March is Women's History Month, and 8 March is International Women's Day, so there will be plenty of events celebrating women and girls, non-binary and female-identifying people this month. These are our picks of events and things to d0 in London:
Hope the Lego suffragette at UCL
Hope, the life-size Lego suffragette sculpture, has taken up temporary residence at UCL in Bloomsbury. She's the mascot for a whole series of #StandWithHope events for Women's History Month, including:
- City of Women Map (see below). 4 March
- Heart diseases in women — a virtual event by UCL's Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, looking at issues such as delayed diagnosis of heart diseases in women. 8 March
- "Ain't I a Woman?" - UCL's Institute for Global Health holds a panel discussion about why issues such as menstruation, menopause, period poverty and conditions such as endometriosis are still considered taboo, and what can be done to change this. 9 March
- Unveiling of Sarah Parker Remond's plaque (see below). 25 March
Stand With Hope at UCL, 14 February-7 March 2022.
Art on a Postcard IWD auction
Regular charity art auction Art On A Postcard hosts its third annual International Women's Day special. Almost 500 works, all created by female-identifying artists, are up for sale via an online auction, with bidding starting at £50 for each lot. Money raised goes to The Hepatitis C Trust, with a focus on the work the charity does in women's prisons.
Artists involved range from recent graduates, to established and world-renowned artists, and there's a chance to attend a private view of the works on 1 March (RSVP here).
Art on a Postcard IWD auction, 24 February-15 March 2022.
Women in Focus Festival at Poplar Union
Cultural events venue Poplar Union hosts the Women in Focus Festival, with events including:
- A women's photography class. 23 February
- A poetry workshop. 13 March
- A live music session. 18 March
- A cabaret night. 19 March
- An afternoon of Brazilian dancing. 20 March
Women in Focus, from 23 February 2022.
Lal at Hen & Chickens Theatre
A new play getting its debut in March, Lal is set in the East End, and tells the story of the women who kept the capital ticking over while London's men were off fighting in the war. Lal herself struggles with domestic abuse, while the country at large faces the threat of war.
Lal, at Hen & Chickens Theatre, 1-5 March 2022.
Rebel Women and Female Pirates
Royal Museums Greenwich celebrates Women's History Month by revealing the untold histories of female pirates and trailblazers through the ages, in a male-dominated society.
The programme includes talks about Zheng Yi Sao (Ching Shih), the most successful pirate in history, and the life of William Brown, said to be the first Black woman in the Navy, as well as an online screening of Matriarchs, a film about the meeting between Grace O'Malley — known as Ireland's 'Pirate Queen' — and Queen Elizabeth I at Greenwich Palace in 1593.
Rebel Women and Female Pirates, 2-15 March 2022.
Arab Women Artists Now Festival at Rich Mix
Rich Mix in Shoreditch hosts Arab Women Artists Now Festival, showcasing music, performance, spoken word, film and talks from Arab women artists from across the globe. Full 2022 programme TBC at time of writing.
Arab Women Artists Now Festival, 3-12 March 2022.
City of Women map
A team of researchers at UCL have put together the City of Women map, an alternative tube map where stations are given the names of remarkable female or non-binary Londoners who have had an impact on the city’s history.
Ahead of the map being published by Haymarket Books, hear from the team who worked on it about how the project came together.
City of Women map, 4 March 2022.
Dear Black Women
Dear Black Women, taking place at the Novotel West London in Hammersmith, is a day-long event which centres the unique experiences of Black women. Talks, workshops and seminars take place throughout the day, covering topics including wellness, beauty, literature, culture and history.
There's a conversation around Black Women's History: Past & Present & Changing The Narratives, and a look at how endometriosis affects Black Women, as well as a headwrapping workshop, and beauty and make-up tips.
This is also a chance to support Black female entrepreneurs, with a marketplace selling hair, beauty and skincare products, along with homewares, fashion, food and drink and other products.
Dear Black Women, 5 March 2022
International Women's Day bike ride
IBikeLondon holds a special International Women's Day bike ride, meeting outside the National Theatre and taking a leisurely pace suitable for all ages and cycling abilities. The theme of the ride is #BreakTheBias, aiming for a gender-equal world free from bias and discrimination.
International Women's Day bike ride, 5 March 2022.
She Grrrowls: The Festival
Lewisham Borough of Culture marks International Women's Day with the one-day She Grrrowls festival at The Albany in Deptford.
She Grrrowls is a regular event showcasing women and non-binary people in the arts since 2013. This festival features performances, workshops and talks highlighting local artists, including relaxing sound baths, energetic dance and performance classes, writing workshops and discussions, creative activities, and performances of dance, music and spoken word poetry.
She Grrrowls: The Festival, 5 March 2022.
Women's History Month walks with Look Up London
Top-notch London tour organisation Look Up London has announced a series of 15 Women's History Month walks, uncovering the lives of unsung heroines in various parts of the capital. Walks include 'The Bow Belles', which covers inspiring women of the East End like the Match Girls, Sylvia Pankhurst, Baroness Uddin and Minnie Lansbury, and 'Ladies of Richmond', which focuses on female writers, campaigners, actresses and sports champions from the area.
