Manchester City Council

Women’s Festival launched for International Women’s Day

Manchester will be celebrating the achievements, strength and diversity of women, as well as their continued struggle for equality throughout March, in recognition of International Women’s Day.

The city has marked International Women’s Day - celebrated each year on 8 March - for more than 25 years and for the first time is expanding its celebrations into the Manchester International Women’s Festival 2017 running throughout the entire month.

The theme for Manchester International Women’s Day is ‘Our Manchester Women’ which has been chosen to recognise the huge contribution women have made in making Manchester the world class city it is today.

In the lead up to International Women’s Day, and to highlight the 'Our Manchester Women' theme a number of inspirational Manchester women have told us what they think makes a strong Manchester woman including Team GB paralympian,Vicky Howarth; Yvy Deluca, from LGBT Foundation, Sister Rita, religious sister and social worker in north Manchester and  Danielle George MBE, Professor of engineering at Manchester University.

Councillor Sarah Judge, lead member for women’s issues at Manchester City Council said: “Manchester has always been at the heart of the women’s movement and it is exciting that we have our first women’s festival in the city celebrating women their strength and diversity and the important roles they play in our communities.“

Councillor Sue Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council said: Manchester is full of amazing women and contribute an enormous amount to the success of this city so this year our campaign has highlighted some of the strong Manchester women who inspire others through their work and contribution to the city.”

The festival programme features a number of events, activities and celebrations, funded through the council’s small grant fund for local not-for-profit organisations. Part of the criteria for the grant was to create an event linked to this year’s theme ‘Our Manchester Women’.  A full programme is available at

Central to the festivities will be Manchester City Council’s International Women’s Day Awards on Wednesday 8 March.  It takes place at Manchester Town Hall and recognises the contribution women across the city have made to local communities and businesses. The Emmeline Pankhurst Outstanding Contribution to the Woman of Manchester award will be given to a woman or organisation that has made an invaluable difference to the lives of women in the city.

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