The 2017 Feminist Calendar: events for protesting, collaborating and celebrating the sisterhood

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The Stylist web team

It’s difficult to think of a time in recent years when feminism has been needed quite so much as is is now.

Last year, we saw an alleged sex offender voted into the Whitehouse, cuts to domestic violence services, reproductive rights come under threat and the stubborn gender pay gap refuse to budge. It’s clear we can no longer sit back and watch it all happen. 

With that in mind, we've compiled a handy calendar of UK-wide feminist events and dates, from rallies and workshops, to comedy nights and book launches, literary festivals and theatre productions, so you can celebrate, educate and get irate.

Now is not the time to be complacent, join your sisters and mark these dates in the diary – the future is female.

Words: Hanna Woodside

  • January 21 - Women’s March, worldwide

    Horrified by Trump’s presidency? Yep, us too. That’s why the day after his inauguration we’ll be joining women around the globe who are marching to send a message to the world: women’s rights are human rights. The biggest Women’s March is in Washington D.C, but in the UK there are sister marches planned in London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Liverpool, Lancaster, Manchester, Leeds, York, Cardiff, Dublin and Southampton.

    The Stylist team will, of course, be there –  please do come and join us. More information here.

  • January 25 - That’s What She Said, The Book Club, London

    A night of spoken word - from slam poetry to comedy - written and performed by women. It’s organised by For Book’s Sake, a volunteer-led initiative to champion women writers, who also run writing courses alongside Write Like a Grrl in London, Edinburgh and Folkestone. Don’t miss Grrl Con 2017, a weekend of talks, workshops and advice for emerging female writers the weekend of June 16-18 in Manchester.

    More information here.

  • February 4 - Double Dabble: A Feminist Day Of Making, Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead

    A free one-day event where you can meet feminist practitioners and experiment with digital and traditional crafts (no previous skill required!). There will be a variety of makers on hand, inviting you to take part in different creative activities and chat about feminism today.

    More information here.

  • February 14 - One Billion Rising, worldwide

    Taking place on Valentine’s Day every year, One Billion Rising aims to be the world’s biggest mass action to end gender violence; a global call to action based on the statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime - that’s more than one billion women and girls. There are peaceful protests and dance-athons planned in Glasgow, Preston, Norwich and Shrewsbury, with more being organised weekly, find your nearest event here.

    Image: Instagram

  • February 23 - Reclaim The Night Manchester

    It’s our right to walk the streets at night free of the fear of sexual violence or harassment. The theme for this year’s march in Manchester (open to the whole community) is ‘Sounds & Voices’, and a neon parade will start at Owen’s Park at 7pm, heading to the Reclaim The Night After Party at the Manchester Student’s Union. Glow sticks at the ready.

    More information here.

  • March 1 - National Refugee Women’s Conference, London

    If you’ve been moved (or outraged) by the migrant crisis, this one-day event at Amnesty International UK, aims to find ways to help women refugees in a post-Brexit, post-Trump world, with a range of inspirational speakers and workshops.

    More information here.

  • March 7 - Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    The best-selling Nigerian author and all-round feminist badass (who also appeared in Beyonce’s Flawless video), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, publishes her third book. Originally written as a response to a friend on Facebook - who asked how to raise her baby girl as a feminist - this short, sharp work explores how we can create a more just society. Make room on your bookshelf.

    Pre-order your copy here.

  • March 8 - International Women’s Day, worldwide

    The big one. There are a myriad of awesome festivals around the country taking place in March to mark International Women’s Day, including: Women of the World at both London’s Southbank Centre and Hull City Hall, the Wonder Women Festival at the People’s History Museum in Manchester, the UN’s HeForShe Art Week in London, York International Women’s Festival, Oxford International Women’s Festival, Lancaster’s Hear Me Roar extravaganza, and a day of amazing speakers at Brighton Dome, including Bridget Christie and Germaine Greer. Basically, it’s feminist Christmas - find more events here.

  • March 11 - What The Frock comedy night at Bristol Improv Theatre

    An all-female comedy night aimed at redressing the balance on the male-dominated comedy circuit. It started as a one-off event back in 2012, and has now become a regular event, having hosting over 100 female comics. There are further What The Frock nights planned at Bristol Improv Theatre for May 13, July 7 and July 8.

