BWC (Brighton Women’s Centre), Brighton Dome and Brighton Museum join forces to host the city’s largest annual International Women’s Day Celebrations! Gender equality is firmly on the agenda at this free and inclusive event celebrating women’s achievements and BWC’s 45th anniversary with inspiring speakers, activists and innovators, workshops, arts, crafts, campaigns, and fun for all the family.
Our IWD event is a safe and inclusive space, open to all members of the local community. We welcome everyone who would like to join with us in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Come and listen to the following inspiring women speak.
Justice for Women
Women from both sides of the Criminal Justice System come together to debate what needs to be done to make Britain's Justice system a fairer place for women - chaired by Lisa Dando of BWC.
Not Today: How I chose life
Former Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate, RAF veteran, writer, broadcaster, photographer, self harm and suicide survivor, and transgender - Sophie traces a journey from private torment to personal triumph.
A Level Playing Field with Lewes FC
Karen Dobres & Faye Baker
The world’s first pro or semi-pro football club to pay their women’s team the same as their men’s discuss drawing a line under pay inequality and teach a football chanting workshop!
All Art is Propaganda
Renowned, gold medal winning garden designer and TV presenter, Juliet shares her experience of creating the first social campaign garden at The Chelsea Flower Show entitled ‘Modern Slavery’.
A Whistleblower's Tour
Social entrepreneur, campaigner, single parent and feminist Muslim. In this personal talk, a born and bred Londoner explores how she whistleblew to change her world, and her love affair with Bangladesh.
Juno Dawson & Tanya Byrne
Award-winning authors Juno Dawson and Tanya Byrne discuss intersectional feminism and the launch of PROUD, their teen LGBTQ anthology.
The Desire to Belong
Umi Sinha and Ruth Figgest
These authors will join together to discuss the power of family patterns, how they shape us, the compromises women across the world have to make, and whether it is possible to break free and find our own ways of belonging, with specific reference to women's continuing struggle for equality in both East and West.
The day will be filled with activities to get involved in.
Free The Nipple
Learn about the Free The Nipple movement and how it fits into the wider conversation about body equality and intersectional feminism.
The Choir with No Name
The Choir with No Name runs choirs for homeless and marginalised people. In this workshop learn to share the joy of singing with others – with a song by one of the greatest female singers of all time!
Tackling Period Poverty
Sister Society and The Red Box Project
During this fun and interactive workshop you will join a nationwide project to ensure that no young person misses school because they have their period.
Write for Life
Brighton Women's Centre
A fun introduction to the art of creative journaling and how it supports
self-care and wellbeing. There will be lots of ideas on getting started as well as tips and
techniques to keep things interesting and stay motivated!
Design for Disability
Design for Disability is a collaborative hub aiming to involve people who identify as disabled at the forefront of an
Come up with your own design for a multi-functional product and help to reduce the social stigma surrounding medical aids.
Breathe, Move and Let Go: Yoga
Realise your exquisite energy, celebrate your imperfections, and embrace your true-self. This breath focussed, movement based yoga practice will centre, balance and connect your whole being.
Barclays Digital Eagles
Code Playground is Barclays programme to run free coding sessions for children aged 7-11. It offers a basic introduction to programming and a positive environment for children to learn.
Words of Empowerment: Sign-paint your own placard
Led by Lydia Fisher, a designer at brand design agency Baxter & Bailey, this workshop will give you a brief introduction to the craft of sign painting and lettering styles. You will get the chance to paint your own sign with words of female empowerment.
Tackle your inner critic through song - Soul Circus
Soul Circus sing and teach original a cappella music supporting positive thinking and good everyday mental health. This workshop is a chance to have a huge amount of fun exploring the names we call ourselves – outing our critical voice and finding a loving one to take its place.
Soul of the City
Everyone can sing! Everyone is welcome. Singing brings people together and helps build community and aids social connectivity and unity. Singing is incredible for mental health, it increases endorphins and, all this good stuff can happen whilst having a really fun time belting out a classic tune surrounded by great people! What's not to love!
Young Children and Gender
Early Childhood Project
In this workshop for parents, carers, workers and anyone connected with children up to age 8, The ECP will explore questions like: How can we bring up our children with a conscious anti-bias attitude?
