March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day in which we celebrate the wonderful women who have made their mark on history and who worked tirelessly for equality. On the last Sunday in February 1913, Russian women observed the first International Women’s Day. Since then, it has grown to be a day of recognition and celebration, celebrated around the world in both developed and developing countries.
Today we have female astronauts, Prime Ministers, we may even see a female President of the United States, women have the choice to work and have a family, they are CEO’s and superheroes. Whilst we have come a long way in terms of gender equality, there is still a way to go. Gender-based violence causes more deaths and disabilities among women worldwide aged 15-44, than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war. Only 19% of the world’s parliamentary seats are held by women, and men still make up 80% of the House of Commons. Women do two-thirds of the world’s work yet receive only 10% of the world’s income, and own 1% of the means of production. Every day across the globe, women are subject to violence, rape, trafficking and forced marriages so while we may have Supergirl and Hillary Clinton, there is still a lot of work to be done.
That’s why International Women’s Day is important, but while we should include the negatives, it doesn’t mean we should forget the positives. This year the Brighton Dome have teamed up with the Brighton Women’s Centre to celebrate International Women’s Day this weekend and there are a number of activities to get involved in. Enjoy live performances from Rachel Nwokoro, the UK SLAM! Champion, Qukulele, a 9 women ukulele band, We Bop which is an all women a cappella choir and so many more. Learn self-defence or how to maximise the use of your voice. Attend a creative writing workshop inspired by the poetry of Adrienne Rich or explore the struggles and achievements through the ages with Ali Ghanimi in ‘Women, the Greatest Story Never Told’.
There will also be a discussion with a panel including MP Caroline Lucas, FGM campaigner Nimco Ali, local activist Emily Wright, Poppy from Miss Represented and performance and theatre-maker, Nadia. The discussion topic will be “what are the key issues facing women today and how can we work across divisions to achieve progress”. The audience will be invited to respond and pose their own questions to the guest panellists. Food will be provided by The Real Junk Food project, with their ‘pay what you can afford’ initiative. The Brighton Dome’s flagship outreach project Miss Represented will be showcasing their past performances and exhibitions as well as showcasing new work exploring ‘Being Female’ in celebration of International Women’s Day. There will also be film screenings, craft workshops and children’s activities.
To find out more about the events, click here.