Visible Women

The best events in London for International Women’s Day 2019

Posted by
Lucy Robson
International Women's Day

All of the latest news and events taking place for International Women’s Day 2019 #BalanceForBetter

When is International Women’s Day 2019 and what is the theme?

A major date in the feminist calendar to bookmark for next year is the UN backed International Women’s Day day - celebrating women everywhere and advancing the worldwide movement towards gender equality and women’s rights. International Women’s Day will take place this year on Friday 8 March 2019.

Rather than taking on the impossible task of tackling every single issue in the complex battle for gender equality worldwide, International Women’s day each year focuses specifically on a theme that has been particularly prevalent in the last year. In 2018, the call to action was to #PressForProgress, in the global movement towards gender equality, rallying for a fundamental shift in the mindset of communities and organisations worldwide to be gender inclusive, regardless of industry, background or situation.

For 2019, International Women’s Day campaign will, of course, continue to push for progress in gender equality, this time demanding #BalanceForBetter, with a line-up of female led events and activities happening globally, seeking to educate on and promote a more gender-balanced world.

When did International Women’s Day start and who founded it?

Originally ‘National Women’s Day,’ the first day celebrating the women’s rights movement was organised by the Socialist Party in America and took place in New York on 28 February 28 1909 in New York. This initial date in the US sparked a series of days celebrating the continued fight for equal rights and women’s suffrage in countries across the world, including Denmark, Austria, Germany and Russia.

The United Nations took Women’s Day global in 1975, the ‘International Women’s Year,’ calling on member states to officially mark 8 March as the UN day for Women’s Rights and World Peace,’ which became International Women’s Day. The date is so widely celebrated, it is now an official holiday, in countries such as Afghanistan, China and Vietnam. 

How can you support International Women’s Day?

“On 8 March, join activists around the world and UN Women to seize the moment, celebrate, take action and transform women’s lives everywhere. The time is NOW.”

There will be various events happening across London in celebration of International Women’s Day. Only a few have been announced officially so far, but this page will be updated as and when new events for IWD 2019 are announced - so be sure to bookmark this page and keep checking back.

Not based in London? You can also support International Women’s Day 2019 by following our simple guide here


8 charities that deserve your attention on International Women’s Day

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

WOW Festival Southbank

Women of the World (WOW) festivals 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 taking place at the Southbank from 8-9 March 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. 

WOW Festival Line-up includes:

Friday 8 March 2019 

  • WOW: What Now? Led by Jude Kelly (2pm)
  • Women on the Move Awards 2019 (6.30pm)
  • Jo Brand’s Born Lippy: How to Do Female (8pm)
  • Angela Davis in Conversation (8pm)

Saturday 9 March 2019 

  • New Daughters of Africa with Margaret Busby (6pm)
  • Naomi Klein in Conversation (8pm)
  • Catherine Mayer FFS (8.30pm)

Note - each event at WOW is individually ticketed. 


How International Women’s Day is celebrated differently around the world

This page will be updated as and when new events for International Women’s Day 2019 are announced - so be sure to bookmark this page and keep checking back.

Images: The Corner Shop - WOW - Getty


Share this article


Lucy Robson

Lucy Robson is an SEO writer for, who enjoys chasing trends and writing about books, film, TV and other lifestyle and feminist news.

Recommended by Lucy Robson

  • Visible Women

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

    Celebrate, educate and get irate at these events, into autumn and beyond.

    Posted by
    Moya Crockett
  • Life

    The top 50 most empowering feminist quotes of all time

    “No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor.”

    Posted by
    Stylist Team
  • People

    My feminist icon: Deborah Frances-White reveals why Emilia Lanier inspires her the most

    “Drink to Emilia and her iconic audacity, wit and triumph over every patriarchal adversity”

    Posted by
    Deborah Frances-White
  • People

    50 feminist icons

    Figures of female equality

    Posted by
    Anna Pollitt
  • Life

    Two female MPs denounce the vilification of women in politics

    “Equality and feminism matter to all of us”

    Posted by
    Sarah Biddlecombe
  • People

    “What being the father of four daughters has taught me about feminism”

    Simon Hooper, aka Father of Daughters, on how becoming a parent gave him a deeper understanding of the push for gender equality

    Posted by
    Simon Hooper

Other people read

More from Visible Women

More from Lucy Robson