A day originally known as 'National Women’s Day' was first observed in 1909 by the Socialist Party of America. This came about after 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York City in 1908, vocalising their desperate need for better working conditions, pay and the right to vote in 1908.
Fast forward to 2019, and the women behind International Women's Day, or #IWD2019, are gearing up for this year's mission - #BalanceforBetter - on Friday, March 8.
It's a time to recognise the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women, but it's ultimately a call for global activism, to "galvanise continuous collective action" and fight for gender equality. What better place to celebrate women and call for change than in Canberra, this little decision-making capital of ours.
KHADIJA GBLA ON INVISIBLE VIOLENCE
Award-winning human rights activist Khadija Gbla is the speaker at this year's Pamela Denoon Lecture. Gbla will bring her experiences as a refugee, female genital mutilation survivor and ambassador for Our Watch to speak on the topic of 'Invisible Women, Invisible Violence in the Australian Human Rights' landscape. Coombs Lecture Theatre, The Australian National University. Tuesday, March 5. 7pm. More info at pameladenoonlecture.net. Entry by donation.
BREAKFAST WITH MADELINE STUART
Madeline Stuart, the world's first professional model with Down Syndrome, has strutted down more than 100 runways around the world. After New York, London and Paris, the 22-year-old is coming to Canberra to discuss diversity and inclusion. National Gallery of Australia, Parkes. Thursday, March 7. 7.30-10.45am. Tickets via Eventfinda. $119-159.
A TWENTIETH CENTURY WOMAN
Multimedia series A Twentieth Century Woman will explore the memories of elderly women through photography and audio recordings. The exhibition has been created by Holly Murney, recipient of Tuggeranong Arts Centre’s 2018 EASS Award. Tuggeranong Arts Centre. From Friday, 8 March. 6pm. More information via Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Free.
JESS COCHRANE'S NEW EXHIBITION
Canberra visual artist Jess Cochrane celebrates the strength and influence of the modern women in her new body of work 'Weird Flex, But Ok'. Join the artist for drinks and canapes at opening night. QT Canberra Foyer, London Circuit. Friday, March 8. 6-9pm. More information via QT. Free.
CANAPES WITH SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL
Celebrate #IWD2019 by meeting with other Canberran women over canapes, drinks and a view. Zoya Patel, author of No Country Woman: A Memoir of Not Belonging, is set to be guest speaker. The Deck on Regatta Point, Parkes. Friday, March 8. 5.30-7.30pm. Tickets via Eventbrite. $52.
LOUD AND LUMINOUS SYMPOSIUM
Support local artists and experience talks from award-winning photographers and gallery curators at the Loud and Luminous Symposium. All funds raised from ticket sales will be used to assist local artists with the costs associated with producing new photographic exhibitions. ANU School of Art & Design, Acton. Friday, March 8. 9.30am-5.30pm. Tickets via Eventbrite. $10-100.
UNITED NATIONS LUNCH
Celebrate International Women’s Day at the United Nations Women National Committee's annual lunch. Exhibition Hall, National Convention Centre, Civic. Thursday, March 7. 12-2pm. Tickets via Humanitix. $84-99.
WOMEN IN FOCUS
A panel of social change makers, board directors and community leaders will explore the barriers women face and how they're being tackled. $20 from every ticket will contribute to programs that support women who face challenges accessing adequate opportunity. The Deck at Regatta Point, Parkes. Wednesday, March 6. 7-9am. Tickets via Eventbrite. $88.
ANNE SUMMERS AND VIRGINIA HAUSSEGGER 'IN CONVERSATION'
Anne Summers and the director of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, Virginia Haussegger, will speak on issues including parliament, sexism and bullying. With these two in the same room, it will be epic. Ann Harding Conference Centre, University of Canberra, Bruce. Thursday, March 7. 6-8pm. Join the waitlist at Eventbrite. Free.
LIGHTBULB IMPROV'S 'STRONG FEMALE LEAD'
On the eve of International Women's Day is the launch of Lightbulb Improv's Strong Female Lead. The series, which was created after a huge response from local artists and audiences, will showcase Canberra women who are improvisers, comedians, songwriters, and theatre performers. Smith's Alternative, Civic. Thursday, March 7. 7.30pm. Tickets via Smith's Alternative. $15.
TELL IT SISTERS COMEDY
For all the fools who insist that women can't be funny, check out the Tell It Sisters comedy showcase. The hilarious line-up includes Steph Tisdell, Lauren Duong, Tanya Losanno and Laura Campbell, and local comic Chris Ryan as host. Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Friday, March 8. 8pm. Tickets via Try Booking. $25.
BREAKFAST WITH WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION
The National Association of Women in Construction is hosting an International Women's Day breakfast with keynote speakers Catherine Fox, Avril Henry and Catherine Carter. Hotel Realm, National Circuit. Friday, March 1. 7-9am. Tickets via NAWIC. $60-100.
HER SOUND, HER STORY
The National Film and Sound Archive will host a screening of Her Sound, Her Story, a documentary which explores the experiences and impacts of women in the Australian music industry. There will also be a panel discussing issues of equality in the arts. Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive, Acton. Friday, March 8. 6pm. Tickets via NFSA. $15.
THE HIDDEN SEX
Craft ACT is hosting The Hidden Sex, an exhibition by textiles artist Julie Ryder. Ryder will speak on the role of 19th century women who collected algae and the unacknowledged scientific role they played in history. Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre, Civic. Friday, March 8. 12pm. Bookings via email@example.com or Facebook. Free.
The 2nd International Women's Day Global Golf Event invites women of all ages and abilities to play golf. Entry fees are donated to a charity of your own choosing. You can tee off in Canberra, or anywhere around the world. March 8-14. Visit internationalwomensdaygolf.com for more details.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an #IWD2019 event to add.