Wednesday 8th March marks International Women’s Day, where we celebrate all the wonderful achievements of women, whilst also examining how we can support women further and fight for true equality. Manchester is often at the forefront of social change as the UK’s ‘second city’, with a rich history of pushing boundaries and supporting those who don’t conform to societal norms, so International Women’s Day is a must for Mancs.
The city was a huge part of the suffragette movement, with Emmeline Pankhurst having called Manchester home, and still upholds those values even now with the likes of the Pankhurst Trust and the People’s History Museum – so it only seems right to celebrate International Women’s Day here in Manchester. We’ve put together a guide of what’s going on and how you can get involved on 8th March, on the theme ‘Embrace Equity’.
1. The Pankhurst Centre
Firstly, The Pankhurst Centre has a day jam-packed with inspirational women. They are celebrating the legacy of one of the leaders of the suffrage movement with a talk about Lydia Becker (1827-1890) to mark International Women’s Day. On Wednesday 8th March (6pm to 8pm) you are invited to the birthplace of the suffragette movement for an evening full of music, talk, good company and lots of inspiration.
Sharing the story of Lydia Becker is author Joanna M Williams, who will be bringing her book The Great Miss Lydia Becker: Suffragist, Scientist and Trailblazer from the page to the Pankhurst parlour. Visitors will also enjoy the rare opportunity to visit the museum by night, where they will discover more about all of the Pankhurst family. Tickets for ‘The Great Miss Lydia Becker’ are £10 and bookable here.
The Pankhurst Centre, 60-62 Nelson St, Manchester, M13 9WP.
2. 20 Stories Business Brunch
Manchester landmark 20 Stories will be hosting a ‘Business Brunch‘, inviting women to come along for a networking brunch of pastries and coffee, followed by a powerful Q&A event with some of Manchester brightest female figures. These include Founder of Martyn’s Law, campaigner and educational speaker Figen Murray OBE, Head of Premium Sales at Co-op Live Becci Thomson, and Joint Artistic Director at Royal Exchange Theatre Bryony Shanahan. This event is also in aid of Manchester Women’s Aid, part of The Pankhurst Trust, who support women to challenge gender inequality and ensure those suffering from domestic violence are provided with the support they need.
Tickets, which are priced at £25, will include a panel discussion and a breakfast buffet of hot sandwiches, pastries, fruit and a selection of tea and coffee. They can be purchased here.
20 Stories, NO. 1, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB.
3. Walk for Women
The annual Walk For Women will be held this Saturday 4th March in Manchester, organised by Manchester City Council. Women, their families and anyone supportive of women’s rights and equality are all welcome to walk the route from Manchester Cathedral to St Peter’s Square, to which you can officially sign up or just tag along on the day. Walkers are encouraged to bring anything they can bang and clang to bring as much attention to the walk as possible, as well as water bottles if they aren’t used to walking – no emergencies here!
You can find more information, where to sign up and the walking route here.
4. ‘Heard Live’ at Feel Good Club
‘Heard Live‘ is an inclusive event of true spoken storytelling this International Women’s Day. The evening will give a platform to captivating true stories on the lived experiences of women. As well as enjoying a curated line up of storytellers, there will be a couple of spaces open for budding storytellers. Show up with an idea for a story or just sit back to listen – there is no pressure to get behind the mic. These events are as much about the joy of hearing the voices of others, of finding there’s a story in each person, and coming to connect and learn.
This event will also be raising money for the Pankhurst Trust, to “ensure the powerful story of the women who won the vote continues to inspire us all to challenge gender inequality, and to ensure that those suffering from domestic violence and abuse get the confidential help they need.”
The event will be held on 8th March, starting at 6:30pm, and you can find tickets here.
Feel Good Club, 26-28 Hilton Street, Manchester, M1 2EH.
5. Empowering Black Women during Menopause at CAHN
The Caribbean & African Health Network (CAHN) will be hosting their flagship event, Empowering Black Women during Menopause, on 8th March in Trafford. CAHN are aiming to create a space where people across communities and professions are enriched through education, empowerment presentations, and celebrations of the Black Woman. The event will be split into two parts: first will be a conference style event, with Dr Annice Mukherjee Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist and other professionals from 2:30pm, followed by interactive performances, sharing of lived experience journeys through the menopause, presentations, dancing and a play at 6pm.
There will be an interval between the events where visitors will be encouraged to visit stalls, where they can enjoy cultural food and experience a range of holistic therapeutic treatments. Tickets can be booked here.
1 St Brides Way, Stretford, M16 9NW.
6. International Women’s Day Exhibition at Great Northern Warehouse
From Friday 10th – Sunday 12th March, The Village Hall in Great Northern Warehouse in Manchester will be home to a pop-up exhibition for International Women’s Day. The exhibition will celebrate female identifying artists, giving women artists of Manchester a platform to show their work, whether that’s paintings, photography, sculpture, textiles or anything else. The Art Talk will take place on the Saturday, with the artists talking through their work and careers, with bookable tickets available here. The exhibition will be free and you don’t need to book to have a wander around.
