Welcome to York International Women’s Week 2020.

Building on the success of previous events for York International Women’s Week, preparations are now under way for the 2020 festival, around 7-15 March, with a theme of ‘Respect and Recognition’.

The Call for Events is now closed.

The programme will be published here and in a printed brochure in early February, so watch this space for updates.


The idea of an annual ‘Women’s Day’ came out of an international conference of working women in 1910. Clara Zetkin proposed that there should be a day that combined celebration of women with action to improve their working conditions, bring about equal pay and ensure their voting rights. On 6th February 1918, the first women in the UK were finally awarded the vote, albeit only women aged 30+ with property (see Vote 100 for more info). Today the struggle continues to achieve gender equality both here in York – recent evidence of a growing local gender pay gap is testament to that – and around the world as well as to tackle the enduring challenges of gender-based violence. We welcome North Yorkshire Police’s 2017 decision to make misogyny a ‘hate crime’ but much remains to be done.

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 the festival pulled together by a small group of volunteers. We expect all events to be welcoming and inclusive and for everyone to join the festival 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.

York International Women’s Week operates with an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female”.  Some events may be for female-identified people only but we expect most will be open to all.

We hope you will consider joining in by offering events and/ or enjoying the programme to celebrate women’s worth and stand up for women’s rights!

Queries?:   yorkwomensvoices@gmail.com

The York International Women’s Week Organising Group

Supported by


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.


University of York Centre for Women’s Studies (CWS)

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, international group of students from many countries, including the rest of Europe, and we 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 ann.kaloski-naylor@york.ac.uk  if you’d like to discuss studying with us.