Manchester City Council

Women take charge of the debate - Changing Manchester Women's Voices

Women will be gathering at Manchester's Central Library this Saturday 5 March to discuss issues pertinent to them.

The event has been organised by the International Women's Day Steering Group to mark International Women's Day on March 8th.

It is one of a number of events, activities and celebrations taking place throughout the month to engage and celebrate women and their contribution to Manchester.

Changing Manchester, Women's Voices is the theme for Manchester's celebrations this year and the council has supported a number of events citywide put on by grass roots, local not for profit organisations with small grant funds.

This key event in Central Library is s a 'meet-up' discussion event for Manchester women giving them an opportunity to get their voices heard, examine if they are benefiting from the changes in the city and share this information with policy makers as well as helping to influence decision making in this ever changing city.

The event is taking place in the performance space on the ground floor in Manchester’s Central Library, from 10.30am – 4.00pm on Saturday 5 March where visitors can also contribute to the making of a quilted banner which will be exhibited later in the year. 

Keynote speaker Donna Hall, the chief executive of Wigan Council, will talk about her experience as a woman holding one of the top jobs in local authority as well as devolution in Manchester and what it means for women. 

Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council said: “Women are a huge part of the success of this city, contributing fully to all areas of life - and it's vital that women are properly represented as our city changes. 

The event will also include a debate which will be delivered jointly with Discuss. The motion of the debate is ‘ the boom is not working for women in Manchester’. Prominent speakers from across the City will argue for and against the motion. There will also be an opportunity for women to discuss what success looks like for them and how equality can be achieved. The day will conclude with a reception where women will have the opportunity to network with women from across the City and all walks of life.

Councillor Sarah Judge, Lead Member for Women at Manchester City Council said: "As our city changes we want the decision-makers and people all across the city to listen to women. This International Women's Day, we want to hear women's voices."

A range of other free events are taking place across the city including a return of yarnbombing exhibition to Manchester Town Hall by the Big Up Female Boffins (1- 31 March) where statues are yarnbombed with crochet masks representing four fabulous female Mancunian boffins.

From events such as MIWo Vo Festival where women, from refugee and migrant backgrounds, will be sharing their experiences of fighting for equal rights around the world and trying to break down myths and negative stereotypes and promote integration of communities to 'Turning the Page', a pop-up festival based at Burnage Library to help women find their creative voices and share stories.

There is also a taster day for women wanting to improve their digital skills and learn to code and for women and girls interested in sport and healthy living there is a day of activities at Wythenshawe Forum.

For any green fingered women the Old Moat Greenies’ group women’s gathering will be an opportunity to learn how the group,made up of 75% women has helped them to improve their physical health, diet, decrease their food bill and gain new skills and friends.

All of these free events and more are in the IWD diary of events with details of dates, time and locations. To find out more information visit

Join the conversation on Twitter: #McrIWD16.

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