International Women’s Day is a weird one. It should be a very, very good thing. It’s 24 hours for us to use to a) remember the women (both cis and trans) who’ve fought for our rights and b) to look to the future and ask: how much further have we got to go?
Often, though, this translates to #empowering pink versions of beers, round ups of #kickass and #badass celebrity selfies and calls to #leanin by buying a new skincare line.
If you’re looking for actual good IWD stuff though – the kind of thing that will make you feel inspired and encouraged to keep fighting the good ol' fight – then we've picked out three decent London events coming up next month to mark the March 8 event. And if you don't see anything you fancy here, head over to our international site to read a few more suggestions for good stuff to stream on IWD.
The Southbank Centre’s annual weekend of panels, talks, workshops and performances is going online this year. And for the first time ever it’s free to attend. Running from March 1 to 21, highlights of the event include Kimberle Crenshaw on coining the term intersectionality and the #SayHerName campaign, the founder of No More Page 3 on sex in lockdown and Tabitha Goldstaub on how to navigate gender bias in technology. There’ll also be a virtual space for pre-teen feminists to hang out and workshops on everything from radical childcare and how to be an active bystander to plumbing.
2. WOM Collective’s Brixton Village Courtyard takeover
The art scene, eh. It just loves blokes. Only 13.7% of living female artists have work in galleries in Europe and North America. And outside of galleries – on the trendy street art scene – things are pretty male centric too. WOM Collective – a platform that champions female street artists – is hoping to change that. For IWD its putting on an event called WOM-INSPIRED. From March 6 until April 12 it’s bringing together 30 artworks by female artists about ‘what empowers them as women’ and it’s putting them on display in Brixton Village Courtyard. The event kicks off with a live mural painting by six artists on opening day.
You can always rely on the Museum of London to dig out some decent pictures and artefacts that tell stories of activism from years gone by. For IWD they’re doing just that, putting their 2018-19 exhibition 'Votes for Women' online for you to peruse in your lunch break. The show was originally put on to mark the centenary of votes for (some) women and told the story of the struggle to achieve female representation in parliament. Now it’s all available to view for free online: from the history of the Suffragettes to the Deeds Not Words campaign.