Visible Women

Your 2019 Feminist Calendar: protests, panels and exhibitions celebrating the sisterhood

Posted by
Moya Crockett
Published

Get your diaries out, because the offering of feminist events for 2019 is bigger and better than ever. 

By all accounts, 2018 – dubbed “the year of the woman” – was action-packed in terms of major feminist moments. In the UK, we saw the 100th anniversary of (some) women’s enfranchisement, as well as the centenary of women being able to stand for parliament

Statues of leading figures in the women’s suffrage movement were unveiled in London and Manchester, awards ceremonies and film festivals were dominated by discussions of sexual assault and gender inequality, and women’s marches took place around the world.

But while there might not be any major women’s history anniversaries in 2019, that doesn’t mean we should get complacent. The year ahead is packed with ways to celebrate the sisterhood, from protests to panel discussions, exhibitions, art classes and theatre.

Below, we’ve compiled a handy UK-wide calendar of feminist events for 2019 – so join us and mark these dates in your diary.

We’ll be updating this page throughout the year, so save it to your bookmarks!

ONGOING 

Represent! Voices 100 Years On Exhibiton (until 3 February 2019)

Manchester is recognised as the birthplace of the suffragette movement, thanks to its status as the home of the Pankhurst family.

At this interactive exhibition at the People’s History Museum, campaigning material from present-day feminist groups including Repeal the 8th and Women’s March Manchester are shown alongside suffragette banners, sashes and photographs from the early 20th century, as modern women share what representation means to them today.

Event in Manchester / Free event / More information here

M Is Not For Sale Pop-Up Restaurant (until 28 February 2019)

This pop-up restaurant at M Victoria Street in Westminster will raise funds for Not For Sale, a charity working to end sex trafficking and modern slavery around the world. The five-course limited edition menu includes a glass of champagne on arrival and takes inspiration from countries where Not For Sale has helped free children and adults from sex trafficking and the slave trade - including Peru, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Uganda and the USA. All profits from the special menu will go to Not For Sale.

London / £65 / More information here

Mancunian suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst 

Votes for Women (until 10 March 2019)

To celebrate the centenary of women’s enfranchisement, the Museum of London is hosting a display dedicated to the women who fought throughout the 50-year struggle for the vote.

Displaying items from the museum’s extensive suffrage collection, including the medal given to Emmeline Pankhurst following her hunger strikes, the exhibition includes costume, memorabilia and lesser-known information about the movement. There’s also a documentary telling the stories of some lesser-known suffragettes.

It’s free, but you’ll want to take some extra cash to spend in the gift shop, where you can buy blue plaque plates, suffragette coasters and other irresistible souvenirs.

Event in London / Free event / More information here.

Women Who Shaped Manchester (until 10 March 2019)

This exhibition at Manchester’s John Rylands Library sheds light on the lives of some of the most inspiring women in the city’s history. From a letter written by Emmeline Pankhurst to a scroll presented to Enriqueta Rylands, the first woman to be given the official freedom of the city, these documents highlight the astonishing achievements of women who made Manchester what it is today.

Event in Manchester / Free event / More information here

Women Power Protest (until 31 March 2019)

Contemporary feminist artists who have explored protest, social commentary and identity in their work are showcased in this major exhibition at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Works by big names such as Sam Taylor-Johnson, Lubaina Himid and Louise Bourgeois explore the progress that’s been made since women first won the vote, and the challenges still faced by women today.

Event in Birmingham / Free event / More information here.

Making Her Mark (until 14 April 2019)

Historically, women were excluded from commercial printmaking, which was only open to male apprentices. In the 19th and 20th centuries, however, many female artists turned to wood-engraving, lithography, etching and lino printing, with beautiful results. Learn more about how women shaped the world of printmaking at this exhibition at Belfast’s Ulster Museum.

Event in Belfast / Free event / More information here

209 Women Exhibition (until 14 April 2019)

There are 209 women in the House of Commons, and although it’s still a way off gender parity, this does mark the highest female representation there has ever been in UK politics.

To mark 100 years since some women gained the right to vote, and to champion the visibility of women, particularly in male-dominated environments, photographer Hilary Wood has created the 209 Women project.

The exhibition – 204 portraits of the female MPs, all shot by female photographers – can be seen at Portcullis House in London until 14 February. After that, it will open in Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery from 1 March to 14 April.

Event in London and Liverpool / Free event / More information here.

