International Women’s Day on March 8 is a celebration of how much we have achieved, how far we’ve come but also to acknowledge how much more can be done.
Wonder Women is a city-wide festival in recognition of this cause that runs for 10 days from March 3, organised by People’s History Museum and CreativeTourist.
In 2018 it will be 100 years since women earnt the right to a partial vote, but it wasn’t until 1928 that women got to vote on equal terms with men.
However, despite the progress, there is much still to do and feminism remains as relevant as ever – regardless of the opinion of magazines such as The Spectator, which ran a cover story in October 2015 pronouncing that ‘it was time to move on’ as the movement’s ‘battle was won’.
Rebecca Lomas, 27, is hosting an exhibition entitled ‘Feminism is Dead’ which explores and discredits that sentiment.
“We just want to show people that there’s more to feminism than getting the vote and equal pay,” she told MM.
“We want to show that there’s still a long way to go and to show women that they’ve got something to fight for.
“They’re worth more.”
The exhibition also looks at different aspects of women’s rights including violence against women, politics, equal pay and female genital mutilation, as did Badass Women on the Walls, which was held at the People’s History Museum on Sunday.
The twitter trend #everydaysexism has people everywhere talking about their experiences or opinions on everyday encounters with the problem.
Many issues have risen through the hashtag, with women sharing stories of being objectified, disrespected and stereo-typed.
Badass Women on the Walls was a workshop attended by a number of women who looked through archives of stories about impressive Northern women, with that inspiration used to create art.
Beth Hermitt, 24, an artist at the workshop, told MM about her thoughts on historical women.
“[During the war] alot of women were at home, working very hard, not necessarily out on the frontlines but that’s bad ass to me,” she said.
“It takes a lot of perseverance and commitment.
“Then you had people that had to go out on the front lines, lots of them were arrested and that’s another form of being bad ass.
“There are no limitations to which individual will be regarded as bad-ass for me.”
And those sentiments were echoed by Beth Knowles, who helped to organise the event and told MM that it is the work of our forebears that allows us to live the lives we do now.
“Wonder Women is brilliant because we are all wonderful,” she said.
“It’s brilliant to see in this city, in Manchester and Salford, where women’s rights were fought for first.
“It’s only right that a festival like this is celebrating women in such a positive way in the home of women standing up for themselves and kicking up a fuss for us to have what we have today.”
For more information about the ways in which Manchester is celebrating International Women’s Day, click here.
Image courtesy of the People’s History Museum, with thanks