On Thursday 4 March, we kick off a busy programme of events as part of International Women’s Day 2021 activities.
Scroll down to see what's on during the festival and to book tickets.
International Women’s Day Festival is a time for debate, education, and celebration. The aim is to create shared spaces for you, the audience, along with academics, community organisers, activists and artists to explore universal feminist issues. The festival doesn’t cover everything, rather it responds to what you, our audiences, wanted to talk about.
We’re excited and honoured to have an outstanding line-up of women taking part in our 2021 festival. These speakers will cover an array of topics from maternity rights, assisted fertility and alternative routes to parenthood, mental health and wellbeing, hormones, race, sex and trauma. The ambition is to discuss nuanced subjects with empathy and acceptance at their heart (and to have some fun too).
Due to Covid-19, we can’t host any in-person events, however, that won’t stop us online. At a time of such uncertainty, our digital events will be a source of inspiration and motivation, as well as comfort and reassurance. We hope that through conversation we are emboldened by a collective unity to better support one another and promote positive change.
Thursday 4 March
3.45pm Kids Corner: Feminist Tales
The first of our two Kids Corner Storytelling sessions with Still I Rise Diversity Storytelling.
The team will read from not one, not two, but three books covering feminist heroes and gender stereotype-busting narratives.
1.15pm Lunch at the Vagina Museum: Muff Busters: Cleanliness
Join The Vagina Museum for a closer look at their inaugural exhibition Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How To Fight Them. This series of events with the Vagina Museum highlights just a handful of the myths that circulate in popular culture, the internet, and media about the gynaecological anatomy and hopes to prove that myths and legends are for fairy-tales, not our bodies. First up is cleanliness.
7pm Munroe Bergdorf in Conversation
Activist, model, and writer, Munroe Bergdorf opens International Women’s Day Festival at the MAC.
Join Yassin Brunger, Lecturer in Human Rights Law and Co-Director of the Queens University, Belfast, Gender Network, in conversation with Munroe about how their experiences have shaped their activism. Topics will include cancel culture vs. accountability, the representation of Black women and trans women, as well as Black Lives Matter, and how to embed your activism in your everyday.
Friday 5 March
1.15pm Pregnant then Screwed: Joeli Brearley's Journey
Two days after she informed her employer that she was pregnant with her first child, Joeli Brearley was sacked from her job by voicemail. Frighteningly, Joeli’s story is not unique, something she was quick to discover. Joeli launched Pregnant Then Screwed which started as a space for mothers to share their stories of discrimination and has become a national movement and charity dedicated to ending the systemic, cultural, and institutional discrimination faced by thousands of pregnant people and mothers every year.
Join Joeli as she talks about her activism, the impact of Pregnant Then Screwed, her new book, in conversation with activist, PhD researcher, community organiser, and mother, Kellie Turtle.
4.15pm Afternoon at the Vagina Museum: Muff Busters: Clitoris
Our second Muff Buster session with the Vagina Museum. This time it's all about the clitoris.
This will be an extended session with The Vagina Museum and includes a conversation between Museum founder, Florence Schechter, Curator, Sarah Creed, and Margaret Middleton which goes a little deeper into the museum’s story and Florence’s practice.
4.45pm Kids Corner: Loving Our Bodies
In Still I Rise's second storytelling session you'll discover the joys of remarkable new picture book It Isn’t Rude to be Nude from artist and illustrator Rosie Haine. Published by the TATE, powerful inky illustrations bring the message of body positivity for kids (and their grown-ups) alive. Everyone has a bum and nipples are normal! It isn't rude to be nude!
Saturday 6 March
11am Reclaim the Agenda Rally
Reclaim the Agenda bring their annual IWD Rally from Writers Square to you at home. This interactive online rally asks you to get your feminist swag on, grab your placard, and join Reclaim the Agenda and your fellow feminists from your living room for speakers and entertainment.
Find out more at www.reclaimtheagenda.com
2pm Fertility, Infertility, Assisted Reproduction: Routes to Parenthood
What do you know about fertility? What about infertility? What are your options if you want to become pregnant or be a parent?
This panel combines lived experience and expertise to discuss fertility, infertility, and assisted reproduction looking beyond the clickbait headlines and confusing statistics.
Sunday 7 March
2.30pm Overcoming Period Pain & PMS
Join us for this workshop with Women’s Health Coach, Lisa de Jong where we will dive into the neuroscience, biology and psychology of pain and PMS. Learn the tricks and tips to ease suffering and prevent pain in the first place. Yes, it’s much more than hot water bottles and painkillers!
Monday 8 March
7.30pm Soothing Stress and Living Well
Stress at home. Stress in work. Stress even when you're asleep!
If this doesn't sound like much fun, join us for an empowering workshop with Health Coach, Lisa de Jong, where we will look at the biology and neuroscience of stress, learn to understand our own personal triggers of stress, and some simple hacks to prevent stress from taking over our day.
Tuesday 9 March
1.15pm Lunch at the Vagina Museum: Muff Busters: Contraception
Our third and final session with the Vagina Museum and their muff busting magic, this one will be all about contraception.
Bring your questions and queries as there will be time for discussion.
4.30pm Cultivating our wellbeing and mental health
Join us for an enjoyable and engaging workshop with Health Coach, Lisa de Jong, where we will explore the deeper layers to our daily mental health and how we can empower ourselves and create more ease, flow and resilience in our everyday lives.
8pm Sex, Sexuality & Pleasure after Trauma
The traumas that we endure can be very complex and can range from emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental.
This event will speak to where trauma can manifest within our bodies, our actions and how that may affect us in the bedroom. We will talk about how to reclaim bodily agency and how to reconnect to your sexuality - which isn't just about sex. We will look at our entire bodies and beings.
Join Jimanekia Eborn, host of podcast Trauma Queen in conversation with Mardi Kennedy of The Rainbow Project as she speaks to some of the effects of trauma and tools that support healing.
Wednesday 10 March
1.15pm Money, Money, Money: A Gender Equal Economy
Women are bearing the brunt of the economic and social fallout of COVID-19. Has this pandemic set progress back again?
Join our expert panel we curated with Lynn Carvill as they discuss the impact of the pandemic and what a gender-equal economy might look like.
3.30pm Leading with Intent: Leading with Purpose, Clarity, & Confidence
This session has been designed for people working in leadership roles, or those who might be interested in being a leader, who work in arts and/or culture.
Led by relational and leadership coach Alex Mecklenburg, this is a two-hour participatory session exploring what it takes to keep our own worst critic in check and how to take ownership of our professional journeys and accomplishments.
6pm Pregnant then Screwed?! Maternity Rights Clinic
The Maternity Rights Clinic offers you an opportunity to ask the experts questions and seek free advice with regards to your rights as an employee.
It also provides insight for employers to better support staff. Whether you just want to know a bit more about maternity discrimination and your rights or have an ongoing concern, this will be an informative session.
Thursday 11 March
4.30pm Representation in the Arts
Women continue to face pay disparity, multiple barriers to career progression and are under-represented in the arts across the UK. So what can we do?
Led by Esther Andare, Golden Thread Gallery’s New Needs Intern, we will hear from women who have led successful campaigns or projects with regards to revealing the imbalance, holding organisations to account, and building programmes of work that make real, positive change.