Here’s how to celebrate International Women’s Day

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...

Words by Emma Richards

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

The theme for this year is #BeBoldForChange, empowering women to stand up worldwide and mark the occasion in any way that they can.

To commemorate International Women’s Day (and the week surrounding it), we have picked out our favourite events across the country from plays, film screenings and conferences to books, films and activities to help you celebrate this awesome occasion.

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…

How to celebrate International Women’s Day in South England

Event: International Women’s Day Festival
Brighton & Hove, Saturday 4 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: WOW: Women of the World Festival
London, Tuesday 7th- Sunday 12th March
London’s Southbank centre is holding a variety of events to help celebrate women and girls across the globe. The programme contains six full days of discussions, debates, live music and performances, featuring some famous female artists, activists and writers, including Gillian Anderson, Angela Davis, Sandi Toksvig, Jennifer Nadel and more.

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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 to symbolise.

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.

Event: #SHECAN
London, West Kensington, Wednesday 8th March
Hosted by the International Women’s Peace Group UK, #SHECAN will be speaking out and celebrating the talent of London women. Hoping to inspire and encourage other women through their performances, expect to see acts from Kimmy Beatbox, girl band Trills, Bethan McEvoy and dance group D4 Girls.

Suffragette

Film Screening: Who’s counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics
London. Betchel International Centre, Wednesday 8th March
This powerful documentary by Marilyn Waring explores the language of economics and the stereotypical views of unpaid work (usually performed by women), verses the environmentally and socially hazardous work (usually performed by men), regarded as productive.

Event: Southampton International Women’s Day Celebrations
Westquay shopping centre Southampton, Saturday 11th March
A jam packed day of entertainment, education and excitement. Embracing women’s achievements throughout society, with a range of dance, music, science and fashion, all under the 2017 theme #BeBoldForChange.

Play: Women Stand Up
London. Leicester Square Theatre, Wednesday 8th March
‘Women Stand Up’ is a night featuring female comics, all of who are celebrating International Women’s Day and raising money for Oxfam and Comic Relief. Tickets cost £20 and include performances from Shappi Khorsandi and Bridget Christie Mae Martin.

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.

How to celebrate International Women's Day

Event: Free Charity and Burlesque Class and World Record Attempt
London, Saturday 11th March 1pm-3pm
Be Bold for Change and learn to Burlesque. This sisterly event is open to all and is taking place in London’s Juju’s Bar and Stage, with all proceeds going to SANE UK. There is a chance to be a part of a New World Record and dress up if you wish. 

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.

How to celebrate International Women’s Day in Wales

Film screening: Vera Drake
Cardiff, Tuesday 7th March  
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act and to commemorate this along with International Women’s Day, Unite Cardiff have teamed up with the Cardiff Abortion Rights group to premiere Vera Drake. Starring Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake tells the heartbreaking story of a working class woman in 1950’s London, who performed illegal abortions.

How to celebrate International Women's Day

How to celebrate International Women’s Day in North England

Event: International Women’s Day Women’s Choir
Derby, Saturday 11th March
A choir aiming to bring local women together at the International Women’s Day festival, held at Market Place Cathedral Quarter.

Event: International Women’s Day 5K Fun Run
Manchester, Saturday 11th March
A fun run promoting and celebrating Women in every way possible.

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, Wednesday 8 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.


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: Syria’s Rebellious Women
Rethink Rebuild Society, Manchester, Sunday 12th March
The award winning journalist Zaina Erhaim invites you to a film screening of Syria’s Rebellious Women. The film shows 18 months in war-torn Aleppo from a female point of view. After the screening there will be the opportunity to meet and hear from the Syrian women themselves, who will share how they overcame their personal battles and struggles .

How to celebrate International Women’s Day in Scotland

Event: Engender’s One Day Conference
Edinburgh, Wednesday 8th March
This event aims to bring people together to discuss, and reflect on the progress made towards gender equality. There will be opportunities to hear speakers and take part in discussions on subjects ranging from women in the economy to child poverty.

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