6 MARCH 2015

At the Fawcett Society we are working for a society in which individuals can fulfil their potential regardless of their sex. International Women’s Day (IWD) is a chance to reflect on the progress for gender equality and rally people around the gaps where more work is needed. It’s a chance to get people who wouldn’t normally engage in feminism to focus on women’s rights, even if for only one day. And it encourages solidarity among women around the world by celebrating acts of courage and determination by ordinary women across the world.

This year the UN theme of IWD is ‘Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!’, marking 20 years since the Beijing conference in 1995. That conference produced the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights. IWD can often be a joyful occasion to recognise and celebrate.

International Women’s Day dates from around 1911and grew more to an established world-wide celebration from 1977 when the UN marked the day for women’s rights and world peace. IWD is a symbol that change is possible, and highlights what more work is still to be done.

At Fawcett we want a society where your biological or expressed gender is no longer the factor that drives the power or influence you have over your own life or the way you choose to live it.

Here’s a selection of some of the events linked to the Fawcett Society and our local groups around the UK taking place across the International Women’s Day weekend this year:

Bristol – Sat 7th March 11-17.00 FREE M Shed, Princes Wharf, Bristol, BS1 4RN

This International Women’s Day is for women to come together to celebrate Bristol women’s achievements and to make new connections across our communities and networks. Speakers, events, singing, crafts and stalls. http://www.bristolwomensvoice.org.uk/events/international-womens-day-8-march-2014/

Bury St Edmunds – Sat 7th March 19.30, Oakes Barn

Celebrate International Women’s Day with a Bury St Edmunds Fawcett quiz. Gather at 7:30pm with your team, or to find a team. We will also be launching our General Election Poster Campaign to encourage women to vote. https://www.facebook.com/groups/226664550802917/?fref=ts

Leicester – Sat 7th March 14.30-18.00, The Donkey Pub, Welford Road, Leicester

Celebrate International Women’s Day with music and poetry at The Donkey.  All proceeds to Women’s Aid Leicestershire.  Tickets £5.  Performers: Mellow Baku, Ola Szmidt, Meri Everitt, Jess Green and Anita Sivakumeran.

Leicester – Sun 8th March 18.30 Secular Hall, 75 Humberstone Gate, Leicester LE 1 1WB

Education and Muslim Girls – A joint event with Leicester Secular Society.  Dr Saeeda Shah of Leicester University discusses girls’ education in Pakistan and in the Muslim community in the UK in light of the attack on Malala Yousafzai.

London – Tue 10 March 18:30-20:30, Westminster, London

You will have the opportunity to put questions to a panel of MPs on issues surrounding women in Parliament, and steps that might be taken to ensure an improved gender balance in politics. The event is open to all. Tickets cost £5, and 100 per cent of the proceeds will be donated to the Fawcett Society’s Women in Power campaign. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/women-in-politics-audience-qa-with-mps-tickets-15631246479?utm_campaign=new_event_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb_email&utm_term=viewmyevent_button

Milton Keynes – Sat 7th March at 7pm, At York House Stony Stratford

With entertainment from Junction 14, Fairtrade and campaign stalls and speakers on Women and Democracy this will be a lively and entertaining evening. Food served from 7:30 pm. Cost: £10 (which includes food and entertainment). NB Tickets are limited to 50, so please book:  [email protected] or text 07818484221

Anna Mapson, Fawcett society trusteeABOUT AUTHOR

Anna is a trustee of the Fawcett Society and a member of Bristol local group