Friday 8 March 2024 marks International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the global accomplishments of women, and note the changes that still need to be made in achieving universal equality. This year’s theme is #InspireInclusion, which IWD explains as follows:
The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2024 is Inspire Inclusion.
When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world.
And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.
Collectively, let’s forge a more inclusive world for women.
When Is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day takes place every year on 8 March. In 2024, IWD is on a Friday.
Why Do We Celebrate It?
International Women’s Day is celebrated globally to recognise and honour the achievements of women across different fields and sections of society. It is observed by the United Nations and people across the globe, and serves to raise awareness of gender gaps, calling for acceleration towards equality and the upholding of women’s rights.
Its roots can be traced back to the early 20th century, when it was a majority far-left movement marked by socialist and communist groups. The first ‘Women’s Day’ was organised by the Socialist Party of America in New York City on 28 February 1909, which inspired the German International Socialist Women’s Conference to propose ‘a special Women’s Day’ in 1910. In 1911, demonstrations occurred across Europe in support of women’s rights (including in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland), but it wasn’t until women gained suffrage in Russia in 1917 that International Women’s Day as we know it came to be. It became a national holiday celebrated on 8 March every year by socialist movements and communist countries, and it wasn’t until the 1970s that the day was adopted by global feminist movements. The United Nations adopted the day in 1975, which itself was proclaimed the International Women’s Year. In 1977, the UN invited its member states to proclaim 8 March as an official UN holiday for women’s rights, and the day has commemorated every year since.
How To Celebrate International Women’s Day In London 2024
Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Spring
Running from 6–10 March 2024, the Battersea Spring edition of Affordable Art Fair straddles International Women’s Day, and art-lovers will be able to celebrate in style. Expect a special display of artworks by women from around the world, plus special IWD Art After Dark Lates on 7 and 8 March, featuring female DJs, Feminist Collage workshops, themed cocktails, and much more.
Details: Affordable Art Fair Battersea Spring runs 6–10 March 2024 at Battersea Evolution (Battersea Park, Queenstown Road, London SW11 4NJ, UK). Tickets start from £10 and can be booked at affordableartfair.com
Art On A Postcard’s Annual International Women’s Day Charity Auction
Art on a Postcard’s annual IWD auction is back, with eight respected female curators presenting eight auctions, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Hepatitis C Trust, specifically supporting the work they do with women affected by the criminal justice system, both in prison and local communities. Bidding starts at just £50, and it’s the perfect place to pick up a piece from emerging and established artists alike.
Details: The auction will be live via The Auction Collection from 27 February–12 March 2024. If you want to see the pieces in person before you bid, there will be a preview at Covent Garden’s Bomb Factory (15 Odhams Walk, London WC2H 9SA) on 5 March from 6–8pm. Find out more at artonapostcard.com
Wellness Series At Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch
Throughout March, East London’s Nobu Hotel is running a series of wellness events in its Kaijo events space, focused around nurturing feminine energy. First up on International Women’s Day itself is a sound healing session with Saiki Wellness founder Lauren, designed to help release stress and tension through the power of sound. There’s also a meditation class on 18 March, and a yoga session on 25 March.
Details: IWD event on 8 March from 7 – 9pm, following events on 18 and 24 March. Find out more at london-shoreditch.nobuhotels.com
All-Female Comedy Night
At The Moniker by Drake & Morgan, International Women’s Day will see an all-female night of comedy, with a star studded line-up to boot. In collaboration with The Comedy Store, prepare for laughs aplenty from the likes of Thanyia Moore, Helen Bauer and Ria Lina. Better still, tickets include a three course dinner and a welcome drink.
Details: Friday 8 March 2024 from 6pm at The Moniker (25 Fenchurch Ave, London EC3M 5AD). Tickets are £45 per person and can be booked at drakeandmorgan.co.uk
Women In Wine Event
In partnership with Equal Measures 2030, who work towards fostering a more inclusive and equitable world, The Pilgrm will host a special Women in Wine charity event in celebration of IWD on 7 March 2024. The Pilgrm’s very own sommelier will be joined by The Guardian’s wine writer Fiona Beckett and VinaLupa founder Emily Harman to host an evening of curated wine tasting featuring accessible wines produced by female winemakers. Following the tasting, Fiona and Emily will be joined by guest speaker Christina Rasmussen: writer, educator and recently turned winemaker, for an interactive discussion on the pivotal role of women in the wine industry.
Details: Thursday 7 March 2024 from 6.30pm at The Pilgrm (25 London St, Tyburnia, London W2 1HH). Tickets are £50 – with all proceeds donated to Equal Measures 2030 – and can be purchased at thepilgrm.com
Festival Of Women
Mama Shelter London Shoreditch is hosting three events in the run up to International Women’s Day, with a ‘Comedy Queens’ comedy night at the fore on Tuesday 5 March, starring Michelle de Swarte, Helen Bauer and Ester Manito, with Alexandra Haddow as the evening’s MC. On Monday 4 March, there’s a ‘Ladies of Restaurants’ event, and on Thursday 7 March Zaynah Bakes will host a special Supper Club.
Details: Monday 4–Thursday 7 March 2024 at Mama Shelter London Shoreditch (437 Hackney Road, London E2 8PP). See the full line up of events and book your tickets at mamashelter.com