March is fast upon us (how? Just how?) which means only one thing. It is nearly one of my favourite days of the year. Whilst it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that I think we should shout from the rooftops the successes of the women in our lives every single day, Thursday 8th March is officially International Women’s Day.
Last year the theme for this most magnificent day was #BeBoldForChange (read more here). In the context of Trumps inauguration and the first Women’s March it is insane how poignant this phrase has become.
With #MeToo and #TimesUp, it is a pretty wicked time to be a woman. Chicks coming together to support each other, men standing alongside the women in their lives to say time is up on the toxic masculinity that has gone ignored for so long.
Yet I know, like last year, I will have more than a handful of conversations with men asking why we still need International Women’s Day and when is International Men’s Day?
To answer your second question- officially it is November 19th but it is mediocre white, middle class men’s day every day of the year. And I get it, it is uncomfortable to come face to face with the ways that women are still being harassed and silenced. I am not so hot on it myself.
But the reason we still need International Women’s Day is that when you joke with your friends that a girl is a slut for wearing a short skirt (because apparently that is still a thing) it makes it dangerous for us to walk home alone at night. It allows judges to tell girls who have been raped that maybe if they had fought back harder they wouldn’t have been attacked. It enforces the belief that victims are to blame. We are used to the headlines that 100 more school girls have been taken by Boko Haram, millions of girls still do not have access to education and reproductive rights for women around the world are continuing to be violated.
The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report told us that gender parity is still over 200 years away. There has never been a better time to keep up momentum- to come together with all of your friends, have some cocktails or a coffee and recognize the ambition and ability of the women around you. To unite under the theme #PressforProgress.
If, like me, you intend to be as loud about International Women’s Day as you can possibly be then why not do it with other people? If you want to find a space to do this go to https://www.internationalwomensday.com/events
As I will be spending the run up in Manchester here are some of the places you should join me-
Walk for Women: Saturday 3rd March 1:30 St Peters Square
Ending with speeches from some of Manchester’s most brill women ( Claire Mooney, Shirley May, Sarah Judge, Aisha Mirza and Jackie Hagan to name a few) providing the beast from the east has spared us and we really aren’t facing Snowmagedon, the walk for women will be a great opportunity to get together with friends and meet new people. For more information…
Pen:Chant & Gorilla present ‘SHE PWR’: Thursday 8th March 6pm- 1am Gorila
This is essentially a massive party bursting at the seams with art, craft, performance, talks, DJs, music and glitter (GLITTER)! Between 6 and 8 entry is free and there will be Q&A sessions with prominent female creatives and entrepreneurs, a maker’s market selling locally made crafts, an art exhibition, live music, DJs, cocktails, canapés and a glitter station! 8 until late you’ll need a ticket and the main club space will host a special show from Pen:Chant guest hosted by alt-cabaret live wires Eggs Collective. Think drinks and glitter, spoken word and live music.
Dancing in my Nuddy Pants: Thursday 8th March 11pm- 3am The Deaf Institute
With a strap line like ” Apply your longest boy entrancers, assemble your Ace Gang, and strap up your basoomas; we’re bringing a celebration of Georgia Nicolson” how was I supposed to miss this event? Celebrating 10 years since Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging changed your life this will be the only way to spend next Thursday night. There will be 00’s pop and indie hits, hopefully all the Sex Gods of Manchester and your gal pals. Organizers will also be collecting sanitary products for The Monthly Gift – a charity which provides tampons and sanitary towels for homeless women across Manchester. This is the spirit of International Women’s Day wrapped up in one! You will need tickets (search on Facebook).
There are so many more spaces around the city exhibiting art and photography, Q&A’s and meet-ups. Get on twitter, source your glitter and get excited!