International Women’s Day Derby 2020


Derby is getting ready to celebrate International Women’s Day on Saturday 7th March 2020. The celebrations, organised by volunteers, begin with a Women’s Rights March & Rally followed by an inspiring #ShePersisted Speak-Up event and various activities at QUAD – you can help us make it all happen by backing our Crowdfunder campaign here

IWD 2020 online pic

10.30am Saturday 7th March Women’s Rights March & Rally: Gather by the Waterfall, Derby Market Place,  with your banners and join in a warm-up of  chants and protest songs. You might like to wear Suffragette colours – purple, green & white too. The March will proceed at 11am onto Sadler Gate, The Strand, St James Street, Cornmarket, pausing outside the Council House Corporation Street then returning to the The Waterfall, Speakers’ Corner, Market Place for rally & speeches. All genders welcome; all supporters welcome to join in; the route is accessible for wheelchair users and is family-friendly.

This will be followed by a variety of events at QUAD, Derby Market Place, including an inspiring #ShePersisted Speak-Up a ticketed event, with free creche, book via free tickets have also been gifted to women supported by local charities. BSL Interpreters will be provided with thanks to Derby City Council.

Also at QUAD will be a free IWD-themed family crafts drop-in participation space, a coding workshop for girls (pre-book £5 via QUAD Box Office) and free art gallery exhibition by feminist artist Anna Bunting-Branch.

IWD Derby #ShePersisted Speak-Up at QUAD programme Saturday 7th March:

12:00pm IWD Derby Exhibition, The Box, QUAD browse exhibitor stalls including inspiring local women’s charities, projects and local HERstory including the Suffragettes in our city; there is also time to enjoy refreshments from QUAD Bar & Cafe

12.45pm Songs by Uke Songstress Sue Warren, Cinema Two, QUAD                      1:00pm #ShePersisted Speak Up starts – Cinema Two, QUAD
1pm Welcome by MC Sue Warren
1:05pm IWD speeches by the IWD Derby Chair Vanessa Boon & Volunteer Team
1:30pm Discovering Local HERstory – Sonya Robotham, Vox Feminarum presents the findings of the Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation project uncovering the hidden history of over 100 years of women’s activism in Derby & Derbyshire
2:00pm Eco Warrior Women: talk by ‘Queen of Green’ Penney Poyzer-Schalom multi award winning eco campaigner, pioneer & TV Presenter. Co-owner of the UK’s first eco-upcycle retrofit of a Victorian home + panel discussion with local eco activists including Extinction Rebellion, with audience Q&A
2:40pm She Speaks – art is our liberation – powerful poets & spoken word artists 3:00pm Break – browse stalls in The Box, refreshments available from QUAD Bar / Café  3:30pm Women Rising Up To Resist Hate inspiring anti-oppression campaigners share their experience, highlight current issues and what we can all do to resist the hate and division stirred up by the far-right, ‘hostile environment’ policies & the media , with Q&A
4:00pm Inspiring Talk by Sarah Maple, Feminist Artist award winning visual artist known for her bold, brave, mischievous and questioning artworks that challenge traditionally accepted notions of identity, gender, religion and the status quo. Much of Maple’s inspiration originates from her mixed religious and cultural upbringing, with works that explore what it means be a woman and a Muslim in 21st century Britain. Her artwork, film and performances have been exhibited internationally at galleries and institutions including Tate Britain, Golden Thread Gallery and Tallin Art Hall. Recent commissions include The Baltic, Nottingham New Art Exchange and Sky Arts.         4:30pm IWD Derby Rebel Women’s Choir songs celebrating world-changing women, with an uplifting sing-along, led by choir leader Jo Lewis
5:00pm 20 in 20 for 2020 Twenty trailblazer 1-minute messages from local women & girls creating change spanning engineering, politics, art, sports and activism
5.25 IWD Derby Team Closing Thoughts & Thanks
5:30 #ShePersisted Speak Up ends – Power to the women, Power to the girls!
Time to browse stalls in The Box, mingle, reflect and enjoy refreshments

Make a night of it! QUAD will also host a Feminist Film Screening in the evening – tickets available from QUAD Box Office.
***Derby Celebrates*** We are also encouraging and promoting a range of IWD & Women’s HERstory Month events hosted by other groups and venues across Derby – send us your event details to be added to the list:

IWD dance events at Deda: Double Bill of Female Choreographers, Thursday 5th March: Two talented choreographers will present work that explores themes of empowerment, relationships and the defiant image of femininity in a gripping double bill of performances.Book via Deda

A Hidden History of Women in Art: From the Renaissance to the enlightenment. Learn about incredible women in art. Talk by Sue Arguile at Derby Museum, 11am-12pm Saturday 7th March. From the Renaissance onwards, artists became celebrities. Names such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and our very own Joseph Wright are familiar to us all, but what about their female contemporaries? Why do we not know their names and why is their work less celebrated? More recent artists such as Frida Kahlo and Tracy Emin have gained recognition, but their predecessors are still hidden in the shadows of history. This talk will introduce some of these brilliant women and their work. Suitable for young people and adults. Booking essential.

Women as Nation Builders Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association is organising their 5th Interfaith Event at the Multifaith Center at the University of Derby on the 7th March 2020 11.30am-2pm. This event is to celebrate International Women’s day and to stand in Solidarity against all forms of Hate. The event is a Women’s only event on the theme, “Women as Nation Builders”.

