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Ways to celebrate International Women’s Day in Manchester

How you can celebrate the city’s radical past and its bright future for women
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Walk for Women this International Women's Day in Manchester

It’s International Women’s Day on 8th March, the annual event that celebrates female achievement and focuses attention on the continuing fight for gender equality.

Manchester is the home of strong influential women.

The annual occasion dedicated to commemorating the movement for women’s rights is all the more reason to celebrate.

After all, the fight for female rights was forged for many here in Manchester – not only the city’s radical past contributing towards greater political power in the form of the Representation of the People Act 1918 – but here the Suffragette movement was also founded.

The event has particular resonance in Manchester where suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst was born and later rallied the troops from her home on Nelson Street.

In October 1903, the first meeting of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) was held at 62 Nelson Street – not too far from what is now The University of Manchester – then home to the defiant political activist Emmeline Pankhurst who was named the greatest northerner of all time.

Now it is the base of the Pankhurst Centre, a museum you can still visit today. A statue of Emmeline was unveiled on St Peter’s Square in 2018.

Suffragette activity emerged out of The WSPU – with marching rallies through the city centre and public speeches from the Pankhurst family.

Specific Manchester buildings have their share of women’s history here, too.

For example, the Free Trade Hall is not only the place where Emmeline’s daughter Christabel and friend Annie Kenney interrupted a Liberal Party conference by demanding greater rights for women and were arrested, but the first public meeting on the issue of women’s rights was held here even earlier in 1868; itself led by a woman – Lydia Becker.

And the history of strong women here has continued, from politicians to women in Manchester music to so many more.

And then, of course, we’re coming up to the occasion to celebrate the ultimate woman in all our lives – Mum’s the word – it’s Mother’s Day on the 10th.

So, it’s no surprise there will be plenty of ways to mark the occasion.

From all-female DJ nights to an informative tour and inspiring debates, here are just a few of the ways to get involved in the coming days.

International Women’s Day in Manchester

The Pankhurst Centre

The Pankhurst Centre
Photo: Pankhurst Trust

The Pankhurst Centre is marking International Women’s Day (8 March 2024) with open day activities for all on Thursday 7 March and Sunday 10 March and a day of craftivism on Friday 8 March.

The suffragettes were pioneering craftivists, using their sewing skills to create protest banners and sashes before the term had even been coined.

Today craftivism is a growing form of community-spirited activism that carries messages created by hand, often by stitching, to ask questions and prompt discussion.

Bringing craftivism to the Pankhurst Centre on Friday 8 March are the Kings Arms Prickers and you are invited to join them in a workshop to make hand-sewn bunting that will add colourful creativity to the Pankhurst Centre.

There are two sessions taking place; one running from 2 pm to 4 pm, and one from 6 pm to 8 pm.

As well as guidance from the Kings Arms Prickers all the materials will be provided, plus tea, coffee or a glass of bubbly will be served. The sessions are for all skill levels and suitable for ages 18+.

Tickets can be booked in advance here.

Feel Good Club X Manchester City

Karen Bardsley International Womens Day
Karen Bardsley

To mark International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March, Man City will be holding a special event to celebrate women in sport at Feel Good Club’s cafe in the Northern Quarter (26-28 Hilton Street, Manchester, M1 2EH).

Attendees will be able to hear from Karen Bardsley, former player and Girls Academy Manager, Charlotte O’Neill, Managing Director – Manchester City Women, Heather Leigh, Director of Product at Manchester City and more to be confirmed, on topics including working in football, mental health and the impact sport can have on physical and mental wellbeing.

Tickets cost £5 and all proceeds will go to Manchester City’s official charity, City in the Community, to help support its City Girls Programme, a project that engages female participants with free football training, leadership and mentoring opportunities.

When? Friday, 8th March 2024

Where? Feel Good Club Hilton Street, M1 2EH

Tickets include a drink (beer, prosecco or nosecco). For more details click here

International Women’s Day at The Lowry Hotel

Join the team at The Lowry Hotel for an extraordinary afternoon dedicated to the celebration of International Women’s Day.

Indulge in a luxurious three-course lunch accompanied by a half bottle of wine, and drink upon arrival.

Join us to commemorate the values of International Women’s Day as Liz Taylor and her guests share how they fought discrimination and soared to the pinnacle of their careers… plus how they feel society can challenge stereotypes of women and celebrate women’s achievements more openly.

Liz Taylor, CEO of Taylor Lynn Corporation remains a leader in the event industry for over 35 years and is renowned for her groundbreaking creativity, next-level entertainment and detailed event planning.

You can get tickets by clicking here.

When? Friday, 8th March – 12pm – 4.30pm.

Where? The Lowry Hotel 50 Dearmans Place, Chapel Wharf, Salford, Manchester, M3 5LH

Plenty of laughs at the Frog and Bucket

Manchester’s legendary Frog and Bucket are celebrating our incredible female comedians with a wonderful roster of stand-up shows for you to enjoy.

Luisa Omielan, Olga Koch, Sukh Ojla, Kiri Pritchard, Femmes and Thems, Catherine Bohar, The Bechdel Castis are just a few names from the simply incredible lineup of female artists from Manchester and beyond.

So if you fancy some side-splitting comedy, why not head down to the Frog and laugh till you cry.

When? Various dates

Where? The Frog and Bucket Comedy Club, 102 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LJ

You can check out their website by clicking here

Heard Storytelling at Feel Good Club

Heard Storytelling

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Feel Good Club at an inclusive event showcasing the power of storytelling

Join their evening dedicated to sharing captivating true stories and lived experiences.

Their curated lineup of storytellers will take the stage, but they also welcome budding storytellers to join.

