6-14 March 2021

Want to help with planning YIWW21? We are particularly keen to find someone who can take charge of social media as part of the coordinating group, but all skills are welcome.

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, normally, in a printed brochure  distributed around the city.  Interested? Want to get involved?

If you’d like to discuss being part of the coordinating team: email yorkwomensvoices@gmail.com

If you are interested in offering an event: watch out for our ‘Call for Events for YIWW2021’, details on this page around 1 November.


Last year summary:  YIWW20 occurred just as the pandemic was developing in the UK. Early events were able to go ahead, some with amendments,  though later events were all postponed or cancelled (see the Programme Page).

YIWW20 offered over 30 events organised by local people for local people, exploring the idea of ‘respect and recognition’ for all women,  in York, nationally and internationally, via workshops, talks, performances and more.  Read or download the YIWW20_Programme at a glance or view details of all of the events on the YIWW20 Programme Page. 

Printed brochures and flyers were available in local York venues, including Libraries and Visit York, and we kept up to date on this website and our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posts.

Thank you to all the amazing organisers, and to everyone who took part in some way, and to venues who supported these events. Please send your constructive feedback, we plan to be back in 2021!

YIWW20 in York Press
20th February;     8th March  

With best wishes  from the YIWW20 Coordinating Team: Penny Bainbridge, Marilyn Crawshaw, Rose Drew, Margaret Everall, Kate Hignett,  Ann Kaloski, Kim Stephen, June Tranmer; the YIWW20 Social Media Team:  Leena Agunabor, Georgia Bevan, Debbie Stuart; and the Publicity Distributors: Fatima Zohra Habib-Zahmani,  Jamie Khoo, Nicole Roy, Sttela Vasco.

We hope you can stay as safe as possible, and support each other over the next weeks and months.

Supported by

supporters logos

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 cws@york.ac.uk  if you’d like to discuss studying with us.

York Women’s Forum was founded in 2018 and is a developing network which aims to provide a vehicle for women to share ideas, knowledge and experiences, to identify issues for action, promote gender equality and non-discrimination in York, and encourage women to take part in our democracy. The Forum is non Party political, and open to all who self-identify as women. http://www.yorkwomensforum.wordpress.com


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