2018 is the 100-year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, in which some women first won the right to vote in Britain. To celebrate this key landmark in the story of British democracy and gender equality, Wonder Women 2018 will be the most exciting edition of Manchester’s city-wide radical feminist festival yet, with a packed programme of exhibitions, tours, debates, performances and one-off screenings happening throughout March, made possible thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lottery players.
Manchester was the birthplace of the suffragette movement (founded by Emmeline Pankhurst in 1903 at her family home just off Oxford Road), and thus holds a central position in the history of feminism. But what does the city mean for women living here today? What role can its female citizens play in shaping its future? And how can our cultural institutions contribute towards the fight for women’s rights around the world? These are just some of the crucial questions that Wonder Women 2018 will seek to address, as it looks both back and forwards in time. Organised by the People’s History Museum and featuring many of Manchester’s leading museums and galleries, don’t miss this major cultural highlight.
Here are our picks
Celebrate the launch of Wonder Women 2018 with a feminist takeover at Manchester Art Gallery, inspired by the radical Manchester-born artist and feminist campaigner, Annie Swynnerton (1844–1933).
Explore the story of democracy through a special display of banners that were integral to the women’s suffrage movement, as well as other campaigns for representation at the People’s History Museum.
A series of installations at Quarry Bank recapture the lost voices of the many women who were still denied the vote following the Representation of the People Act in 1918.
A one-woman-performance at the Working Class Movement Library captures the lesser known life of Sylvia Pankhurst the artist through a rare collection of over 250 slides.
The People’s History Museum presents a powerful two-day conference exploring the role of women in media, and providing essential tools for breaking into the most influential of industries.
Award-winning scientist and author, Angela Saini, discusses gender stereotypes, conditioned perception and her latest book, Inferior – How Science Got Women Wrong, as part of Wonder Women 2018.
A unique performance by artist Ruth Barker in response to voicelessness, traumatic childbirth, and the rapidly changing, brutal politics of the present. Coinciding with the preview of Castlefield Gallery’s latest exhibition.
CFCCA presents a special one-off screening of Hooligan Sparrow (2016) – a powerful documentary about China’s most prominent women’s rights activist, exposing the levels of fear and oppression inside one of the world’s most powerful nations.
100 years on from when women first won the right to vote, how far have we come? BBC Radio Manchester presents a live panel discussion broadcast from People’s History Museum on International Women’s Day.
Manchester’s National Football Museum presents an international two-day conference, bringing together leading academics from across the field, as well as the museums and heritage sector.
A provocative piece of contemporary theatre which looks back at one of the key landmarks in British democracy. Directed by Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit of Sh!T Theatre.
Drawing together the work and experiences of two exciting female artists, this two person exhibition responds to the individual, collective and historic struggles experienced by women.
Enjoy a guided tour of Ruth Barker & Hannah Leighton-Boyce’s exhibition at Castlefield Gallery, followed by a discussion of the exhibition’s themes over tea and cake.
A continually evolving durational interview and live performance project capturing the diverse identity and opinions of Manchester’s women, their relationship to the city, and their hopes for the future. #WomenRuleMcr.
As a city, Manchester has been home to some incredible thinkers, activists, scientists and artists over the years, and is relatively good at celebrating them. But how much do you know about Marie Stopes, Margaret Murray or Adela Breton?
Take part in a discussion with researcher, writer, curator and artist Dr Jenna C Ashton about how museums are responding to the many challenges faced by women and girls around the world today.