Whether you have a story to share or simply want to listen, Feel Good Club’s amazing audience will make you feel right at home.

Feel free to come with an idea for a story or just enjoy the diverse narratives. There’s no pressure to step behind the mic.

These events are about the joy of listening to others’ voices, discovering the stories within each person, and connecting and learning together.

When: Wednesday, 6th March 06:30 PM

Where? Feel Good Club Hilton Street, M1 2EH

Get tickets here

Pioneering talks at RHS Garden Bridgewater

RHS garden Bridgewater

Head to RHS Garden Bridgewater on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 March for a weekend of talk and tours celebrating female heroes of horticulture, from the trailblazing pioneers of the 1900s, to the inspiring women making a difference today.

The packed programme of events and guest speakers will be hosted by RHS Director of Learning and Public Engagement, Dr Suzanne Moss. Suzanne holds a PhD in Garden history and in 2021 was named as one of Horticulture Week’s 100 leading women in horticulture.

From the radical lives of the earliest female gardeners to transforming your gardening hobby into a career to garden tours, urban foraging and creating gardens that change the lives of whole communities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Check out the full programme by clicking here

When? 9th and 10th of March

Where? RHS Garden Bridgewater, Occupation Rd, Worsley, Manchester M28 2LJ

Incredible food and cocktails at Stray


In celebration of International Women’s Day, Stray have collated a menu of cocktails showcasing the talent and passion of Manchester’s leading female bartenders, owners and operators.

From 4th – 10th March; 10 cocktails will feature on the Stray menu each of which has been created by one of the city’s incredible women leading the way in drinks.

Females featured on the menu come from SCHOFIELDS, Red Light, Blinker, Hawksmoor, Erst, The Jane Eyre, 10 Tib Lane, Pod and of course Stray.

You can check out what they’ve got on offer by clicking here

When? 4th – 10th March

Where? Stray, Eagle St, Manchester M4 5BU

Celebrating all things female at The Met

The Met will be holding an evening of celebrating all things female with an evening of music, workshops, food and drink and lots of dancing.

There will be a chance to discover the brilliant female-led businesses that are smashing it in Bury and the surrounding area, meet new people and enjoy an evening of excellent entertainment.

The line-up includes: demos from Prestwich’s very own RockFit; an appearance by Bury FC Women who will be there to share information about their women’s teams and how local women can get involved in playing football; The Power of Repair’ workshop with Stitched Up; a performance by Kike Adenowo; plus sounds from Wax and Beans DJ Loren.

 There will be a host of stalls featuring local businesses including: Bev Acton Illustration;  Aking Sinta Jewellery; Cute Things by Aggie; work by surface pattern designer and printmaker, Lily Windsor Walker; garden power from Gardenhers; the Teapot Bakery; plus a vintage clothing booth from Stumberlina Vintage.

When? Friday, March 8th at 7:30pm

Where? The Met, Market Street, Bury BL9 0BW

You can get tickets by clicking here

Lass Fest Caberet at GRUB

Lass Fest Grub International Womens Day

A special International Women’s Day cabaret is coming to Lass Fest at GRUB Mcr.

Ember Travixen will be bringing a special spin on her ‘Ember & the Vixens’ cabaret to CULTPLEX at GRUB to celebrate International Women’s Day on the day itself (Friday 8th March 2024).

This time leaning more into the circus world than ever before, Selina Helliwell’s lavish show will transform the gorgeous cinema room at GRUB Mcr into a night of female empowerment.

‘Ember’s International Women’s Day Special’ will feature live music, burlesque, circus & more. And the all-female cast is more than ready to entertain, empower and dazzle.

Lass Fest happens every year on the week of International Women’s Day – it’s a festival at GRUB bursting with events to celebrate amazing women in Manchester and beyond – with an overarching theme of supporting and promoting feminist founders and female-owned businesses (such as Selina Helliwell Productions)!

When? Friday, 8th March 2024

Where? 50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M4 4HF

You can get tickets by clicking here

All female DJ line-up at Brickhouse Social

Brickhouse Social has announced a special International Women’s Day event celebrating the power of females on 8th March between 7pm-2am.

With two floors of performing artists, DJ’s and singer-songwriters, the all female line-up will take over the venue with a specially curated evening celebrating women, music and community.

From 9 pm the main bar will host a giant party with a secret all-female line up of the city’s finest DJ’s allowing guests to dance the night away until 2am curated by two of the very best selectors in the city, Miriam Vaughan and Beth Donovan.

Guests will also have the opportunity to support the incredible work of The Pankhurst Trust with donations at the door.

When? Friday, 8th March between 7pm and 2pm

Where? 11-13 New Wakefield St, Manchester M1 5NP

Entry is free and tickets can be reserved by clicking here.

Walk for Women 2024

The Walk for Women is back again for International Women’s Day 2024.

Meet at 12 noon on Mount Street behind Central Library (by the John Cassidy ‘Ardrift’ statue).

The walk will be along Mount Street and through Albert Square to Brazennose Street, before turning right into Deansgate and continuing all the way to Manchester Cathedral.

This walk is an opportunity to come together with family and friends, colleagues – and strangers too – to share our passion for equality and creating opportunities for Manchester women.

You’re encouraged to bring along fun, safe and noisy instruments to bang and clang, or make the most of your voice and join us with our chants.

Whether you’re a lone ranger or part of a group, we’d love to see you walking: there’s no fee to join the 2024 Walk for Women and anyone can take part.

When? Saturday, 9th March from 12 pm – 2:30 pm

Where? Meet at Mount Street behind Central Library at 12 pm.

The event is free, but you’ll have to register by clicking here

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

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