An artwork featuring images of women has been commissioned for the launch of the International Women’s Day (IWD) theme for 2016, 'Women’s Voices - Changing Manchester’.
The artwork by Manchester illustrator Lulu Heal are contemporary hand drawn portraits of women from all walks of life which will be displayed on the pillars of Manchester Central Library on Wednesday 30 September 2015.
The theme ‘Women's Voices - Changing Manchester’ chosen by the International Women’s Day steering group will turn the spotlight on the huge changes taking place across the city. This theme will run through the events and celebrations taking place for International Women’s Day next year culminating in a one-day conference in Manchester's Central Library on 5 March 2016 focussing on women and how women’s voices can influence decision making in the city.
With the theme in place, applications for grants are also now open and available to all voluntary and community groups that want to get involved in organising events or take part in the celebrations next year.
Groups can apply for grants of up to £1,000 to organise events and activities particularly aimed at women who are under represented in society and events which have a lasting impact on women in their communities.
Councillor Josie Tuebler, Chair of the International Women’s Day Steering Group said: "Our focus this coming year will be on giving women a voice. We want to embrace women from all walks of life from across the city and we want to listen to what they have to say about the important changes happening in our city. We want to ensure that they have a voice which will help shape the changes and discussions that are taking place within devolution, our economy, NHS, our culture as the city continues to grow and flourish economically, socially and culturally. Women need to be fully represented as our city changes and we want their stories and unique voices to shape that change.
"We have also launched our grants programme and I would urge voluntary or community groups to take advantage of these to put on events that will unite women."
Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council said: "Manchester has always felt it is important to mark International Women's Day and we will continue to highlight women’s achievements and the ongoing struggle for gender equality by celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) , which we have done for more than 25 years. It is an important landmark in the calendar and we are proud to continue to look at new and fresh ways of celebrating it particularly this coming year with the introduction of a conference to engage with and listen to women from across the city."
Grant applications need to be submitted by the closing date of 5pm on Wednesday 4 November 2015. Applications can be completed on the website www.manchester.gov.uk/iwd or contact Anissa Kheratkar for a hard copy of the form firstname.lastname@example.org