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‘Choose to Challenge’ is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, which has been chosen to highlight the individual responsibility we all bear to call out gender bias and equality. Founded in 1911, International Women’s Day serves to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness for women’s equality, lobby for gender parity and fundraise for female-focused charities. In 2021, this equates to a host of exciting virtual talks, festivals and exhibitions, which are being held throughout March in honour of women around the world. Here’s how you can get involved.
Watch Sinclair London’s Trailblazer Talks series
Savile Row-trained tailor and Sinclair London founder Alicya Sinclair is using her platform to champion inspirational women through her new video series, Trailblazer Talks. Kicking off on 7 March, the virtual series will tell the success stories of influential women from a range of industries, including Nubian Skin founder Ade Hassan and entrepreneur Karen Tracey. As a successful businesswoman herself, and the first to enter the female tailoring market in 2013, Sinclair hopes the series will inspire other women to reach their goals. “The idea span from a conversation with my mother on gender equality and the 2021 theme for International Women’s Day,” Sinclair says. “It just seems like the perfect moment to raise awareness on a topic so important right now across the board. No matter what industry, corporate, creative or tech, this is a conversation that can be had with everyone.”
7-14 March, sinclairlondon.com
Celebrate women in craft with Handmade in Britain
In celebration of International Women’s Day and the cultural impact of female makers, Handmade in Britain will be hosting a webinar featuring four inspiring women who have worked within the craft industry. Panellists Dr. Neelam Raina, Katie Dominy, Emefa Cole, and Yen Duong will discuss their experiences in the craft industry and the barriers emerging craftswomen face when entering the sector. The webinar will precede Handmade in Britain’s virtual craft fair, which will take place later in the month and will focus on female makers. With many craftspeople impacted by the pandemic, the digital event will provide a platform for more than 30 makers to interact with customers through workshops, live talks and demonstrations. A charity auction of unique handcrafted items, such as jewellery, glass, ceramics and textiles, will be running throughout the duration of the fair, with proceeds going towards funding the costs of emerging craftswomen who wish to advance their business skills.
The Women in Craft webinar is on 8 March at 4pm; Virtual Craft Fair will take place from 23-29 March, handmadeinbritain.co.uk
Join WOW Foundation’s virtual festival
Usually held at the Royal Albert Hall, WOW Foundation’s International Women’s Day festival is being streamed live on Zoom daily throughout March. WOW Sounds will see an exciting line-up of female performers take to the stage for a virtual gig, followed by an In Conversation event that will explore themes such as sex during lockdown, radical childcare and gender equality in the tech industries. There will also be a range of interactive digital workshops to get involved in, including a session on decolonising songwriting and a mass singalong.
1-21 March, from £5 for In Conversation tickets and from £3 for workshops and discussions, thewowfoundation.com
Bid on a piece of art at this charity auction
For the second year running, Art on a Postcard is hosting an International Women’s Day charity auction in aid of the Hepatitis C Trust. This year, Art on a Postcard invited female-identifying artists to respond to an initiative called I Am, which was set up by the Hepatitis C Trust's prison peer educator Jane Shea in a bid to remove labels such as ‘addict’ and ‘prisoner’ that are so often attributed to the women she works with. The responses have served as inspiration for artists such as Claudette Johnson, Chila Kumari Burman and Anita Klein, who are among those that have created artworks for the auction. All bids start from £50.
25 February – 11 March, artonapostcard.com
Visit this virtual exhibition in aid of Refuge
Art gallery Purslane was founded with the mission to change the way the art market functions, channelling the wealth within the industry towards philanthropic causes. Taking its name from the Greek goddess of memory, the gallery’s next online exhibition Mnemosyne will explore the fundamental aspects of the human condition, featuring works by female and non-binary artists that draw attention to the pressing issue of domestic abuse. 25 per cent of all profits will go to the domestic abuse charity Refuge, with artists Daisy Parris and Alma Berrow pledging 100 per cent of their sales to the charity as well.
8 March – 8 April, purslane.co.uk
Marvel at a live mural painting in Brixton
WOM Collective was launched to nurture and champion female street artists, and in honour of International Women’s Day, it's taking over the Brixton Village Courtyard for a five-week art residence. The outdoor exhibition will kick off on 6 March with a live mural painting by six artists, before showcasing 30 works by 30 female creatives for the rest of the month. Each artist will present a different piece inspired by what empowers them as a woman. The works will all be for sale, with 100 per cent of the profits going to the artists.
6 March – 12 April, womcollective.org
Buy a pendant in aid of Women Supporting Women
For International Women’s Day, jewellery designer Annoushka has unveiled a trio of pendents in aid of Women Supporting Women, an initiative set up by The Prince’s Trust to help nurture, empower and inspire young women to build their futures through employment, education or training. The Helping Hands collection includes three sterling silver pendants with an antique-style finish, held within a 14ct gold frame and set with a single diamond. Each pendent features a different hand gesture engraved on the front, and a corresponding message – Helping Hands, Hoping Hands or Loving Hands – on the back. For each sale, Annoushka will donate £35 to Women Supporting Women.
1-31 March, £350, annoushka.com
Stream The Old Vic’s One Voice monologues
On 8 March, The Old Vic will stream two newly-commissioned monologues written by Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Regina Taylor to mark International Women’s Day. Performed by Susan Wokoma, Putting a Face On is a dark, funny and empowering monologue about how, despite positive strides towards gender equality, domestic abuse remains a prevalent feature in many women’s lives. Jade Anouka will star in Aisha (the black album), which will trace the history of Black women’s political power. Both monologues will conclude a week-long celebration of International Women’s Day, during which The Old Vic will be re-releasing a selection of performances from the One Hand Tied Behind Us series from 2018. Directed by Maxine Peak, these monologues were originally created to mark the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave women the right to vote in the UK.
1-8 March, oldvictheatre.com
Nominate the women in your life to win an Aspinal of London x Bloom & Wild bundle
To celebrate inspiring women, Aspinal of London and Bloom & Wild are asking people to nominate the women in their lives who make a difference to those around them – whether they’re a relative, friend, colleague or neighbour. Ten nominees will be chosen by the brands to receive a three-month subscription to Bloom & Wild, along with a limited edition bundle of products from Aspinal of London’s new gardening capsule collection, including an apron, a book and a silk scarf. Nominations open on the 8 March and close on 14 March; follow the link on Aspinal of London’s Instagram to enter.
8-14 March, instagram.com/aspinaloflondon