Derby Cycling Group & Breeze women’s bike ride Sunday 8th March

Women’s HERstory Month events throughout March – see Vox Feminarum facebook page for details

STAND UP! Open Exhibition Artcore Gallery Derby, 5th to 28th March 2020 STAND UP! invites artists from across the world to explore and celebrate International Women’s Day. STAND UP! will investigate the role of women in the arts, and their huge impact on the cultural fabric of contemporary society. It will be a platform for artists to re-imagine citizenship, identity and women’s labour with a view to informing new visions for the future, in testing times. Artist Submission deadline 17th Feb

Help us raise £2020 for 2020


We’re crowdfunding for an inspiring International Women’s Day Derby 2020 – with your help we can put on an inspiring showcase of trailblazing women’s stories with a #ShePersisted Speak-Up event, women’s rights march & rally and empowering magazine to help more local women and girls unleash their inner change-maker!

You can donate here as an individual, you can raise funds for us e.g. by throwing a Sisterhood Party or coffee morning,  or pledge as an organistaion, with a sponsorship package available showing your support for women’s equality; your backing will enable more women and girls to feel like this:
“Inspired”  “Empowering”  “Uplifted”  “Highlight of my year”

“Enriched and saw my youngest daughter flourish!” 

“I’ve been inspired, supported and encouraged to try new activities and learned so much about so many inspirational and determined women”

“Thanks to the amazing free creche facilities I was able to stay all day knowing my daughter was safe and happy. She loved her day at Quad and taking part in the Suffragette march and singing”

“Gender inequality is insidious and continues today despite protestations that it’s no longer so much of a problem. Events like IWD Derby help claim a space to proactively engage with gender equality in a positive way” 

“Uplifting atmosphere, it was buzzing with women’s causes, diversity, celebration and a good mix of fun entertainment and powerful inspiring messages and workshops too. The march carrying HERoes from HERstory placards was especially powerful”


Join our Rebel Women’s Choir


Update: Join our Rebel Women’s Choir in 2020 for fun friendly empowering singing of songs that celebrate inspiring women with the opportunity to perform with us at International Women’s Day Derby on Saturday 7th March 2020. FREE / donations appreciated. No singing experience needed, no need to read music, no auditions, no judgement – it’s not the notes you sing it’s the joy you bring! Child-friendly, little ones can play in a welcoming space; ideal for girls 7yrs+ accompanied by an adult to join in singing with us too.

Upcoming sessions: 11.30am-1.30pm at Derby Women’s Centre, Leopold Street, Derby on the following dates –

Sat 25th Jan
Sat 1st Feb
Sat 8th Feb
Sat 22nd Feb
Sat 29th Feb plus performance at 4.30pm-5pm at IWD on 7th March at QUAD – we hope you’ll also join us for the day of IWD celebrations – click here for details

Past Choir News:

Winter 2019: Thanks to all our Rebel Women’s Choir members for singing Christmas songs with a feminist twist at the Winter Gathering, Derby Arboretum.

Autumn 2019: Our Rebel Women’s Choir returns for autumn 2019 and new / shy singers are very welcome – it’s fun, uplifting, boosts wellbeing and confidence all in a supportive sisterhood  

This autumn we have 6 choir sessions lined up, plus optional performances. All women are very welcome to attend the inclusive friendly sessions led by Jo Lewis, at Derby Women’s Centre on Leopold Street, 11:30am -1:30pm (times may vary on performance days)
Dates for your diary:
Sat 28th Sept
Sat 5th Oct
Sat 26th Oct
SUN 3rd Nov – rehearsal & optional performance at IWD Clothes Swap at the Polish Centre. Times TBC
Sat 16th Nov – rehearsal & optional performance at IWD fundraiser event. Times TBC
Sat 23rd Nov

Donations appreciated; free if you need it to be.

Our choir is brilliant for girls 7yrs+ to attend with a responsible adult too. They will learn liberating songs by and about trailblazing women, past and present, from around the world. Rebel Women's Choir

More dates will also be planned for the new year as the choir gets ready to perform at our flagship annual International Women’s Day Festival celebration in March 2020

Thanks for celebrating IWD with us!


Wow! Let the history books record that on Saturday 9th March 2019 Derby brought many diverse local communities together to celebrate International Women’s Day with a buzzing huge marquee of performers, stalls and family fun on the Arboretum followed by a march through the city carrying HERoes from HERstory placards and an after party with She Speaks UK sharing a showcase of female and non-binary artists’ powerful poetry and performance and a female DJ to end the night with a Reclaim the Dancefloor disco.

Were you there? We really need your feedback – here’s a link to a quick e-survey:

Your feedback helps us to secure funding, sponsorship and to keep making this volunteer-run festival happen each year – thank you!

Enjoy photos from our vibrant celebrations on our social media pages @WomensDayDerby on facebook and twitter


Derby ready to celebrate #IWD2019


This Saturday 9th March 2019 Derby celebrates International Women’s Day with a vibrant FREE festival for the community, all organised by volunteers.

Celebrations, performances, inspiring workshops, stalls, a Human Library, inspiring women in male dominated fields like engineers and fire fighters, food stalls and family fun can be enjoyed from 12pm-4pm at the Arboretum Park, Rose Hill Street, Derby under a huge marquee –  see location map and bus routes below; street parking is available nearby but can get busy and Grove Street car park is close by. There will be a free creche from Orchard Garden Private Day Nursery you can contact them to book your little ones in for some fun time whilst you have some ‘me time’ by calling 01332 370497 or you can pop by on the day at the event, the creche will be in the building by the tennis/basketball courts; creche places subject to availability. There will also be plenty of family fun for kids to enjoy including a playbus, fire engine, crafts, nature activities, dance-alongs and a sensory bus too.

At 4pm there is a Women’s Rights March from the Arboretum into town and then onto our after party from 5pm-11pm at Derby West Indian Community Association on Trinity Street. Click here for more info

how to get to derby arboretum by bus