The Village Hall, Deansgate Mews, Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4EN.
7. Female takeover at Brickhouse Social
Wednesday 8th March will see Brickhouse Social taken over by women – who wouldn’t love that? The special Manchester International Women’s Day Event will celebrate the power of female, with all female DJs and songwriters performing all night between 7pm-2am. From 9:30pm 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 one of the very best selectors in Manchester, Miriam Vaughan.
Guests can also get their hands on pizza slices from £2.50, and all proceeds will once again go to the Pankhurst Trust. Entry is free but you should book your spot ahead of time here.
Brickhouse Social, 11-13 New Wakefield St, Manchester, M1 5NP.
8. Join a string quartet in retracing the steps of suffragettes
Manchester-based string quartet Vulva Voce is celebrating International Women’s Day with a series of pop-up performances at iconic cultural sites across Manchester city centre on 8th March. Over the course of the day they will be visiting Whitworth Art Gallery(12:30pm & 1:30pm), Manchester Art Gallery (3pm), the Emmeline Pankhurst statue (4pm), the Pankhurst Centre (5:45pm), and The Whiskey Jar (9pm). They will perform a mix of folk, jazz, and classical pieces composed by women from across the globe, spanning from the Renaissance period to the present day. All are open and free to the public apart from the set at the Pankhurst Centre, which will be part of their ticketed event.
9. Embrace Equity: The Digital Woman in 2023 meet up event
Tech and business groups have teamed up to celebrate International Women’s Day in Manchester, offering the chance for the community to connect, and learn from one another. On 8th March, visitors are welcome to drop into the meet up in Circle Square any time between 3pm – 8:30pm for a host of talks, workshops and networking with like-minded women in tech and digital. They’ll be discussing everything from kick-starting your career to the future for women working in the tech industry. Networking in the evening will include a selection of pizza and drinks – what could be better than this, combined with getting your career kickstarted? You can book your free spot here.
No 1 Circle Square, Oxford road, Manchester, M1 7FS.
10. Charity gin-tasting extravaganza at The Lawn Club
Manchester’s prestigious Lawn Club has partnered with the award-winning Agnes Arber Gin to host the ultimate gin tasting evening, all in the name of charity, and the incredible women – and non-binary folk – of Manchester.
All proceeds will go to The Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading equal rights charity, and for a £10 ticket you can expect: an introduction to Agnes Arber Gin, the inspiration behind the brand and how it’s made; a tasting session for each Agnes Arber Gin expression (three in total), guided by the brand’s gin experts; a full-sized Agnes Arber drink; and a goodie bag including a 5cl Agnes Arber mini, branded Copa glass and marketing material. What’s not to love? Get your tickets here.
The Lawn Club, Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3HG.
11. Women in the Law UK Conference
Women in the Law will host a full day of inspiration at their Conference on Friday 10th March, complete with networking lunch and after party. The day will start with a welcome by our founder Dr Sally Penni MBE, Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham and Managing Partner at Irwin Mitchell, Ros Bever. Topics will include wellbeing, business and the law, career progression, menopause, maternity and motherhood, financial wellbeing and women, and diversifying your skills.
The conference will run from 9:30am – 9pm, with a full run-down of the itinerary, amazing guest speakers and a link to tickets here.
12. Free yoga flow class at Ducie Street Warehouse
Why not celebrate International Women’s Day by showing how strong women can be – literally? Ducie Street Warehouse is hosting a free flow with superstar yogi Alex Zalewska in the Atrium on Saturday 11th March – all they ask is that you book in advance here, and bring your own mat!
Through the 75 minute class, you’ll tap into your true feminine power through this embodied yoga exploration, diving into the practice of self-love and learning to embrace all aspects of our feminine nature. Through yoga asana, free movement, ecstatic dance, meditation and Non-Dual Tantra philosophy. The class is open to all levels, so feel free to come as you are!
Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester, M1 2TP.
13. Girls run the decks at Ducie Street Warehouse
Ducie Street Warehouse is really going ham on International Women’s Day, and we love it. From 5pm til late on 8th March, the most ferociously talented female DJs in Manchester will take over, with DJ Poppy R and DJ Danielle M leading the celebrations of all things female! Just turn up and enjoy.
Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester, M1 2TP.
14. EMPOWER: A Celebration of Women in Music & the Arts
The Anthony burgess Foundation will be celebrating women on 10th March with an inspiring evening, striving to empower and create the change they want to see within the industry. The free, informal drop in event is a safe and inclusive space for everyone to learn, share, and ultimately empower each other to want to make a positive difference to society, through the sharing of music and experiences.
There will feature a series of short musical performances, from string quintet to jazz ensemble to voice with electronics, showcasing of some the finest music written by female composers, alongside premieres of new works by students from the Royal Northern College of Music. At 8pm there will be a panel discussion, including some impressive musical guests, as well as refreshments – all with only the encouragement to donate towards the work of EMPOWER. Book your space for free here.
International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 3 Cambridge St, Manchester, M1 5BY.