Last Updated on March 7, 2022
Seize the day – celebrate and contemplate the progress of gender equality:
We all do International Women’s Day differently – and that’s OK. However, I believe that we should all do one thing this year on Tuesday 8th March and that is to seize the day. The last two International Women’s Days have been forced to take place predominantly online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, across the globe, women’s rights and quality of life have eroded further due to the strain of the pandemic and it is time that we support the worldwide cause in any way we can. So, let’s seize International Women’s Day, with open minds and caring hearts.
Whether you want a cultural whirlwind of events, a plethora of meaningful talks and discussions, or a good evening out that contributes to charity, I’ve got you covered. Here are my top five ways to celebrate International Women’s Day:
Women of the World Festival, The Southbank Centre – 11th-13th March 2022:
The thing to do in London. Women of the World festival, celebrating girls, women and non-binary people is back for the twelfth year at the South Bank. Bringing a whole host of exciting speakers, from comedians and writers to poets and theatre makers, there is something for everyone at WOW.
Best-selling authors are plentiful at WOW, as Scholar Angela Y. Davis (joining live from San Francisco), Bernadine Evaristo, Elizabeth Day, Candice Brathwaite, Pandora Sykes, and Natalie Haynes take the stage. Comedians Bridget Christie and Deborah Frances-White will make audiences roar with laughter with their sets on Saturday (19:30 and 21:00 respectively). Poet Warsan Shire is launching her long-awaited collection of poetry, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, on Saturday at 20:30. Theatre maker Lucy Kirkwood is reading her acclaimed one-woman play Maryland, originally performed at The Royal Court, on Sunday at 14:00. These events are accompanied by so many more, including online discussions, and those aimed at young children, all of which can be found on the WOW and Southbank websites.
With events ranging from the serious to the hilarious, you can pick and choose which ones will suit your vibe. With free events and tickets for available for just £10, nab them before they’re gone. Tickets to see Booker Prize winner Bernadine Evaristo and author of Girl, Woman, Other are already sold out.
I would recommend booking a few in a day, and taking in the stunning Southbank views in-between events, as you reflect on how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go.
Women of the World Website: https://thewowfoundation.com/festival/wow-london-22
Southbank Website: https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/festivals-series/wow-women-world
‘Lost and Found’ by The Royal Opera House, St Pancras International Station – International Women’s Day, 8th March
To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Royal Opera House is presenting a series of mini-operas inspired by stories submitted to them about time and travel. These works have been written and composed by teams of women to be performed at St Pancras International station between 10:30 am and 4 pm.
The librettist and composer duos came together through one of the ROH’s young artists programme. Sung by opera’s rising stars and accompanied by the Belgium Chamber Orchestra, this looks like an exciting and accessible introduction to opera. For opera buffs, it will be an opportunity to see some fresh work.
Ranging in subject matter from commuting to farewells, there will be an exploration of both the mundane and the memorable. The stuff that great operas are made of.
ROH ‘Lost and Found’: https://www.roh.org.uk/tickets-and-events/lost-and-found-details
St Pancras International Station,
Nandine, Camberwell – 10% of proceeds on International Women’s Day dishes go to the women’s rights organisation IKWRO
If talks and opera aren’t really your thing, why not try the delicious Kurdish restaurant Nandine instead? Throughout March, 10% of the proceeds made on Nandine’s latest dishes will go to IKWRO, a registered charity that provides help and guidance to Middle-Eastern, North African and Afghan, women and girls living in the UK, who are at risk of suffering from abuse.
Based in Camberwell, Nandine, according to Jay Rayner ‘nourishes the soul as well as the belly’. Nandine, literally meaning Kitchen in old Kurdish, was set up by Pary Baban in 2016, following the success of the sandwich shop her and her husband ran alongside their newsagents. Pary first arrived in the UK in 1995 after fleeing the authoritarian government of Sadam Hussein in Kurdistan. Throughout her displacement, Pary became interested in the different styles of cooking throughout Kurdistan. Accompanied by a trusty diary, which she still uses today, she recorded recipes which formed the basis of the menus at Nandine.
Nandine’s main site is in the heart of Camberwell and has become the ultimate spot for Kurdish food in South London. To honour International Women’s Day, Pary has created two special dishes, Qabuli Rash, smoked basmati rice with mutton and fried leek, and Kurdish Pickled Veg, comprising of salted qazwan pods, ajami garlic, cauliflower, carrot, sweetheart cabbage and red wine vinegar. With Kurdish inspired cocktails and local craft beers, Nandine is the perfect spot for an International Women’s Day celebratory brunch or dinner.
Nandine Website: https://nandine.co.uk/
45 Camberwell Church St,
‘A Woman’s Work’ A British Culture Archive Exhibition, Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, Manchester – Exhibition available from International Women’s Day, 8th March – onwards
For those of us not based in London, an exciting collaboration between the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and the British Culture Archive bring us ‘A Woman’s Work’ an exhibition celebrating the photography of Tish Murtha and Anne Worthington. The Hotel, situated on Manchester’s Oxford Street, will hang the works in its stylish restaurant The Refuge from The 8th March onwards, as a celebration of International Women’s Day.
Born in Tyneside, Tish Murtha is considered one of the most impressive photographers of the post-war era. Known for capturing social change and working-class life, Murtha’s work reflects the social change sentiments of the post-war era – think of Shelagh Delaney’s A Taste of Honey. Her work will be shown alongside Anne Worthington’s photography, that explored poverty in East Manchester in the early 2000s. Worthington focused on the lives of the people who lived there, as well as how to maintain a community after so much infrastructure had fallen away.
If you’re not based in Manchester, why not use this as an excuse to visit the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel? A beautiful terracotta Grade II listed building, with stylish rooms and eleven suites available, there is no better excuse for a little city break. Their stunning restaurant and bar, The Refuge, offers all-day dining, with a commitment to great food and drink.
British Culture Archive: https://britishculturearchive.co.uk/british-culture-archive-exhibitions/exhibition-a-womans-work/
Kimpton Clocktower Hotel: https://www.kimptonclocktowerhotel.com/
The Refuge: https://www.refugemcr.co.uk/
The Kimpton Clocktower Hotel,
‘Pieces of a Woman’ an exhibition by Lorian Haynes, Burgh House, Hampstead – Fundraising for women’s charity Refuge and women’s rights organisation The Circle, 10th-14th March
At the beautiful Burgh House in Hampstead, you can visit artist Lorien Haynes’s exhibition Pieces of a Woman. It will showcase a series of 15 hand-coloured prints celebrating the female form, each one named after a woman important to Lorian’s life. After the private view on International Women’s Day, the works will move to Burgh House for a free exhibit between the 10th and 14th of March.
Lorian explains why she supports Refuge and The Circle by stating that most women she knows “are survivors of some form of sexual violence, so it feels crucial at this time – when during the pandemic, sexual and domestic violence figures have risen exponentially – to draw attention to the issue and donate a percentage of every piece sold.”
Lorian’s work couldn’t be more suited to International Women’s Day, visceral images of the female form cascade on paper, that deliberately call into question existing artistic depictions of the female body.
‘Pieces of a Woman’ at Burgh House: https://burghhouse.museumssites.com/whats-on/exhibitions/pieces-of-a-woman
Lorien Haynes: https://www.lorienhaynes.com/
New End Square,