From brave suffragettes to record-breaking graffiti artists, International Women’s Day is a chance to recognise, celebrate and further the amazing achievements of women today and throughout history.
As well as the Million Women Rise march, set to take over the streets of London on 8 March – International Women’s Day itself – London has all sorts of exciting and fascinating events taking place throughout the month. So if you don’t know your Mary Wollstonecraft from your Malala Yousafzai, or if you just want to enjoy great art, music and debate created by women, check some of these events out…
Women of the World Festival at the Southbank Centre
WOW, the Southbank Centre’s annual festival of talks, debates, performance and activism celebrating women and girls is back. There’s something for everyone, with politics, science, sex, fashion, war and power on the discussion menu. Highlights include comedy from Sandi Toksvig, inspiring words from Malala Yousafzai and music from Ronnie Spector. 5-9 Mar
Meet Mary Seacole at the Museum of London Docklands
As part of the International Women’s Day celebrations at the Museum of London Docklands you can Meet Mary Seacole (pictured above), the unsung hero of nursing who was known to the troops as Mother Seacole. Other activities include the Wonderful Women interactive tour and The Meeting of Two Queens, the true story of the encounter between Grace O’Malley, the Irish Pirate Queen, and Queen Elizabeth I. 8 Mar
Femme Fierce Leake Street Takeover
See 100 female graffiti artists and painters break a new world record as they paint the 300-metre-long Leake Street Tunnel in Lambeth, South London, in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness. Femme Fierce Leake Street Takeover is organised by Street Art Agency in partnership with Cre8 Gallery, Paint my Panda and GOT (Girls on Top). Watch the action live or even get involved yourself (after purchasing your ticket, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info). 8 Mar
In the Booth, In the Gallery: Votes for Women at The Jewish Museum London
Learn about the part Jewish women played in the campaign for votes for women – and their fight for equal rights for synagogue membership – in this fascinating talk at the Jewish Museum London. Led by tour guide and author Rachel Kolsky, the event commemorates 100 years since the National Gallery’s ‘Rokeby Venus’ painting was slashed by the suffragette Mary Richardson in 1914. 9 Mar
Women of the Great War at The New Cavendish Club
Did one of your female relatives serve in World War I as a nurse, in the Voluntary Aid Detachment or in the Ambulance corps? Then Age Exchange want to hear from you! The charity is working on a project entitled Children of the Great War and are inviting people to come down and share their stories with an interviewer. Women of The Great War takes place at The New Cavendish Club, and is free but booking is required. Don’t forget to being your letters, photographs and other treasures to be photographed. 8 Mar
Women’s History Month in East London
Forget one day, events celebrating the achievements of women are taking place throughout the month of March in East London. Just a few of the many exciting events taking place include: Women at the National Gallery (National Gallery, 8 and 22 Mar), Muhammad Ali And Me (Rich Mix, 9 Mar) and The Real World: Art, Gender and the Media Discussion (Whitechapel Gallery, 6 Mar). For the full programme visit the Alternative Arts website.
The Sistren at Fairfield Halls
History is brought to life at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls, as the true stories of three inspiring women who fought for equal rights are adapted for the stage in The Sistren. The women are: writer Mary Wollstonecraft, the founder of modern feminism; Claudia Jones, founder of the first Black British weekly newspaper and the Notting Hill Carnival; and suffragette Emma Lloyd Sproson, Wolverhampton’s first female councillor.
Birds Eye View Film Festival
The Birds Eye View film festival, celebrating female filmmakers, doesn’t properly start until 8 April but the organisers are hosting a special launch event on International Women’s Day, with a screening of Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. The documentary traces the story of the Wonder Woman figure and introduces real-life superheroines. 8 Mar