International Women’s Day 2023: Seven celebrations in Manchester and how you can get involved

Providing you the low-down on the best free and paid events

If, like me, despite how much you love women, your friends, and yourself (it’s 2023 come on ladies), you left it to the absolute last minute to decide on your IWD celebrations… then never fear.

I have prepared the ultimate, multi-genre, free and non-free, alcoholic and non-alcoholic guide of how to celebrate International Women’s Day in Manchester, and in style. Enjoy!

1) Join ‘Vulva Voce’, the string quartet retracing the steps of suffragettes

Chanel your inner Bridgerton, whilst also paying homage to The Suffragette movement, and renowned female musicians: by attending a delightful feast for your ears at one of Manchester’s many iconic cultural spots. The band will be playing throughout the afternoon, giving you plenty of opportunity to take some respite from your lectures, seminars, meetings, and or dissertation agony. Taking you on a journey from the Renaissance period to the present day, the band will be playing a variety of pieces composed by women from across the globe: jazz, folk and the classics all included.

The schedule goes as follows:

12:30pm & 1:30pm: Whitworth Art Gallery

3pm: Manchester Art Gallery

4pm: The Emmeline Pankhurst statue

5:45 pm: The Pankhurst Centre

9pm: The Whiskey Jar

Performances are free and open to the public, except at Pankhurst Centre which will be part of their ticketed event.

2) CAHN’s bloody brilliant event 

In collaboration with Mama Health and Poverty Partnership, The Caribbean & African Health Network (CAHN) will be hosting their flagship event. CAHN have collaborated with several cross-sector partners including the Nigerian Women’s Association and their focus on empowering black women through the menopause.

The day will include a conference style event, a variety stalls, holistic therapeutic treatments, various food outlets, interactive performances and presentations which will leave you empowered, inspired, and celebrated.

2:30pm-9pm. 1 St Brides Way, Stretford, M16 9NW.  Tickets are free but you need to reserve a place, which can be done here.

3) The ultimate celebration of women in tech

Now this one is mega. Tech and business groups ‘Digital Her’, ‘hackajob’ and ‘Bruntwood SciTech’ have teamed up to provide a jam-packed, neurologically tingling, and of course celebratory event.

The event is purely drop in, and with such a veritable array of speakers and workshops, as well as the opportunity to network with mega Manchester based employers like The Very Group, 6Point6, XDesign, and GlobalLogic, you’re set to have the most enriching of experiences. Everything will be discussed from kick-starting your career to the future for women working in the tech industry, and if you come along for the networking in the evening, pizza and wine are also on the cards.

Make sure you to check out the full line up being brought right to your doorstep. There’s a lot going on-and you don’t want to miss out

3pm-8:30pm. No 1 Circle Square, Oxford road, Manchester, M1 7FS. Another free one for you, but again make sure to reserve your spot here.

4) Get your sophistication on at The Lawn Club’s charity gin-tasting extravaganza

I’m not gonna lie, when I saw the opportunity to channel my inner Serena van der Woodsen-I was sold.

In the name of charity, here’s (and cheer’s) to the ultimate gin tasting experience, presented by The Lawn Club: featuring the award-winning Agnes Arber Gin. Not only is this a brand inspired by the legendary female botanist Agnes Arber, but Agnes herself will be matching all money raised for the UK’s leading equal rights charity, The Fawcett Society.

As well as learning about the inspiration behind the brand, your evening will also include a full-sized Agnes Arber drink, a testing session, and a goody bag including a 5cl Agnes Arber mini, copa glass and other grown-up treats.

The Lawn Club, Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3HG.

6:30pm til late. And tickets are only a tenner!

5) Immerse your senses at Brickhouse Social’s SuPeR WoMeN night of artistic escapism

Don’t shoot me, but I myself have somehow never ventured into this (what I’ve heard) insanely vibey location. So maybe this is my perfect opportunity.

From 7pm onwards, head to the rooftop for a curated evening of some of the most talented female poets, songwriters, artists and more. Then, from 9pm onwards, you’re invited to the after party, hosted in the main bar, featuring a secret line up all-female DJs. Mysterious. I like it. Pizza is also available for £2.50 a slice-with all proceeds going to The Pankhurst Trust.

Brickhouse Social, 11-13 New Wakefield St, Manchester, M1 5NP. Entry is free but make sure you reserve your spot here.

6) Dance the night away at Ducie Street Warehouse

Ducie Street Warehouse are keeping it plain and simple this year. It’s a party. And you’re invited.

The event is running from 5 til late and will feature some of Manchester’s insane female talent. DJ Poppy R and DJ Danielle M will lead this celebration of all things female. Dance the night away ladies. 256 can spare you one week.

Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester, M1 2TP. No booking needed-just turn up!

7) Take your creative juices on a field day at The Great Northern Warehouse art pop-up

Last but certainly not least: a celebration to continue IWD… into the weekend.

Celebrating female-identifying artists, the pop-up exhibition will run from Friday 10th – Sunday 12th March, in The Village Hall in Great Northern Warehouse. Whether it be paintings, photography, sculpture, textiles or something else, the event will be giving Manchester’s female artists the platform to showcase their work, and undoubtedly inspire.

On the Saturday, you’ll also have the chance to network with and gain a real insight into the artists as they present their work and discuss their inspirations (p.s. drinks included).

The Village Hall, Deansgate Mews, Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4EN. The exhibition is free, and you don’t need a ticket to have an explore.

So, whether you’re boozing, art exhibiting, networking, or a combination of them all, you’re going to be satisfied.

And Manchester women… you’ve outdone yourselves this year.

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