Help Derby feel amazing for International Women’s Day 2019


Our volunteers have worked hard fundraising and planning all year to give Derby another uplifting IWD Festival – can you chip in to help us make more people feel great?

Support our Crowdfunder here

Derby has a HERstory of celebrating International Women’s Day going back over 100 years to the Suffragettes in our city. Volunteers work hard to deliver this annual heritage event to benefit the community and we need your support to keep the tradition alive!

This annual community festival makes a real difference in Derby. Visitors report benefits to their health and wellbeing, confidence, sense of empowerment and liberation; the event has inspired women and girls into new hobbies, sports, careers and activism, connected people with vital local support groups and charities as well as reducing loneliness by bringing communities together, celebrating diversity and broadening horizons. This year’s festival takes place on Saturday 9th March 12pm-4pm at Derby Arboretum followed by a women’s rights march into the city centre and onwards to an after-party from 5pm-11pm at Derby West Indian Community Centre with a mini ‘night market’ and She Speaks UK hosting powerful poetry and performances.

Can you make a pledge to help us make more people feel like this? 

“Inspiring and motivational”
“This event had a brilliant effect on my mental health – I left feeling happier and more energetic than I had in a long time. It brought to my awareness just how many creative, inspiring, supportive women there are in my area and it was important for us all to come together to build our community”

“A fantastic event – smiling faces and food for the heart, mind and soul”

“I felt uplifted by the day. It was an incredible celebration and reminder of the women who fought for the rights we enjoy today. I feel inspired to do more to support campaigns for women and girls worldwide”

“This event was SO important in not only celebrating inspiring women, but to highlight how important it is to make a noise about issues women are STILL facing”

“Buzzing, diverse, important”
“My daughter who is 3 found the confidence to sing on the stage by herself. I want her to keep hold of that confidence by celebrating women’s achievements”
“I used to look up to pop stars but now I think my mum is actually really inspiring”
“It inspired my daughters about their careers, choices and gave them a chance to see what other women of the world experience”
“It was great to see the variety of info and activities available, especially the boxing and football where female participation is not really covered as much in the media as their male counterparts. I come every year and always go away feeling positive about the future, but also aware of the ongoing challenges that women and girls face”

“This event helped me to kick-start a project, painting female heroes and role models”

“Absolutely amazing for all genders and ages!”

“Relaxing, bright, cheerful”

“Fantastic atmosphere!”

Half-Term Placards & Pom Poms


Join us to make placards celebrating world-changing women like Rosa Parks, Jayaben Desai, Wangari Maathai, bell hooks, Frida Kahlo and pom poms in Suffragette colours – be inspired by their activism – we have FREE family-friendly drop-in sessions on 20th and 23rd February:

iwd spiral arts placard making 2019

Find these events on Facebook: Placards & Pom Poms – Rise Up Sisters Placards & Pom Poms – Rise Up Sisters

Thanks to Rosa UK Woman To Woman Fund and Spiral Arts – Derby

Did you know? The Suffragettes carried names of inspiring women past and present on placards on big processions. We’ll be continuing this tradition at International Women’s Day Derby Festival 2019 – come join our pre-festival drop-in placard-making workshops Placards & Pom Poms – Rise Up Sisters    #WeRiseOnTheShouldersOfGiants #HERstory 

Images: The ‘Famous Women’ Pageant of the Women’s Coronation Procession, London, 17 June 1911. These Suffragettes, dressed as notable women from the past and carrying signs with their names, joined in the march and the rally in the Royal Albert Hall. The characters included writer Charlotte Bronte; Jenny Lind, the most celebrated soprano of her day; Grace Darling, a heroine who rescued survivors from a boat wrecked off the Farne Islands; Mrs Somerville, a science writer and advocate of higher education for women and women’s suffrage, after whom Somerville College, Oxford, is named.

Write for our IWD 2019 mag


Ever wished you could find a women’s or girls’ magazine that was better than the usual stuff on the shelves? And with no air-brushing? Help us create one! A positive alternative magazine by the community, for the community!

We’re inviting supporters – especially women and girls, across Derby & Derbyshire to contribute articles and poems to our International Women’s Day Derby Festival magazine which will be published online and also a printed version at our annual festival on 9th March.

Your writing must be under 300 words with a photo/s or image and relevant to our 2019 theme ‘Rise Up Sisters’ encouraging women and girls into activism and public life and trailblazing in male-dominated sectors and spaces. Deadline 31st January 2019

Click here to submit your writing

We cannot guarantee to print all submissions received but will aim to include as many as we can that are relevant. Non-commercial content is sought e.g. about causes, charities, inspiring women, gender equality, your favourite activist, women in science, girls playing rugby, etc – enjoy writing! #ExpressYouself Our priority is giving space for women and girls in Derby/shire but relevant submissions from allies of all genders welcome, content on intersectional feminism themes and trans inclusion and non-binary identity and men as allies would be lovely to receive too.

