International Women’s Day falls on 8 March 2019 and this year’s theme is #BalanceForBetter, because a more gender-balanced world is a better world. But where to celebrate the sisterhood? The Resident weighs up some of the best ways to get your girl power on in London
Lead image: FESTCamden
1 WOW London 2019, Southbank Centre
WOW London will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2020, and is warming up with a great line-up for 2019. Highlights including talks with legendary activist and writer Angela Davis on 8 March and award-winning journalist and author Naomi Klein on 9 March, as well as Jo Brand’s Born Lippy: How to Do Female, challenging stereotypes, unpacking what it means to be female and refusing to remain silent, on 8 March. The event will also feature two global conversations, WOW presents: What Now? and WOW presents: What Next?, bringing together thousands of women from across all industries and communities to imagine and debate the future of gender equality, as well as the Women on the Move Awards 2019, celebrating leadership from migrant and refugee women.
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX; southbankcentre.co.uk/wow
2 Who Runs the World at FEST Camden
FEST Camden’s Who Runs the World is three-pronged International Women’s Day celebration featuring Cabaret, Blingo and a Camden Disco Club special. It all kicks off with Blingo, a hip-hop themed bingo night that will champion rap and hip hop brightest female stars with hilarious banter from host Grandma Flash, slick beats and plenty of top prizes (6-10pm, tickets £12). From 7pm, you’ll be under the charge of Miss Polly Rae at TPI Fridays, where a delicious three-course dinner will be served up with a side of titillation and mischief (tickets £35). Finally, the Camden Disco club pays homage to two absolute dance divas, Sister Sledge and Donna Summers, with an all-female DJ line-up playing the best 80s bangers and disco classics in a space filled with glitter bombs and roller girls (10pm-2.30am, tickets £10).
The Horse Hospital, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road NW1 8AH; festcamden.com
3 Queens of Comedy at The Bedford, Balham
In honour of International Women’s Day, Banana Cabaret at The Bedford in Balham is hosting an all-female stand-up comedy special. The iconic Club Room, which has previously played host to great female musicians including Ellie Goulding and Jorja Smith, will present Mary Bourke, ‘one of the best female comics in the country’, plus the dark, dry and hilarious Tania Edwards, the brazen Joanne McNally, and the intensely funny Jessica Fostekew. Tickets are priced at £14 and £2 from every ticket sold will be donated to international girls’ education charity, the Malala Fund, set up by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Doors open at 7pm, gig starts at 9pm.
77 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9HD. To book see eventbrite.co.uk
4 Soul Sister Special Disco Brunch, central London
Disco Brunch is celebrating International Women’s Day with a celebration of the spirit of sisterhood with an all-singing, all-dancing disco, funk, 80’s soul and house party. Hosted by the brunch party pros behind London’s Garage Brunch, 90s Brunch and Hip Hop Brunch, the event features a two-course meal and one hour of bottomless cocktails to fuel the girl power, alongside electrifying entertainment and performers. The brunch, as ever, will be held at a premium secret location in central London, so grab your girls and get involved. In the words of Beyonce, who run the world? Tickets £45.
5 Women’s Day Yoga at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, Hackney
Four female yoga teachers are joining forces to combine their own unique force of nature to explore this year’s International Women’s Day theme, Balance For Better. Join instructors Debs, Fred, Fran and Vix for a journey through a soft and strong Vinyasa flow as an all-encompassing, all-inclusive yoga session. Nurture is the main focus of the sequencing, open to any gender to come together to honour the campaign for a future of a gender-balanced world. All proceeds will be donated to east London-based charity, Ourmala: Healing Yoga for Refugees, Asylum-seekers and Displaced People. 7pm-8.30pm. Tickets £15.
2-4 Hoxton Square, Hackney N1 6NU; hoxtonsquarebar.com
6 #BalanceforBetter at Seven Dials, Covent Garden
Seven Dials is celebrating International Women’s Day with a week-long celebration of the official IWD 2019 theme, #BalanceforBetter, featuring influential talks, yoga workshops and more. Scarlett Curtis, author of Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies, will host a live podcast exclusively for Seven Dials on Sunday 10 March at The Donmar Warehouse, Covent Garden Hotel will host a one-night-only film club showing Keira Knightley’s latest triumph, Colette, on 8 March, and Another_Space will host daily yoga workshops combining traditional yoga movements with a dynamic flow. An exclusive hub offering a conversations, workshops and drop-in sessions with influential business founders and leaders from Seven Dials will also pop-up for the week at 33 Monmouth Street, where you can meet the likes of Catherine Salway and Andrea Waters, co-founders of Redemption vegan restaurant, British jewellery designer Dinny Hall, and the UK’s leading female chef, Chantelle Nicholson of Tredwells.
Nine Lives bar has brought together a collective of inspiring women for an International Women’s Day takeover. Artist Trinity Tristan will be creating a breast print artwork, involving anyone who would like to take part, using body paint to print breasts onto a canvas that will be sold during the night to raise money for the fight against female genital mutilation. The bar will be taken over by some of the best women in the spirit industry with drinks created by Jenna Ba from Bulleit Bourbon and Kate Jackson from Ketel One. The drinks are inspired by women who created change, such as Space: The Final Frontier, dedicated to Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols, one of the first black females in a lead role at the time who later became a recruiter for NASA. One pound from each drink sold on the night will be donated to the charity FORWARD, which is committed to safeguarding the rights of African girls and women.
