About


YORK INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S WEEK

6th – 14th March 2021

Each year, local women get together to plan a programme to mark International Women’s Day, 8th March. We do it by encouraging the development of events from as many different walks of life as possible with a view to getting as many women involved as possible.  The coordinating group then pull the events into a programme which is published on this website, via social media and in print.   

The Call for Events for YIWW2021 is now live.

This year our theme is ‘Women in a time of Plague’ 

We welcome a wide variety of events that make connections to this theme, ranging across economic, political, cultural, creative, historical and health and well-being issues as relevant locally, nationally and globally. This year, perhaps more than ever, we need a range of events that explore women’s complex lives within the pandemic, and bring us together in a supportive way.

Although we expect most events will be online, we do hope there will be ways to have some in-person events, depending on laws and safety concerns next March.

Please read the Call for Events and Guidelines for more information on planning your event and submitting an application to be included in YIWW2021. And do browse the Programmes from past years for inspiration.


If you would like to be added to the YIWW mailing list please email  yorkwomensvoices@gmail.com with MAILING LIST in the subject heading. 


With best wishes  from the YIWW2021 Coordinating Group: Rose Drew, Pilar Girvan, Penny Bainbridge, Marilyn Crawshaw, Margaret Everall, Kim Stephen, Katy Grant, Kate Hignett, June Tranmer, Candi Colburn, Ann Kaloski. 

Supported by

logo 3 YIWW

Centre for Women’s Studies, University of York
The Centre for Women’s Studies (CWS) was established at the University of York in 1984. It has grown to become a world-leading centre for the study of women and gender, offering innovative teaching across the humanities and social sciences, linking theory in imaginative ways to current affairs and cultural and political issues. CWS offers postgraduate Diplomas, MAs, and PhDs. We are lucky to have a lively,  national and international group of students, and we also warmly welcome applications from those living locally in York and the surrounding area. Students normally have a 2:1 in their first degree, and we also take relevant experience into account. For details, see www.york.ac.uk/womens-studies and contact cws@york.ac.uk  if you’d like to discuss studying with us.

York Human Rights City
In April 2017, York was declared the UK’s first Human Rights City.  Its Declaration commits to promote human rights in decision making, to ensure all residents’ human rights are respected, and to encourage awareness and debate about human rights.  To read more about what is happening in the city and to sign up for regular notices, visit www.yorkhumanrights.org; Fb:@YorkHumanRightsCity; Twitter:@YorkHumanRights.

Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York
The Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) is an interdisciplinary research and teaching centre. Its friendly community of scholars and visiting practitioners share a commitment to the real-world challenges of putting human rights into practice and protecting human rights defenders at risk. This focus on human rights defending and defenders shapes all the Centre’s work. CAHR is international in breadth and draws on the University of York’s rich tradition of rigorous and engaged scholarship in the fields of development, post-war reconstruction, public policy, public health, disability rights, gender and women’s rights, environmental issues, and refugee law. CAHR offers two postgraduate programmes, an MA in Applied Human Rights and LLM International Human Rights Law and Practice. For more information or to join our mailing list please email cahr-admin@york.ac.uk.

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Background to York International Women’s Week

There are different versions of the origins of the idea of holding an annual ‘Women’s Day’ but a key event was a European conference of working women in 1910. There, Clara Zetkin proposed an annual day to celebrate women at the same time as urging action to improve working conditions, bring about equal pay and ensure women’s voting rights.  Over the years, campaigns to shift attitudes and challenge discrimination on these and other areas such as gender-based violence have achieved much.  And there is more to do.  Did you know, for example, that globally one new ‘child bride’ gets married every two seconds?  That women are almost twice as likely as men to suffer severe injuries in car crashes because safety features are designed for men? That only six countries in the world – Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden – give women equal legal work rights as men?  That women have been hit far harder than men from austerity? And for women who are disabled or from minority ethnic groups, the effects of gender discrimination are magnified? [www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/03/surprising-stats-about-gender-inequality]

International Women’s Day is now marked in many countries on 8th March each year.

In York people come together to celebrate women’s achievements, to witness women’s struggles, and to work towards justice and equality for all, locally and globally. This year the broad aim of the festival is ‘Respect and Recognition’ for all women, whatever their cultural or personal background and identity. The events are offered by local organisers (individual and groups) and coordinated by a small group of volunteers. We expect all events to be welcoming and inclusive and for everyone to join in, in the spirit of respect and recognition. We must all also acknowledge our responsibility to listen to each other and not seek to silence women even if we don’t share the same views. Our voices as women have been silenced for too long. We welcome all women and everyone in support of them to join us.

We hope you will join in – browse the programme,  find out something new about women’s rights locally and globally, enjoy a poetry or music gig,  try new activity such as acting or yoga – and celebrate women’s worth in the world.

Queries?:   yorkwomensvoices@gmail.com