International Women’s Day Derby 2019


Derby volunteers have been working hard all year on preparations for the uplifting annual IWD Festival for all the community to enjoy. Come along to Derby Arboretum 12pm-4pm Saturday 9th March 2019 to join the celebrations! Afterwards follow the Estrandosas drummers from the stage to gather and join us on a women’s rights march into town and then onwards to the after-party from 5pm at Derby West Indian Community Association, Trinity Street, with food stalls, entertainment and ‘night market’ then from 6.30pm She Speaks UK hosting a female-led performance night with powerful spoken word, open mic and a ‘reclaim the dancefloor’ disco with female DJ to end the night, closing at 11pm.

IWD Derby is a non-profit group organised by volunteers, with thanks for support from Rosa UK, Big Lottery, Derby City Council, Foundation Derbyshire – Fern Fund and all our partners, performers and stallholders

Download our poster to share & display here

IWD Derby 2019 POSTER A3

#IWD #IWD2019 #InternationalWomensDay #Derby #Women #RiseUpSisters #BalanceforBetter





Derby Women Rise Up!


Our series of events inspiring women to participate in public life, volunteering, activism and areas of under representation backed by Rosa UK continues this Winter 2018:

Rebel Women’s Choir – 11.30am-1.30pm Saturdays 10th & 17th November, and 3pm-5pm Saturday 8th December (followed by a women’s rights march with Vox Feminarum for 16 days of activism to end gender-based violence) at Derby Women’s Centre, Leopold Street – free, no need to book, new/shy singers welcome. The choir will also be performing at the following two events below.

Derby Women Rise Up! 2pm-5pm Saturday 10th November at Derby West Indian Community Centre, Carrington Street. Boost your difference-making power with inspiring speakers from the Movement for Justice campaign against Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre and women who have been detained there share their experiences and call to action ahead of the demonstration at Yarl’s Wood on 1st December – you can join us on our bus to take part. Our Rebel Women’s Choir will sing songs of activism and you can take part in group activities and discussions to explore what action you can take to make a difference too. Book your free place at:

Derby goes to Surround Yarl’s Wood – all-day bus trip and demonstration – Saturday 1st December. Join the Surround Yarl’s Wood demonstration hosted by Movement for Justice. This uplifting demo combines inspiring speeches, songs, banners and solidarity to challenge the appalling treatment of people, especially the treatment of women, at Yarl’s Wood and other immigration removal centres. Our Rebel Women’s Choir will be singing too. For more info and to book your free/donation place on the bus visit:

Derby women rise up

Derby goes to Surround Yarls Wood


Inspiring Woman2Woman events this autumn


Our #Woman2Woman project continues with some fantastic, inspiring, liberating, empowering, barrier-breaking, trailblazing FREE events this autumn-winter thanks to funding support from Rosa UK – women in and around Derby, you’re invited!

6.30pm-8.30pm Wednesday 12th September: Women Making a Difference in Derby at St James Centre, Malcolm St, Derby DE22 8LU – local women will share their experience of volunteering, campaigning and activism and how it’s boosted their confidence, skills and given them a chance to make a difference in their local communities. With Q&A. Contact us to let us know you’re coming along to inform our numbers for seating and catering.

6.30pm-8.30pm Thursday 20th September: Be a Difference-Making Woman in Derby at St James Centre, Malcolm St, Derby DE22 8LU – this uplifting and practical workshop will give you the chance to explore any barriers to being a difference-maker – what holds you back and how to overcome those challenges, with tips and techniques to help you to help the causes close to your heart –  let’s change the world! Contact us to let us know you’re coming along to inform our numbers for seating and catering.

6.30pm-8.30pm Tuesday 25th September: Women Amplified – a panel on women in the radio and music industry at St James Centre, Malcolm St, Derby DE22 8LU – inspiring speakers include former BBC Radio Derby Producer/Presenter Stephanie Women Amplified PanelHernandez, award-winning radio documentary-maker Sophie Sparham, artist and founder of Noisy Girls Recording Studios Meri Everitt and Presenter/Co-Chair of In2 Derby Community Radio Association and Chair of IWD Derby Vanessa Boon. This event will explore the challenges, the joys and the opportunity for radio and music to be platforms to amplify women’s perspectives, causes and diverse voices. Book your place online at:

6.30pm-8.30pm Tuesdays 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th October – 5-week Women’s Radio Course: Women Amplified at St James Centre, Malcolm St, Derby DE22 8LU – give radio a try! This programme will teach you how to design a radio show, use your voice, use a microphone, record different types of links, carry out interviews and edit audio to create content that will be broadcast on In2 Derby Community Radio. Facilitated by Sophie Sparham. There are just 15 places available to women in Derby/shire – book online at:

Plus our popular Rebel Women’s Choir sessions start again this autumn at Derby Women’s Centre with Choir Leader Jo Lewis – new and shy singers very welcome – come and learn songs by and about trailblazing rebel women from around the world with the (optional) chance to sing at gigs and protests with a friendly inclusive sisterhood – just show up:

11.30am-1.30pm Saturdays-

15th September – followed by performance at Cathedral Quarter Sings, Derby Market Place at 2.20pm

22nd September

20th October

27th October

More dates, performances, protests and details can be found via our facebook page