8 Holyrood Street, London Bridge SE1 2EL; ninelivesbar.com
8 #FORAHER International Women’s Day events at Fora, various locations
Flexible workspace provider Fora is hosting a week of inspiring and informative International Women’s Day 2019 events across its London venues. Highlights include Simone Marie of Primal Scream asking why successful females must be labeled as ‘women in the industry’ on Friday 8 March, headline panel event We Love International Women’s Day, bringing together acclaimed female magazine editors including Wase Aguele of Roundtable Journal, Rhona Ezuma from Thiiird magazine and Lily Mercer of Viper Magazine, on Wednesday 6 March, and Will Feminism Change the Face of Wellness?, the second headline discussion, exploring the depiction of wellness and whether it is alienating women and eroding self-confidence instead of building it (Friday 8 March).
9 The Secret Diary of a Farm Girl at New Street Grill, the City
The Secret Diary of a Farm Girl is a series of dinners championing women in the farming industry. The first in the series will take place at New Street Grill on 12 March, welcoming Caroline Wheatley-Hubbard as resident farm girl for the evening. Caroline will speak on her experiences as a female in the farming industry while you enjoy a three-course menu paired with wines from female winemakers. Expect a starter of curried pigs head terrine with crackling apple sauce, followed by a crispy pork belly with black pudding hash and Josper grilled hispi cabbage, and a decadent dessert of chocolate truffles and salted caramel fudge. 6.30pm. Tickets £25pp including three courses and wine pairing. The next dinner in the series will take place during British Beef Week (1-7 April) at Butlers Wharf Chop House.
16A New Street EC2M 4TR; newstreetgrill.co.uk
10 Fitness Class and Panel Talk at Digme, Fitzrovia
Founded by Caoimhe Bamber, a fierce, kick-ass female, Digme is on a mission to empower women through fitness and beyond. From front of house to head office, Digme is run on a healthy dose of girl power. To celebrate International Women’s Day, the team is hosting a RIDE class (6.15pm) or MATRIX workout (6.30pm) followed by a panel discussion from 7.30pm at Digme’s Rathbone Square studio in Fitzrovia. Joining the panel are Endurance Athlete and influencer Susie Chan, Presenter and Journalist at ITV News Charlene White and Founder and Director of Fitty London, Laura Fullerton. The entire event is charged at the usual class rate.
Rathbone Square, Newman Street, Fitzrovia W1T 1JW; digmefitness.com
11 DW Female First by DW Fitness First, various locations
DW Fitness First is empowering women across the UK to get confident in the gym by changing its name to DW Female First. Across the country men can gift their membership to a female spouse, friend or colleague for the day in a bid to inspire them to visit the gym. In London’s Bishopsgate, the gym is being transformed with a packed schedule of empowering female-orientated activity taking place throughout the day, from gym floor FGT Glute Gains to Bootcamps and a women’s running group led by Team GB athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton. Reebok ambassador Danielle Peazer will start the day leading a dance-inspired ‘Danielle Peazer Method’ workout classes- which focuses on empowering women through exercise whist having fun and getting fit.
12 ‘Woman’ at The Book Club, Shoreditch
Former underground artist Stephen Acosta sheds his anonymity to lend his skills to a gallery exhibition celebrating feminism and women of colour through oil portraiture at The Book Club in Shoreditch. ‘Oil portraits line the halls of everywhere from galleries to universities, and if a woman is featured at all it’s for her beauty,’ said Stephen. ‘I wanted to explore my own biases and open up a dialogue on the significance of portraiture and how I as a male artist can lend my skillset to exploring these spaces. Even if I get this all wrong it’s opening a dialogue about why more it’s up to women to celebrate women, and why men aren’t engaging with being part of the feminist movement in arts.’
13 Ladies of Champagne at St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar
12 & 23 March
St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar by Searcys is hosting two special Ladies of Champagne masterclasses in celebration of International Women’s Day. Taking place in St Pancras’ by Searcys private dining room, the world-class station’s resident brasserie (which boasts the longest champagne bar in Europe), you will have the chance to sample three taster glasses of champagne. Taking you on a journey from the 1800s to the present day, the masterclass will celebrate the pioneering women who broke the mould to become some of the finest winemakers in history, from Madame Clicquot to Madame Fourny. Tickets £49.50pp. 6.30pm-8.30pm. Throughout the month of March, Searcys Champagne Bar will also serve small glasses of the champagne trio for £26.
Grand Terrace, St Pancras International, Kings Cross N1C 4QL. For tickets see designmynight.com
14 At Your Beat’s Dance Workshop, Elephant & Castle
Inclusive dance and fitness company At Your Beat, which has become the class of choice for celebs, models, influencers and fitness industry leaders in London and New York, is hosting a 90-minute dance workshop to big beats by strong female artists. Songs include Who Run the World by Beyonce, Cardi B’s I Like it and Only Girl (in the World) by Rihanna, and the workshop will also include a talk circle to celebrate the women who inspire and – the best bit – you can take a friend along for free! The workshop is for all ages and all genders and suitable for beginners. The aim of AYB is to focus on promoting self-love, body confidence and empowering members to feel sexy and powerful in their own skin. 1.30-3pm. Tickets £20.
The Castle Centre, Elephant and Castle, 2 St Gabriel Walk SE1 6FG; atyourbeat.com
15 Self-Care for a Better You at Inner Space, Covent Garden
Self-care is how you take your power back. It isn’t selfish, it’s self-respect, and it’s not just face masks or turmeric lattes, it’s about less comparison and more compassion; powering down and powering up. But where to start? Head to Inner Space in Covent Garden, which is offering an afternoon of free talks, meditations, reflection and discussion on topics including The Art of Emotional Self Care, Eat. Sleep. Steps to a Healthier You, and Recharge Your Soul. 2pm-3.30pm. Registration is essential.
Covent Garden Community Centre, 42 Earlham Street WC2H 9LA; innerspace.org.uk