FEBRUARY 2019

The Art of Launching a Business (7 February 2019)

Careers and entrepreneurship community For Working Ladies is the force behind this panel discussion, which is specifically aimed at women who are considering setting up a business in 2019. Lana Elie of online flower marketplace Floom, Florence Adepoju of cruelty-free beauty brand MDMflow and Christine and Maria Sotirou - the co-founders of hair wrap company SILKE - will share their invaluable advice on how to turn your idea into a successful brand.

London / From £10 / More information here

Invisible Women Screening (9 February 2019)

Change starts at home, and that’s something that activists Angela Cooper and Luchia Fitzgerald know all too well. In 1969 Luchia, a teenage lesbian runaway from Ireland living on the streets of Manchester, was arrested and sent for a lobotomy. Managing to escape, she went to the New Union, a pub at the centre of Manchester’s gay community, where she met Angela, sparking a relationship that has endured for 50 years.

The pair have campaigned for women’s and lesbian rights, and set up the first refuge for women escaping domestic violence in Manchester. Their story is told is Invisible Women, a short documentary that will be aired at this event at the Irish World Heritage Centre. It will be followed by a discussion with Angela and Luchia, and the film’s producer Joe Ingham.

Event in Manchester / Free event / More information here.

Radical Women of the East End (10 February 2019)

In 1914, suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst was expelled from the Women’s Social and Political Union and founded the East London Federation of Suffragettes, which prioritised the needs of working class women. On this walking tour, you can learn more about Pankhurst and other radical female East Enders, including the matchwomen who went on strike in 1888 and pioneering councilwoman Minnie Lansbury.

Event in London / Tickets £12 / More information here.

Galentine’s Day Quiz and Crafts (14 February 2019)

Want to celebrate the friendships in your life and support a charity which helps women? The Pankhurst Trust (Incorporating Manchester Women’s Aid) promotes the equality of women and helps those suffering or at risk of domestic abuse.

Its Galentine’s Day quiz will raise money for the group, and will be hosted by Pointless champion Esther Lisk-Carew.

Event in Manchester / Free event / More information here.

Feminist Folk Songs (17 February 2019)

Tired of traditional tales that centre men and give a one-dimensional view of women? At Feminist Folk Songs, singer Jenny Sansom will lead an afternoon of songs from a variety of folk traditions where the heroes, protagonists and storytellers are women.

The music will tells the stories of women camping out in nature, being assertive in relationships, and finding inventive ways to escape peril, and there’ll be a discussion giving the historical and cultural context for each song.

Event in Bristol / From £18.72 /More information here.

The Female Experience Pop Up (18 - 24 February 2019)

There is no shortage of talented female film directors, writers and producers, even though Hollywood might leaving you thinking the opposite.

The Female Experience, a seven-day pop up in Brick Lane, Shoreditch, includes two days of talks by women in the creative industry, a retail day that will celebrate female entrepreneurship and four days of screenings of short films.

All the films showing at The Female Experience are written, directed or produced by women.

Event in London / Tickets from £5 / More information here.

Audacious Women Festival (21 - 25 February 2019)

Want to widen your horizons? Come along to the fourth annual Audacious Women Festival in Edinburgh. The women-only workshops, talks and performances here are all themed around the idea of trying something new - whether that means getting involved in political activism, singing in public, writing creatively or learning wilderness survival skills.

Event in Edinburgh / Some events free, others ticketed / More information here.

Feminist Life Drawing: #EleNao (21 February 2019)

In the same way that the election of Donald Trump sparked Women’s Marches around the world, the rise of Brazilian far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro proved the catalyst for last year’s #EleNao (‘Not Him’) movement. The women-led movement is a pushback against the extreme right in Brazil, and saw protests erupt across the country in 2018.

At this life drawing session, Brazilian women in London who are part of the #EleNao movement will strike poses inspired by the struggle, as well as lead a discussion about the best strategies for women’s movements.

Event in London / £10 / More information here

Mexican Feminism in Protest: The Photography of Ana Victoria Jiménez, 1964-1990 (28 February - 28 March 2019)

Delve into one of the largest feminist photographic archives in the world with this exhibition at Wadham College, Oxford.

Ana Victoria Jiménez was one of the founding members of the National Union of Mexican Women (Unión Nacional de Mujeres Mexicanas) in 1964, and would go on to participate in many of the most important feminist movements, collectives, and protests in Mexico City between 1964 and 1990.

This exhibition is divided into 10 themes, including feminism and motherhood, clashing feminisms and feminism and communism.

Event in Oxford / Free event / More information here.