Look Up London's walks always get booked up well in advance, so get booking if you're interested.
Women's History Month walks, 5-20 March 2022.
Evolution of women's cricket at MCC Museum
The Marylebone Cricket Club Museum at Lord’s has a current exhibition focusing on the history and development of the women’s game, with memorabilia from inspirational women who have transformed the game on display.
The museum is usually only accessible either as part of a Lord’s Tour, or with a match day ticket, but there’s a special symposium event taking place on International Women’s Day, with cricket writer and sports lecturer Professor Rafaelle Nicholson talking about her book 'Ladies and Lord's: A History of Women's Cricket in Britain’.
The day-long event also features a Q&A panel discussion hosted by journalist and commentator Isabelle Duncan, with former England cricket stars including Barbara Daniels, Claire Taylor and Jane Powell. There’s also a chance to visit the Museum for a tour of the exhibition, by curator and MCC Collections & Programmes Manager, Charlotte Goodhew.
Celebration of Haitian Women in the UK
The Embassy of Haiti celebrates Haitian women in the UK, at a special event in Bloomsbury. The event consists of a conference-debate and live performances of special guests.
Celebration of Haitian Women in the UK, 8 March 2022.
Women's Climate Strike
The Women's Climate Strike — a grassroots organisation set up by two women from northern England in 2021 — is holding a day of action against climate change in Parliament Square, highlighting how climate issues around the world disproportionately affect women.
All women are encouraged to attend, and bring props and banners. Other similar events are planned in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Uganda, Zambia, Cameroon and the Congo on the same day.
Women's Climate Strike, 8 March 2022
Fighting On All Fronts: Women At War at AntikBar, Chelsea
Vintage poster shop and gallery AntikBar opens a new exhibition of prints on International Women's Day which focuses on the role of women during the second world war, when they took up jobs previously done by men.
The posters hail from various countries, including the UK, USA, USSR and some Nazi-occupied countries. There are also talks scheduled while the exhibition is open, including Kate Clements, Imperial War Museum curator, on untold stories using first-hand testimonies from veterans, eyewitnesses and survivors.
Fighting On All Fronts: Women At War, 8 March-9 May 2022.
Women of the World Festival, Southbank Centre
The main London event for International Women's Day each year, Women of the World is a three-day festival at Southbank Centre, celebrating women, girls and non-binary people all over the world and featuring discussions, performances and activists.
Topics range from sex to politics, grandmotherdom to divorce, childlessness to career changes, and Islamophobia. Speakers this year include Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, novelist Marian Keyes, The Guilty Feminist host Deborah Frances-White, and political activist Angela Davis — though that's just a tiny glimpse of the impressive programme.
Women of the World Festival 2022, 11-13 March 2022.
Unveiling of Sarah Parker Remond's plaque
UCL is unveiling a permanent plaque to 19th century African American freedom fighter Sarah Parker Remond, a prominent abolitionist during the US Civil Rights movement. The plaque will be unveiled at a public event, close to Russell Square tube station. Before that, there's a chance to learn more about her life and work at a virtual talk.
Plaque unveiling, 25 March 2022
Guided walks celebrating women
In addition to Look Up London's series of Women's History walks (above), several other organisations are running themed guided walks this month:
BROMPTON CEMETERY: Royal Parks hosts a theatrical walking tour around Brompton Cemetery, focusing on some of the women who are buried there and telling stories of how they broke the rules, how they survived harsher times, and how they died. Book for the morning or afternoon session. 5 March
WESTMINSTER: Women of London, a history tour company focusing on women's history, leads several events this month, the first of which is a walking tour of Westminster, visiting the memorials to women around the area, including those who contributed to literature, nursing, politics and more. 5/7/9 March
WOMEN IN TRANSPORT: Railway heritage guided walks group Rails, Tales, Trails offers a station-by-station tour detailing women's contribution to London transport, beginning at Upton Park and visiting other stations including Marylebone and Maida Vale. 6 March
BLOOMSBURY: Another Women of London tour takes in Bloomsbury, stopping off at the numerous blue plaques and statues marking where notable women once lived, worked and died, including little-known war hero Noor Inayat Khan. 7 and 9 March
WOMEN IN THE PARKS: Royal Parks offers a special guided walk of Hyde Park on International Women's Day, telling the stories of women from suffragettes Emmeline Pankhurst and Flora Drummond, to infamous pickpocket Jenny Diver who met her untimely end at the Tyburn hanging tree. 8 March
EAST END WOMEN: The Women of London also run a tour focusing on the working women of the East End, visiting locations linked to Britain's first feminist; Mary Wollstonecraft, the east London suffragette, Sylvia Pankhurst, Eleanor Marx, and the matchgirls' strike of 1888. It also looks at the lives of everyday working women from the area. 8 March
A MAN'S WORLD: Footprints of London guide Michael Duncan leads a walk through St James's; it's an area often associated with men, due to the presence of gentlemen's clubs, but this tour focuses on the women who made the locale their own — some of whom are commemorated with blue plaques. 13 March