Illuminate: Create a Cultural Tapestry
Network of International Women
The Network of International Women invite women to join them to celebrate International Women’s Day by sewing and adding their unique piece to a growing community Tapestry.
History of Deaf Women and Introduction to British Sign Language (BSL)
Hear about deaf women throughout history and learn some basic British Sign Language.
Sing your Heart Out
Aneesa Chaudhry is a professional singer and vocal coach and her workshop aims to get you singing your heart out!
Learn Circus Skills
In Roads Productions
Try your hand at juggling, aero-balance, plate spinning, hat balancing and more!
Mothers Uncovered: The Secret Life of Mothers
In this session, group founder Maggie Gordon-Walker will introduce the book ‘The Secret Life of Mothers’; a compilation of over 50 past participants’ experiences, with foreword by Caroline Lucas, MP. The readings will be followed by live music from Lou Noble.
Also at IWD
And if that wasn't enough...
The Women’s Liberation Music Archive
Brighton’s queer dance floor for the unusual crowd play the Women’s Liberation Music Archive - a silent disco listening party of 70s and 80s feminist music.
Pay-as-you-feel lunch buffet -
The Real Junk Food Project
The Real Junk Food Project Brighton is part of the Real Junk Food Project network, created by Adam Smith. It is a national and international movement of cafes, projects and pop-ups with one core objective: To intercept food waste destined for landfill and use it to feed people who need it, on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis.
Brighton Feminist Bookshop
Supported by Myriad Editions
The Feminist Bookshop aims to support feminist writers, creatives and entrepreneurs and to provide a welcoming space for dialogue, discussion and debate. Myriad are a Brighton publisher of award-winning feminist literary fiction, graphic novels and political nonfiction.
at Brighton Museum
Votes for Women,
The Museum of Transology.
Swallowsfeet Collective -
Pop-up dance performance
Swallowsfeet Collective is a partnership of 5 independent artists; Jessica Miller, Rosa Firbank, Sivan Rubinstein, Gordon Raeburn, Jessica Lea Haener. They bring multiple fields together for live performance, including visual design, music and technology with the body as the central form of expression.
Photo Exhibitions -
Body Positivity and Women of Brighton
Fanny Beckman is a photographer and activist who uses art to raise various feminist issues. At IWD she will exhibit her latest work, and talk about body positivity, feminism and
what these photoshoots have taught her.
The Bigger Picture: IWD storytelling with Myriad Editions
Ottilie Hainsworth and Hannah Eaton
Artists Ottilie Hainsworth and Hannah Eaton will be International Women's Day's visual storytellers, using feedback from every workshop, presentation and reading to showcase the facts, figures and knowledge shared on the day.
The BelongCon Conversation Corner
In The Conversation Corner, we'll be focusing on creating a space for meaningful conversation and connection. We'll talk about how we can have conversations we might feel are "difficult", discuss what blocks us from talking about what we're going through, and support each other to make a difference with our conversations. Pull up a chair, and let's talk.
Young women explore life through the arts - watch their short film.
Want to find out more?
History of IWD
So, how did it all begin?
The tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. Since then, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike.
Great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.
Times have changed, but sadly some of the key issues have not. Gender-based violence causes more deaths and disabilities among women worldwide, aged 15-44, than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war, and three million women across the UK experience rape, domestic violence, trafficking, forced marriage or other violence each year.
Only 19% of the world’s parliamentary seats are held by women and men still make up nearly 80% of the House of Commons. Women do two-thirds of the world’s work, yet receive 10% of the world’s income and own 1% of the means of production. The full-time pay gap between women and men in the UK is equivalent to men being paid a full year whilst women effectively work for free after November. Only 24% of the people interviewed, heard, seen or read about in mainstream broadcast and print news are female.
What do Brighton Women's Centre do?
BWC creates safe spaces where a woman can be herself, where we can build a strong, supportive relationship with her – giving her the security she needs to take the next steps towards a better life.
We recognise that each woman is an individual, with her own history, her own challenges, her own hopes. We give her whatever kind of support she needs.
Practical support such as childcare, moral support such as advice and encouragement, and specialist support from case workers and our team of highly skilled volunteers. We understand that the problems in women’s lives can sometimes come from a deeper root cause – and so, using our connected services, we work to improve all parts of her life.
Through our work with each individual, we fight social injustice and advocate for gender equality. Ultimately, we give women – and wider society – the strength to succeed.