MARCH 2019

Yours in Sisterhood Film Screening (1 - 9 March 2019)

Yours in Sisterhood is a film unlike any other. Between 2015 and 2017, director Irene Lusztig asked hundreds of strangers across the US to read aloud letters that were sent to the editor of Ms, the country’s first major feminist magazine, in the Seventies. The readers’ responses reveal how things have changed for the feminist movement in the last 40 years - and illuminate the work that’s still to be done.

Event in London / Tickets £9 / More information here.

100% Women at Richard Saltoun Gallery (1 March 2019 - February 2020)

From March 2019, London’s Richard Saltoun Gallery is dedicating 100% of its programme to women. This 12-month programme is part of the gallery’s commitment to supporting under-recognised and underrepresented female artists, and aims to protest gender inequality in the art world.

The programme kicks off on 1 March with the gallery’s first solo exhibition of work by British artist Rose English, an integral figure in the development of performance art in Britain. Shows by artists including Seventies avant-garde feminist Lili Dujourie and gender-defying Austrian photographer Renate Bertlmann will open later in 2019.

Event in London / Free / More information here

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 4: Thousands of people including politicians, celebrities and activists marched from the Houses of Parliament to a rally in Trafalgar Square in London during annual March4Women to mark International Women's Day and 100 years since women in the UK first gained the right to vote. The event, organised by CARE International, aims to highlight inequality faced by women and girls around the world and campaign for gender equality and women's rights worldwide. March 4, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

The annual March4Women event in 2018. Image: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

#March4Women (3 March 2019)

One hundred years ago, suffragettes held rallies in Westminster Central Hall in London. In 2019, the venue is being taken over by #March4Women, CARE International UK’s annual event to call for global gender equality. (The #March4Women was a demonstration through the streets of London last year, but in 2019 it’s an indoor event.) Expect rousing speeches from activists and #March4Women’s celebrity supporters, as well as musical performances and other brilliant entertainment.

Event in London / Tickets from £5 / More information here.

Women in Jazz present Jessica Lauren and Josephine Davies (3 March 2019)

Women in Jazz is a London-based collective celebrating women musicians from different backgrounds and jazz genres. This night of music at famed jazz venue Ronnie Scott’s is their first ever live event, and it looks set to be a corker: expect a mix of exciting female-led jazz bands and a DJ set of soul, R&B, disco roots and more, with proceeds going to charity Rights of Women.

London / From £10 / More information here.

Telling Feminist Stories: Research and Activism (2 March 2019)

Want to find out more about women’s lives across the world? This day-long event, hosted by York University’s Centre for Women’s Studies, will feature speakers on a range of topics, ending with a discussion on what feminism means to them.

Subjects for the talks include the representation of fat women in romance novels in Thailand, menstrual taboos and attitudes in the UK and East Africa, and Nigerian women’s experiences of immigration and employment.

Event in York / Free event / More information here.

Author and activist Naomi Klein known for her book No Logo attends a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn, British labour leader and leader of the opposition on trade unions and energy democracy during the COP21 climate change conference. Photo by John van Hasselt (Photo by John van Hasselt/Corbis via Getty Images)

Naomi Klein is among the people appearing at the 2019 Women of the World festival. Image: John van Hasselt/Corbis

WOW: Women of the World Festival (8 - 9 March 2019)

Women of the World (WOW) festival launched in the UK back in 2010, as a space for feminist activists, artists, performers and thinkers to celebrate women and girls everywhere - while raising awareness of issues that prevent them from achieving their true potential. Ahead of the 10th anniversary of WOW in 2020, they are hosting a brilliant festival of events at the Southbank Centre, to coincide with International Women’s Day 2019.

The two-day festival will feature a fantastically inspiring line-up of speakers, including political activist Angela Davis, author and filmmaker Naomi Klein and comedian Jo Brand, as part of a series of talks and workshops that take a fresh look at the state of gender politics and equality in the UK.

Event at the Southbank Centre in London / Prices vary / Buy tickets on the Southbank website here.

Hear Our Voice Concert (8 March 2019)

What better way to indulge in music by sitting back and letting the voices of a choir, or two, wash over you?

Hear Our Voice brings together two choirs of women from South Wales – Affinity Female Voice Choir from Cardiff and Treharmony Choir from Treharris. They will perform a repertoire of songs written or performed by women, including numbers by Lady Gaga, Lorde, Eva Cassidy and Christina Aguilera.

Event in Cardiff / Tickets £6 / More information here.

Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.  

Images: iStock / Rex Features / Getty Images

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Moya Crockett

Moya is Women’s Editor at stylist.co.uk. As well as writing about inspiring women and feminism, she also covers subjects including careers, politics and psychology. Carrying a bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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