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Why you should join Stylist at #March4Women this Sunday

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Stylist Team
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Everything you need to know about #March4Women 2019, the feminist event celebrating women who changed the world – and demanding an end to workplace sexual harassment. 

It’s officially March. Shocking, we know. But if you needed any more excuse to feel optimistic about the approach of spring, charity Care International is holding the seventh annual #March4Women event in London on Sunday 3 March.

Last year’s #March4Women saw thousands of people, including Team Stylist, gather in central London to demand gender equality. A joyful stride through the capital culminated in an inspiring rally hosted by Sue Perkins in Trafalgar Square, featuring speeches from the likes of Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and performances by actors and musicians such as Anne-Marie Duff, Michael Sheen and the all-woman Bond String Quartet.

But at this year’s #March4Women event, there will be less active marching and more rallying. The 2019 event is being held inside Central Hall Westminster, a historic gathering place that the suffragettes regularly frequented a century ago for their own political events. 

Beverley Knight will be performing at #March4Women 2019 

Attendees at the #March4Women event can expect a jam-packed afternoon of speeches, solidarity and entertainment, featuring speeches from inspirational figures including Helena Bonham Carter, Annie Lennox, Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, David Tennant and Helen Pankhurst. Sue Perkins will also be taking up the mantle of host with the most once again. 

Singer and actress Beverley Knight, who played Emmeline Pankhurst in suffragette musical Sylvia at The Old Vic theatre in 2018, is just one of the musicians who’ll be performing on the day. 

“The [suffragette] rallying cry ‘March Women March’ is once again reverberating around the world as woman stand up against the awful sexual, violent and domestic abuse that still persists in our society,” Knight says.

“One hundred years on from that first victory for some British women obtaining the vote, I am proud to #March4Women.”

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For those who not able to make the #March4Women event on 3 March, there’s also a whole month of action planned. Care International is launching a nationwide pub quiz campaign, taking place from 4-12 March, to raise awareness for International Women’s Day 2019 and funds for women living in poverty. You can get involved either by attending a quiz or hosting one.

Or if direct political deeds are up your street, the charity has also kickstarted its campaign of support for women (and men) who want to lobby their MP to publicly pledge to end workplace harassment.

Essentially, the time for change is here – and this is your chance to join in. Read on for everything you need to know about how to get involved. 

Host Sue Perkins on stage at last year’s #March4Women 

What is the #March4Women 2019 event about?

#March4Women 2019 is inspired by the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act in the UK, which allowed women to work in many professions for the first time – including as lawyers. As a result, the event will celebrate women who have challenged the law to change the world.

The day will also build on #ThisIsNotWorking, the global campaign against workplace harassment launched by Care International in 2018. 

When is #March4Women 2019?

This year’s #March4Women event will take place on Sunday 3 March 2019, from 2.15-4.15pm. 

Where is the #March4Women 2019 event taking place?

Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate, London, SW1H 9NH. 

Lady Hale, the first woman president of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, will be at #March4Women 2019 

Who will be at #March4Women?

Attendees will enjoy live performances from a star-studded line-up of performers – as well as inspiring speeches from global gender equality activists and women who have challenged and changed the law.

Helena Bonham Carter, Annie Lennox, Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, David Tennant and Helen Pankhurst will all be speaking on the day, as well as Mexican labour rights activist Marcelina Bautista and Lady Hale, the first woman president of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

“Even in an advanced liberal democracy such as ours, there are still battles to be fought, and we must still have the moral courage to fight them,” Lady Hale tells Stylist.

She continues: “But just as Millicent Fawcett pronounced ‘courage calls to courage everywhere’, we must not forget that there are many other women in the world who are far worse placed than we are and we must reach out to and support them too. That’s why I’ll be at this year’s #March4Women, 100 years since women were permitted to practice law.”

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BBC Woman’s Hour presenter Jane Garvey will also be hosting a panel discussion with gender equality advocates who have challenged the law: FGM campaigner Leyla Hussein; Gina Martin, the activist who made upskirting illegal; and Shaista Gohir, Executive Director of the Muslim Women’s Network.

As well as Beverley Knight, music will be provided by Imelda May, Bond Quartet, Urban Voices Collective and legendary composer David Arnold.

Stylist is the official media partner for #March4Women 2019, so Team Stylist will also be in attendance on the day.

The event will be produced by White Light, the production company behind West End shows such as Aladdin and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  

The crowd at last year’s #March4Women in London 

Who can take part in #March4Women?

Everyone is welcome to attend. Care International is committed to working towards a more equal world for people of all genders, and speakers at the event will talk about how everyone – including men and boys – can challenge gender discrimination and inequality.

Central Hall Westminster is fully accessible for all visitors, including step-free access to the building from nearby Westminster underground station. Find out more about accessibility here.  

If you can’t make it to #March4Women, we’ll be running a live blog featuring all the highlights from the day. Just come back to stylist.co.uk on Sunday. 

Do you need to buy a ticket for #March4Women?

Yes. Tickets start at £5 and can be purchased via eventbrite.co.uk

When is the pub quiz for #March4Women and how do I take part?

Pub quizzes coordinated by Care International will take place across the UK in the run-up to International Women’s Day 2019, between 4 and 12 March. Dubbed a Quiz Night Out, these charity pub quizzes will raise money to support Care International’s work supporting women in poverty around the world.

Think this sounds like fun? The good news is, anyone can organise a Quiz Night Out – and it’s free. Care International will provide promotional materials, as well as audio and video questions pre-recorded by celebrity quiz masters.

To sign up as a Quiz Night Out host or find a quiz near you, visit careinternational.org.uk.  

MP Jess Phillips will be sharing her tips on political lobbying 

How can I join #March4Women to lobby my MP about workplace sexual harassment?

As part of #March4Women and in the run-up to International Women’s Day 2019, Care International will be holding a day of action where women can meet with their MP in Parliament and ask them to publicly pledge their commitment to ending workplace harassment.

If this sounds up your street, head to Westminster Methodist Hall for 11am on Tuesday 5 March. Over the course of the day, training in political lobbying will be provided by Helen Pankhurst, Jess Phillips MP – who founded the Not the Job campaign against sexual harassment at work – and Maria Miller MP, who led the Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into workplace sexual harassment. 

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At the end of the day, you’ll meet with your MP. The aim is to get the government to agree to introduce legal duties that require employers to prevent workplace harassment and reinstate third-party harassment laws by the end of the year.

If you can’t make it to London on 5 March (or can’t take the time off work), you can attend individual lobbying constituency meetings in the run-up to International Women’s Day and beyond. You can find out more about Care International’s lobbying initiative here.

To buy tickets for #March4Women 2019, and for more information on all Care International’s initiatives, visit careinternational.org.uk/march4women 

Images: Getty Images / Care International