Sat 30 May 2020

With International Women’s Week fast approaching, Ms. Suffragette gives her pick of the most interesting events to attend.

International Women’s Week will be starting on March 1, with International Women’s Day on March 8. Both will be marked by a number of events. Surfing for tickets to purchase, I linger over luscious-sounding happenings in Australia and Canada. However, I will be in this most cheerful of countries, pre-Brexit Britain.

What to choose? From Edinburgh to Bradford and beyond, you can meet hundreds of super-motivated women.

The International Women’s Day Conference will take place in Chester with the theme ‘Be Ready, Be Resilient, Be Remarkable’. I am going to practice shouting “Are we ready? Yes we are!” immediately.

The keynote speakers will be Henrietta Jowitt, CBI Deputy Director-General Commercial, and Sue Grindrod, Chief Executive of Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock. A panel of three brave men have also put their hands up to discuss ways to create a “gender-balanced world”. If you want to make your mark in business, this could be your starter for 10.

Down in London, the WOW – Women of the World Festival – will take place again at the Southbank Centre on March 8-9. The line-up of speakers is impressive, with tickets selling fast. Fancy yourself as Boudica charging into battle? Then check out ‘WOW: What Now?’ on the Friday at 2pm with Annie Lennox, Julia Gillard (the first female Prime Minister of Australia), the fearless Gina Miller (‘how dare you implement Brexit without Parliament’s approval’), Rizzie Kicks’ Jordan Stephens and Scarlett Curtis, New York blogger and founder of The Pink Protest.

For sharp political scrutiny, Naomi Klein (who has been appointed the inaugural Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick) will be taking to the stage with WOW founder Jude Kelly to discuss the media, human rights, economic justice, climate change and much more.

Catherine Mayer, co-founder of the Women’s Equality party, will address the dangers of deranged presidents and the soundbite culture. She has dubbed the feminist future “Equalia”. It reminds me of the name of a distant planet in Star Trek. Let’s hope global women’s equality isn’t light years away.

For an appealing mix of speeches and solidarity, Care International is busy organising its ‘March 4 Women 2019‘ on Sunday, March 3 at Westminster Central Hall. Admission is £5 and tickets need to be booked in advance (email if you require a free ticket). If I can afford the train fare, I will see you there.

In anticipation of creating the newly-empowered Ms. Suffragette, I am dreaming of the day when I buy Arcadia from a disgraced and de-knighted Philip Green. Across the boardroom table, I will point my finger and utter those now classic words “you’re fired”. My new best friend Baroness Brady and I will stand, raise our arms and chant “why are we waiting” as Green exits stage left. Then we invite cheering Arcadia staffers and impoverished BHS pensioners in for a no expense spared knees-up and Dua “we’ve stepped up” Lipa will agree to be the face of Topshop.


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