    More information here.


  • April - Mandatory Pay Gap Reporting

    Regulations that mean employers with more than 250 employees must publish figures on the average pay gap between male and female workers, are likely to kick in in April. It’s an important step in the ongoing battle for equal pay. If you want to know more about how Pay Gap Reporting works, and how it might affect you, this is good place to start.

  • May 11 - Caroline Criado-Perez lecture at King’s College London

    Caroline is an award-winning feminist campaigner who knows how to get stuff done, spearheading the campaign to have a woman on our banknotes, and making Twitter revise its abuse policies. In this evening lecture she discusses the challenges facing women in the media today. Even better - it’s free.

    More information here.

  • May 13 - Open The Door: Words With Women Writers liteary festival, Glasgow Women’s Library

    A literary festival with a twist - the GWL will host a literary afternoon tea with conversations from established and emerging female writers in Scotland, then there’s a free networking session, and in the evening a salon-cum-cabaret with cocktails and book lovers sharing their literary inspirations from music to movies. GWL has loads of cool events from bike rides, to an exhibition of feminist posters, LGBT activism workshops, a reading group for Muslim women, and Collect:If, a network for women of colour. Get involved and check out their epic spring programme here.

  • June 13 - Hunger: A Memoir Of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

    If you haven’t read Gay’s 2014 collection of essays, Bad Feminist, or her most recent novel, Difficult Women, add them to the top of your reading list. And while you’re at it, pre-order her newest book, an exploration of our complicated relationship with food, from her perspective as a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined”.

  • June 20 - July 1 - Everything is Possible: The York Suffragettes at York Theatre Royal

    This huge production, with a cast of around 150, celebrates the little told story of the suffragette movement in York - and their part in a dangerous, exhilarating revolution led by ordinary women.

    Get tickets here.

  • June 22-24 - Feminist Emergency: International Conference, London

    Got that ‘the world is on fire’ feeling? This conference at Birkbeck University proposes that we urgently need new ideas to tackle the specific challenges that feminism faces in 2017. The conference is interdisciplinary, gathering academics, poets, feminist activists, professional, and policy makers to find solutions. Interested? Registration opens at the end of January.

    More information here.

  • End of June - Citizens’ Assembly Report on Repealing the 8th Amendment in Ireland

  • July 18 - 200th Anniversary of Jane Austen’s death

    The perfect excuse (should you need one) to re-read your favourite Austen, and celebrate one of the greatest female authors of all time. There are exhibitions, talks, walks and writing competitions taking place throughout the year in Hampshire (where she spent much of her life) as part of their Jane Austen 200 programme. And in September the Jane Austen Festival will take place in Bath.

    See her best words of wisdom here.

  • August - London Feminist Film Festival

    The fifth annual celebration of female filmmakers and feminist films will take place in late August (exact dates are still TBC), with screenings and expert panel discussions. Got a project you want to share? The festival takes submissions - details for 2017 will be announced on the website.

    More information here.

  • September 12 - Never Scared: One Black Feminist's Refusal to Bow Down, Back Up, or Give In by Brittney Cooper

    Brittney Cooper is a Black feminist theorist in the US, and Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University, specialising in Hip Hop generation feminism. She is also a co-founder of the blog Crunk Feminist Collective. (Yeah, she’s pretty effing cool). In Never Scared she offers a way forward for both African Americans and women around the world to dissent, and have their voices heard.

    Pre-order it here.

  • October 2-8 - Women’s Sports Week, nationwide

    Dedicated to raising the profile of women in sport - from grassroot organisations to elite athletes - the aim is to get more women and girls more active and involved with sport. In previous years, there have been free taster events around the country - from roller derby and wall climbing, to snowboarding and wheelchair rugby. A new hobby beckons - check for more details about WSW 2017.

  • November 25 - International Day For The Elimination of Violence Against Women And Girls, nationwide

    From November 25  through to December 10 (Human Rights Day), there are 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Each year, the UN will pick a theme and specific campaign drive (check here to see how you can get involved). On a nationwide level Reclaim The Night marches are also scheduled to coincide with these dates.

    More information here.