauvoir

Released in 1949 by the French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir, this groundbreaking study of women is a classic, transforming perceptions of gender. It may not be a new release but it is every bit as powerful now as it was then.

Film Screening: Speed Sisters
London, Tuesday 8 March
The documentary screening held at BFI Southbank follows the world’s first all-female racing car team, from occupied Palestine, and covers the barriers that they had to overcome to succeed in a male-dominated sport in a patriarchal society. The director and team manager will be at the screening for a Q&A afterwards to celebrate the amazing women who helped make this documentary possible.



Event: WOW, Women of the World Festival
London, Tuesday 8  – Sunday 13 March
Southbank Centre’s Women of the World festival (WOW) celebrates women and girls across the globe, featuring over 150 events, including talks, debates, live music, workshops and speed mentoring.

Must Read: Headscarves & Hymens: Why The Middle East Needs A Sexual Revolution
By Mona Eltahawy

Journalist Mona Eltahawy is known for voicing her political opinions and in her first book, she condemns the repressive Middle Eastern forces and observes them reducing women to the status of second class citizens.

Film Screening:  London Film Archives: Women on Film
London, All March
The London Film Archives has created this unique documentary, showing only this month. ‘Women on Film’ features a package of archive clips that celebrate the portrayal of London women from the early 20s to the late 20th Century.

Wales

Film screening: The Great Grunswick Strike 1976-1978
Cardiff, Tuesday 8 March
Unite Wales are screening the Brent Trade Council film about this iconic strike to celebrate strike leader Jayaben Desai and the role of women in the labour movement all over the world.


 
North England:

Event: International Women's Day Festival
Derby, Sunday 5 March
The free festival promises inspiring speakers, wellbeing treatments and over 40 stalls ranging from local women’s groups and charities to arts & crafts, all under the 2016 theme ‘We Can Do It!’

Must read: Animal
By Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe’s Animal is an autobiography of the female body, making us reconsider everything from armpit hair to zygots. It’s not published just yet but it will be available in May.

Event: DIY Taster Sessions
Leeds, Monday 7- Wednesday 9 March
Leeds College of Building is marking International Women’s Day by organising free taster sessions to women interested in learning DIY skills. You can master the basics and even try your hand at more advanced manoeuvres, including plumbing, electrics, tiling, carpentry, plastering and brickwork.



Event: I am Visible Careers Fair
Nottingham, Monday 7 March
Visible Women are hosting a two-day careers festival for young women, giving both female school leavers and students the opportunity to meet high profile employers face-to-face and to network with prospective employers. Not to mention there will be TEDx-style talks and careers workshops.

Must read: Mexican Hooker #1 And My Other Roles Since The Revolution
By Carmen Aguirre
This powerful book follows the personal struggle and inspiring story of Carmen Aguirre, breaking away fro the stereotypes that were thrust upon her and finding her own voice. 

Film Screening: Suffragette
Manchester, Thursday 8 March
Suffragette is the perfect IWD film, telling the inspiring story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement. Starring Meryl Streep and Carrie Mulligan, it’s not one not to be missed. Plus did we mention that Helen Pankhurst (yes, the great-granddaughter of Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst) is going to be there discussing the movement after the film!?



Film Screening: Reel Women

Birmingham, Tuesday 8 March
The Drum theatre is hosting Reel Women: a collection of short films directed and produced by Birmingham-based females. Covering all manner of subjects, from dementia to reggae music, the event celebrates the female movement and highlights the need for more women in the film industry.

Event: The Women's Organisation
Liverpool, Tuesday 8 March
The Women’s Oranisation is bringing together Liverpool’s most established businesswomen for an evening, discussing their journeys to success, the future for enterprising females, and what we can do to make 2016 a great year for women in business.

Film screening: The Colour Purple
Sheffield, Wednesday 9 March
Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning novel, The Colour Purple is a must-see film starring Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg, moving and inspiring generations of women. Need we say more?



Scotland

Let’s Talk About Money
Glasgow, Tuesday 8 March
The 'Let's Talk About Money' lunch at Govanhill Baths kitchen promises to be not only delicious but inspiring, the conversation focusing on economic equality, encouraging women to talk about the issues at hand.

To join: The #IAmAStartup selfie campaign
Edinburgh
In the run up to International Women’s Day, join this inspiring social media campaign, #IAmAStartup. They are calling for investors, academics, business owners, organisations, mentors, entrepreneurs, students and staff to post a selfie with their advice for young women starting up a new compaign.



To join: Marie Claire’s Show Your Place campaign

Marie Claire is calling on women around the world to take a photo that represents their day-to-day lives, using our hashtag #ShowYourPlace. We want to show women as parents, doctors, journalists, refugees, farmers, coders, plumbers, maker up artists…Everything. It's a call to arms to show that women CAN be anything – but also a means of highlighting the discrimination faced be so many women around the world.

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