International Women’s Day: Celebrate Manchester’s first festival with a cycle and Danish pastries

A Danish-style breakfast bike ride to Whitworth Art Gallery is taking place on International Women’s Day, celebrating safer cycling in Manchester.

The ride will take place tomorrow at 8:00am starting at St Werburgh’s Road tram stop in Chorlton and will finish around 10:00am at Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery.

Riders will travel down the fan favourite Fallowfield Loop, an off-road cycle path which runs from Chorlton-cum-Hardy to Fairfield and is thought to be the longest urban cycleway in Britain.

The dress code for the event is Copenhagen Cycle Chic AKA whatever you feel comfortable wearing, and there will be Danish pastries available once riders reach Whitworth Gallery.

The logic behind this is that in Britain there are four times as many men cycling as women, whereas in Denmark more women cycle than men.

Sustrans – the charity organising the event – suggest that a lack of clearly marked cycle lanes put women off cycling on the roads.

Portraits will be taken of the riders for an online exhibition to inspire more women to get on their bikes.

International Women’s day first emerged from Labour movements in the 1900s in North America and across Europe, takes place on March 8 globally and celebrates women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements.

Manchester has recognised International Women’s Day for the last 25 years but this will be the first time a festival has taken place in the city.

The theme this year is ‘Our Manchester Women’ in recognition of the contribution women have made to our ever-advancing city.

“Manchester has always been at the heart of the women’s movement,” said Councillor Sarah Judge, lead member for women’s issues at Manchester City Council.

“It is exciting that we have our first women’s festival in the city celebrating women, their strength and diversity, and the important roles they play in our communities.“

The festival programme features a number of events, activities and celebrations, funded through the council’s small grant fund for local not-for-profit organisations.

The key event will be Manchester City Council’s International Women’s Day Awards, taking place at Manchester Town Hall.

The Emmeline Pankhurst Outstanding Contribution to the Woman of Manchester award will be given to a woman or organisation that has made an invaluable difference to the lives of women in the city.

Other exciting events include Girl Power, a showcase of work being done by young women to encourage them to get involved in politics.

A film screening of award-winning journalist, Zaina Erhaim’s Syria’s Rebellious Women, which showcases women fighting on the frontlines of war-torn Aleppo.

To see a full list of events taking place in Manchester go to

If you’d like to take part in the bike ride you can find more details at

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