‘Creating an Equal Future’ – International Women’s Day Wales 2017

Radio DJ Bethan Elfyn; Young Person’s laureate (Wales) Sophie McKeand; musicians Della Lupa and Swansea’s Sanctuary Sisters; spoken word artists Hanan Issa and Durre Mughal; young circus performers; comedians; athletes; firefighters; youth drama and school groups are just some of the inspirational people sharing their stories and taking part in the exciting programme celebrating International Women’s Day on 12 March at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea and Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.

International Women’s Day worldwide is a celebration of the achievements and contribution of women and the women’s movement. In line with the UN’s theme for this year, ‘Be Bold For Change’, The Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales and Fizzi Productions are designing an inclusive programme of events in both Cardiff and Swansea, focussed on the theme ‘Creating An Equal Future.’

The events will celebrate the achievements of women across all walks of life with an emphasis on capturing the voices of younger women and girls. The events aim to raise awareness of inequalities, help women and girls understand their rights and highlight the work being carried out in Wales advocating on behalf of women and girls.

The celebrations start in Swansea (click here for full programme) from 9am-3pm, where there will be a variety of workshops and exhibitions, plus live performances, walks and talks. In addition to the programme of events, there will be the monthly Marina Market with local produce, and Swansea Fair Trade Forum’s Market as part of Fair Trade Fortnight. Oxfam Store Swansea will also be running The Unfair Funfair, an old fashioned Funfair complete with coconut shy, Hoopla, Strengthometer and more! The Unfair Funfair is a fun way for all the family to learn more about the unfairness of everyday trade and the benefits of Fair Trade, whilst being a comical take on the traditional fair ground.

International Women’s Day Celebrations will continue at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (click here for full programme) which will have free workshops from 3pm-6pm in the Preseli Room, followed by a panel discussion and live music on The Glanfa Stage from 5.30pm-7.20pm.

From 7.30pm-10pm there will be a special International Women’s Day Celebrations ticketed event in the Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre where audiences will be asked to pay a suggested £10 ticket fee or Pay What You Can towards the event. Over the course of the evening a variety of artists, performers and speakers from music, dance and spoken word will have an opportunity to perform or be interviewed similar to the Jools Holland Hootenanny style event.

So far confirmed for the evening are musician Della Lupa; Young Person’s Laureate Wales Sophie McKeand performing spoken word with a Jazz Band; circus performers; stand-up comedian Amy Howerska; Taranau Taiko drummers; poetry from Hanan Issa, Durre Mughal and talks from a range of people including Hannah Phillips from Run Wales to Alison Kibblewhite, Wales first Female Firefighter. Tickets for the evening event will be on sale from Monday 27th February www.wenwales.org.uk

The Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales Co-Director, Melissa Wood said:

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the progress that women have made in Wales, while also recognising that many barriers still remain. It’s a time to celebrate the huge contribution women make to Welsh society. WEN Wales wants to take this opportunity to celebrate the hard work and commitment by organisations and individuals across Wales to achieving real equality for all women and girls”.

“We were thrilled with our events last year and the number of people we engaged with at Wales Millennium Centre and the National Waterfront Museum. This year we are delighted to be working with Fizzi Productions to create a varied inclusive programme of music, theatre, arts, with a fresh young appeal to engage with younger and more diverse audiences.”

The National Waterfront Museum, Swansea (click here for full programme) and Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff  (click here for full programme) will have a similar programme of inspirational participants, stands, workshops, talks and live music at both venues.

Bringing her unique Kate Bush esque alternative pop style fused with the dark themes reminiscent of classical music, Brighton artist Della Lupa will be performing at both venues alongside Swansea’s Sanctuary Sisters and Wales based comedian Amy Howerska. There will also be live drumming from Taranau Taiko and Radio Presenter Bethan Elfyn will be contributing with Bethan Elfyn’s Potted Guider To: 1. Blogging 2. Radio 3. The music industry.

Professor Emma Renold will be leading on workshops in both Swansea and Cardiff and sharing her two powerful visual art exhibitions which involved young people. Ruler-skirt-swing is an exhibition by ex-students of Pen Y Dre High School, Merthyr Tydfil and productivemargins.co.uk, and Life Support  is a visual art exhibition by Forsythia Youth and productivemargins.co.uk. Her workshops are also around the themes of Smashing Sexism.

Alice Wroe is bringing Herstory to Wales for the first time! In each workshop, participants are invited to take their seats at Herstory’s recreation of Judy Chicago’s canonical feminist artwork ‘The Dinner Party’. With a particular focus on Welsh women’s history, each guest is given all they need to become one of the ‘Herstory Sheros’ whether you are Augusta Hall, Gwen John or Amy Dillwyn, you will be in good company as the session will be spent journeying through herstory, celebrating women and achievements that have been systemically left out of history. Find out more @herstory_uk. Advance booking is essential.

Swansea Herstory workshop 11am-12.30pm tickets: here

Cardiff Herstory workshop 5.30-7pm tickets: here

There will also be performances from a variety of young people and women from across South Wales. Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr, Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, Pen Y Dre Comprehensive School in Merthyr, BAWSO Youth Group and Forsythia group will be performing 5 minute pieces on celebrating how young people in Wales are addressing gender equalities and gender-based and sexual violence in Swansea.

There will be talks and panel discussions around the themes #BeBoldForChange #EqualFuture with women including Durre Mughal, female athletes from Run Wales and career, equality and diversity in apprenticeships  with Humie Webbe just to name just a few of the participants supporting the event.

Cardiff based spoken word artist and writer Hanan Issa will be speaking about her experience and sharing some of her spoken word creations.

Hanan said, “International Women’s Day is essential for us to recognise and celebrate the contributions women have made and continue to make to the betterment of this world. Too often we are faced with the multitude of inequalities women face across the globe. IWD is an important balance to this and reminds us that there are so many things to celebrate in herstory!” 

To get a taster of the International Women’s Day programme on Tuesday 28th February from 6pm-7pm, there will be free live music and talks on the Glanfa Stage, Wales Millennium Centre.

In addition to the two South Wales events in Swansea and Cardiff there will be events in Bangor and Aberystwyth.

There will be two events in Aberystwyth including a fringe event at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on the evening of the 6 March with Honno Women’s press, and a conference in Aberystwyth University on 7th March.

In Bangor, there will be a series of talks, workshops and women’s enterprise fair in the Main Building of Bangor University on 4 March from 10am-3.30pm.  More information about these events can be found at www.wenwales.org.uk

Click on ‘International Women’s Day 2017’ on the side bar to your left for a drop down menu featuring each location. In here you will find more programme details. We will be announcing the full programme over the next new weeks so make sure you keep checking back!

Have a look at our footage from last year’s celebrations…