Wednesday 8 March marks International Women’s Day, a day to show solidarity, promote equality and celebrate girl power in all of its glory. Greater Manchester has been home to incredible and influential women over the years, some of them have changed history almost singlehandedly. It’s time to celebrate women past, present and future, to create a society that not just creates equal opportunities for everyone but ensures that no matter what gender, background and circumstances you come from, you have the chance to thrive.   

Tour group standing in front of Manchester's Emmeline Pankhurst statue

Greater Manchester is a huge advocate for equality and for celebrating inspirational females, so it’s no surprise that plenty is going on across the city-region to mark International Women’s Day. 

Here are just a few highlights to help you celebrate women in style this year: 

1. Walk for Women  

As part of their International Women's Day celebrations, Manchester City Council is hosting the Walk for Women on Saturday 4th March. Walking from Manchester Cathedral to Central Library, the walk provides an ideal opportunity for everyone to come together from family and friends, colleagues and strangers. The only criterion is that everyone who joins the walk must share a passion for equality and creating opportunities for Manchester women. Walkers are encouraged to bring along fun, safe and noisy instruments to bang and clang, and make their voices heard by joining in the chants. It doesn’t matter if you come alone or as part of a group, the walk is totally free, and anyone can take part and will be welcomed with that warm, Manchester spirit. If you'd like to, you can register your group to have an official place on the walk. 

2. Celebrate International Women's Day with The Vibrancy Hub  

Ready to show the world that you’re a superwoman? This International Women’s Day, The Vibrancy Hub are hosting a thought-provoking workshop at Pot Kettle Black in Barton Arcade. On Wednesday 8 March, you can connect with like-minded women, revel in each other's superpowers through self-reflection, discussion and collaboration to show how you can shine. There will even be a high-vibe rave to help you make the most of that positive energy. Tickets cost £35 but include canapes, a drinks token and a whole lot of motivation and girl power. 

3. Emmeline: The Suffragette Movement 

Celebrating one of Manchester’s best-known female icons this International Women’s Day, Theatre Lab Company presents  Emmeline: The Suffragette Movement, by Beatrice Hyde, directed by Anastasia Revi. Head to the Waterside Arts in Sale to see the story of Emmeline Pankhurst brought to life. Follow the journey of the inspirational leader of the Suffrage movement on her life's mission to achieve the vote for women and delve into the family dynamics of the Pankhursts. This story of courage is sure to inspire you and reinforce your confidence to fight for what’s right this International Women’s Day. 

4. Illuminate Women's Music With Trio Sonorité 

This International Women’s Day, Chorlton Mill will be filled with stunning classical music, performed by Trio Sonorite. Illuminate Women’s Music with Trio Sonorite is a unique performance that is sure to leave you feeling inspired. Playing an array of works by female composers past and present including Louise Farrenc, Errollyn Wallen and Clara Schumann, this pianist, cellist and clarinettist will fill the mill with stunning sounds. Hosted by The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, this concert is one of five across the UK aiming to celebrate the creativity of women as composers and performers. Come together to honour women in music this International Women’s Day with tickets costing £10 and £5.50 for concessions. 

5. International Women's Day guided tours at the People’s History Museum 

Exterior view of Manchester's People's History Museum

 Learn all about the radical women of Manchester that paved the way for us and future generations this International Women’s Day at The People’s History Museum. The museum’s Head of Collections and Engagement Jenny Mabbott is offering exclusive one-hour guided tours of the main galleries, sharing her expert knowledge on the incredible women who have campaigned for equality over the past 200 years. What could be a better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than exploring the lives of women reformists, Chartists, suffragists, suffragettes, MPs, radicals and revolutionaries? The tours will run at 11 am and 1 pm on Wednesday 8 March. 

6. Vulva Voce at The Whitworth 

As part of their series of International Women's Day pop-up performances across Manchester, string quartet Vulva Voce will present two 30-minute sets of music by female composers from around the globe, spanning from the Renaissance period to the present day. Vulva Voce is an all-female genre-defying string quartet that brings exciting, dynamic performances of music composed by women and underrepresented voices to spaces beyond the concert hall. All classically trained, but with interests in folk, jazz, improvisation, contemporary classical, and experimental music making, their performances are a unique delve into female composers from across centuries. The performances will take place on Wednesday 8 March in the Whitworth Art Gallery at 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm and are free to attend. 

7. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles  

On Wednesday 8 March, HOME will be showcasing a European cult classic voted to be the Greatest Film of All Time on the prestigious Sight and Sound 2022 list. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles directed by Chantal Akerman presents three days in the life of a widow who lives with her teenage son, and who prostitutes herself at home to make ends meet. This is a rare opportunity to see a highly-rated French film on the big screen, especially for International Women’s Day. HOME will be showing the film at 6:30 pm on Wednesday 8 March. 

8. MCR Sew Social International Women's Day Online Textile Art Exhibition 

For those of you who would rather join an online event from the comfort of your sofa this International Women’s Day, Bury’s MCR Sew Social will be hosting an incredible online exhibition for female-identifying artists and textile makers based in Greater Manchester to celebrate International Women's Day. The exhibition will launch online on Tuesday 8 March 2022 with an opening night Zoom event from 7 pm. Tickets will be free. MCR Sew Social are passionate about showcasing the beauty of textile work as an art form and International Women's Day is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the collective voices of our local womxn artist from across the region. 

9. International Women's Day Exhibition at Great Northern 

Art exhibition space in Manchester's Great Northern

In celebration of International Women's Day, Great Northern will be hosting a pop-up exhibition celebrating the amazing women artists we have here in Greater Manchester! Held at The Village Hall on Deansgate Mews, in the Great Northern Warehouse from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 March, the exhibition champions the work of female-identifying artists across the city-region, showing the variety of work and talent. The exhibition will present a wide variety of artworks with prints for sale. There will be a private launch on Friday 10 March, plus, an evening of artist talks on Saturday 11 March. 

10. IWD'23 Girl Boss Equity Festival 

This International Women's Day, let's be defined by Verbs. Head to St Peter’s House on Oxford Road to join a community of collaborative women, celebrating individual stories and skills, and coming together for equity. The IWD’23 Girl Boss Equity Festival is a celebration of female strength, induvial stories and the fight for equity not just equality. There will be plenty of feminist story-telling and live music alongside vegan West African food, wine and drinks. Women from all boroughs of Greater Manchester will showcase their art, crafts, baking and more across some market stalls. Plus, there will be “Small. Fierce. Feminist” sessions for 7-11-year-olds who identify as female. This celebration of equity and those who identify as female will be held on Thursday 9 March from 5 pm to 9 pm. 

To find out more about events across the city-region for International Women’s Day visit our What’s On page

Make sure you’re following us on TikTok and Instagram for all of the latest updates and inspiration for things to do across the city-region.  

For more inspiration and news about what’s going on in Manchester, visit our blog.  




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