International Women’s Day 2021: Our top virtual event picks


In all the hubbub and commercialisation that comes with International Women's Day, it's important to remember where the roots of this celebration and call to action lie. The origins can be traced back to the early 1900s, a period of unrest and critical debate around women's role in society. Women's oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. In 1909, in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on February 28.

This day started as a revolution, a push back against the way the world worked for women. This year's theme, #ChooseToChallenge, reminds us that there is still need to assert ourselves and our positions in the worlds of work, politics, society and culture. There are lots of fabulous International Women's Day events happening virtually this year to help us to do just that. Giving us the tools to challenge bias, inspiring us with stories from women who have risen to the top of their fields, and giving us space to be creative, learn and upskill, our selection of events has something for everyone!

#FutureisFeminist: A Celebration of Women in the Arts

FutureisFeminist: A Celebration of Women in the Arts Tickets, Mon 8 Mar  2021 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

As part of the National Women`s Council's 'Celebrate the Changemakers: The Future is Feminist' event series to mark International Women`s Week 2021 we are hosting six very special guests to showcase their work and to hear in their own words what has inspired them and how we can strive for a feminist future.

Expect music, spoken word, and much more.Hosted by journalist, author and broadcaster Louise McSharry, guests will include Irish writers, performers, musicians, poets, producers and more! 

Register to receive the Zoom link to the webinar before the event.

MTU Empowering Women 2021

MTU Empowering Women (@EmpowerWomenMTU) | Twitter

This year at Munster Technological University, are celebrating their first International Women’s Day as a new university. Now, more than ever, it is important to send a strong message of support, solidarity and encouragement to the MTU community at home and abroad during these challenging times.

MTU Empowering Women 2021 will take place virtually on Monday, 8th March, from 1pm as part of MTU’s Innovation week.

The international theme for Women's Day 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge – gender bias and inequality'. They look forward to welcoming international speakers from the MTU alumni network including Sylvia Fouhy, VP Global Deliver, Medical Devices, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, New Jersey and Deirdre O’Connor, MD at BlackRock, New York City.

International Women's Day: Irish Premiere Screening of 'WOMAN' by A. Mikova & Y. Arthus-Bertrand

Irish Premiere of WOMAN: Free Online Screening

This free online screening is hosted by The French Embassy in association with the Alliance Française Network and the National Women's Council of Ireland. They are delighted to present the Irish Premiere screening of WOMAN by Anastasia Mikova & Yann Arthus-Bertrand to celebrate International Women's Day and as part of the Francophonie Festival in Ireland.

WOMAN is a worldwide project giving a voice to 2000 women across 50 different countries. It deals with topics such as motherhood, education, marriage or financial independence but also menstruations or sexuality.

Livestream Concert: Century of Music by British Women 1921-2021

IWD: Livestream Concert: Century of Music by British Women 1921-2021

On International Women's Day violinist Madeleine Mitchell directs a live streamed concert at St John’s Smith Square, London celebrating A Century of Music by British Women (1921-2021) with her London Chamber Ensemble.
The programme includes the works of Rebecca Clarke, Judith Weir, Helen Grime and many more female musicians.

As well as devising the programmes for these concerts, celebrated violinist Madeleine Mitchell, founder and director of the London Chamber Ensemble, has also commissioned Errollyn Wallen CBE to write a new piece for violin and piano, supported by the RVW Trust. Wallen said she wanted to create a special piece for Mitchell and it is called Sojourner Truth, named after the African American Abolitionist and Women's Rights Activist.

Women In Work: Get career inspired

IWD: Women In Work: Get career inspired

De Montfort University Leicester speaks to four ambitious career driven women who have very different career paths and life experiences. They will be speaking about their challenges, the decisions they have had to make and how they motivated themselves to keep going to get to where they are. The panel will hear from Jemma Redden – Director of Access Generation, Kiran Aulakh – Senior Talent Team Lead – Sparta Global, Clare Beynon – Talent Acquisition Manager for Enterprise Rent A Car and Zainab Zaeem-Sattar – newly qualified Solicitor.

'Flex Forever: Flexible working beyond a crisis' with Anna Whitehouse


Trailblazing, straight-talking best-selling author, presenter and campaigner, Anna Whitehouse will join the University of Aberdeen’s panel to celebrate International Women's Day.
Anna Whitehouse is a journalist, Sunday Times best-selling author, Heart radio presenter and mother turned flexible working campaigner.
After looking for a change of pace and a platform on which to share parenthood trials and tribulations, her online platform Mother Pukka was born, a portal for news, events and honest reviews.
Best known for her Flex Appeal movement, that shone a blinding light on the need to implement flexible working for ALL across the UK. Her initiative resulted in the release of the Forever Flex report in November 2020, proving flexible work can work beyond the parameters of a pandemic and her recent work with the TUC saw her generate over 50k responses from working parents struggling to cope with school closures and work demands, as she continues to campaign for better support for these unheard voices.

Time's up! How can we call time on the gender gap?

IWD: Time's up! How can we call time on the gender gap?

To mark International Women’s Day, this Leaders LIVE will focus on how we can collectively create a more inclusive world of work and call time on the gender gap.
The theme of International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge’. Every day we make choices. We can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequity or stay silent. We can choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements or let them slip by quietly.
One of the greatest challenges to closing the economic gender gap is the position of women in the workplace. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 found that although it is still set to take over a lifetime to close the gender gap, women in leadership are playing a crucial role.
In this event women holding leadership positions in industry will speak to their experience and you’ll get the opportunity to ask them about their personal stories of challenge and celebration. We’ll find out where their challenges have led to change and get their advice for how we can build a culture of celebration.

Excellence in sport lecture with Lizzy Yarnold OBE

Excellence in Sport Lecture with Lizzy Yarnold OBE Tickets, Mon 8 Mar 2021  at 19:00 | Eventbrite

We welcome Lizzy Yarnold to deliver our 11th Excellence in Sport Lecture, as part of a series of events to support International Women’s Day.
Lizzy Yarnold is a double Winter Olympic champion making her the most decorated Team GB athlete in the winter games. Competing in the high-speed event of Skeleton, she won gold in Sochi (2014) and incredibly repeated that achievement in PyeongChang (2018). She is the first winter games athlete to retain their title and therefore cemented her place in sporting history.
Lizzy will provide incredible insight in to competing at the top, reflect on her journey to excellence as a female athlete and challenges she encountered during her career.
She will be answering questions from the audience which can be submitted on the night or sent in advance to

WriteMentor Twitter chat: Meet women in children's publishing

IWD: WriteMentor Twitter chat: Meet women in children's publishing

For International Women's Day, join WriteMentor on Twitter to chat to three women in the UK children's publishing industry. Meet two authors and a literary agent and find out about their personal experiences of publishing from the perspective of being women.
The chat will take place on WriteMentor's Twitter account @writementor between 8pm and 9pm on Monday 8th March 2021.
Use #WMChat to follow the chat and ask your own questions.
Click 'Register' to access their Twitter page where they will be hosting the chat.