International Women’s Day 2015: Manchester

It’s been a 104 years since the idea to celebrate female achievements and raise awareness of women’s issues formed into International Women’s Day (IWD). In fact, it was 8 March 1910 that activist Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of such a day, before a range of women’s groups, unions and clubs steadily took up the annual commemoration the year after.

For 25 years, Manchester’s women organisations, partners and individuals have been setting up yearly themes for the celebrations. This year’s theme is ‘Breaking Through’ – highlighting the accomplishments of women who succeeded against the odds.

Throughout the city, there are events funded through Manchester City Council grant fund pot for local not-for-profit organisations. Over the years, IWD has gradually become International Women’s Week whereby the week leading up to March 8 has events that celebrate female success whilst highlighting the work yet to be done.

Although events have been on all week, there are still many events happening not only today but until the month’s end. Just to mention a few:

  • The Lesbian and Gay Foundation’s Sugar and Spice – March 8 – is celebrating IWD for lesbian and bisexual women with fun events, workshops, discussions, a family-friendly vintage tea dance, free massages and free food.
  • Over at the People’s History Museum in Spinningfields is a fascinating Breaking Through: Women Throughout History Spearheaded by Greater Manchester Youth Network and community artist Quina Chapman, the event which is part of Wonder Women Radical Manchester explores the collections at the museum and this year’s IWD theme. With poetry, creative writing and pop-up performances, the event is free however a suggested £3 has been noted in order to help continually make the event affordable to everyone. The event is on all day.
  • Breaking Through: shared stories of Hulme women is a family event on today in Hulme Hall at the Claremont Centre. The event celebrates how women in Hulme break through obstacles on a daily basis by defying the stereotypes people have of Hulme. Workshops artwork, videos, and drop-in sessions with story presentations are part of the day’s agenda. For the kids, a bouncy castle is also available to keep them entertained.
  • On Thursday 12 March from 7pm to 9pm, the Bangkok Bar will host a fun and uplifting evening of performances on an all women platform. Still I Rise – inspired by the late Maya Angelou – highlights the talents and struggles of women across the globe. The Come for an evening of spoken word and poetry plus theatre and music – all free too.

TNT News Yasin Chinembiri

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