After many months of planning by a group of committed volunteers, International Women’s Day in Derby took place on 7th March; for the first time this year the event was held outside, and fortunately the risk paid off with sunny, early spring weather. It gave the opportunity for many casual visitors to take notice, learn, and get involved.
The festival was a place for women and girls from Derby to perform live on stage, showcase activities that aren’t readily associated with women ( boxing and football), promote many organisations and the work of women in the community, and hold discussion groups and workshops on a range of subjects.
The theme for the festival was “Making a difference” and whilst there is no shortage of women doing just that all of the time, the balance of exposure in the media is generally tipped in favour of the glossy, frothy, and trivial. That continual influence reinforces the age-old perceptions of the role of women in society. If International Women’s Day achieves one thing, and that is to get everyone thinking about the issues associated with real equality, not just on pay and legalities, but the every day human rights which we are all entitled to, then it will have “made a difference”.
The occasion in Derby was a great event, and a lot of fun was had by many people from all ages, all genders and backgrounds
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Young girls (6-9 years) from Derbyshire FA showing their footballing skills
Georgia Fowler, local 16 year old musician playing her songs and music
Punching practice courtesy of Trojan Boxing
Sophie Bradley who has played for the England football team 28 times, including during the 2012 Olympics
Alice Kell painting a picture of Malala Yousafzai during the day
Derby Rock Choir
Women’s folk band, Rosa’s Lovely Daughters, singing a variety of modern and traditional feminist songs
Jean Ellison, the 1st woman to be admitted into Derby’s Magic school….completely confuses a couple of young girls, and me, with her close-up magic.
Li Laurent of Baby People singing some powerful songs
Estrondo! women’s drumming group brought a sense of rhythm to the Market Square
Parvaneh Persian dancers.
Flash mob from the dancers from Steps to the Future
A young girl made an impromptu performance on the stage…much to the delight of the audience.
A lady from the Baltic Community Group explains more about the Women’s Day traditions in East Europe / Baltic / Russian states – where all women are given flowers on the day.
Javvani group who taught the audience to dance Bollywood style in a matter of minutes
Sonya Robotham, from the IWD committee, and Vox Feminarum ( organisers of the Inspirational Women of Derby awards), Spectrum Derbyshire and long-term advocate for women’s rights.