News | Tuesday, 6th March 2018

Suffragettes' legacy to be honoured on International Women's Day

Events taking place during the day on March 8

International Women's Day takes place on Thursday, March 8
A series of events are taking place at Manchester Metropolitan to mark International Women's Day and honour the Suffragettes (pictured)

Staff and students at Manchester Metropolitan will come together for a series of events celebrating the work of women at the University to mark International Women’s Day.

The ‘Sylvia’s Sisters’ event will see a range of activities take place throughout the day on Thursday, March 8, from art collections and archives to fashion exhibitions and academic writing workshops.

The events are inspired by Sylvia Pankhurst, the daughter of Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst and a Manchester School of Art alumna, whose name now adorns the University’s gender research centre.

The family connections continue with Sylvia’s granddaughter Helen who is a Visiting Professor at Manchester Metropolitan and women’s rights activist.

Helen said: “The International Women’s Day events taking place at Manchester Metropolitan are a fantastic way to recognise the work and creativity of women across the University. I look forward to hearing the stories and ideas shared at the events and to supporting the University’s series of centenary events over the coming months.”

Dr Kate Cook (above), Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan and Head of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre, said: “2018 is an important year as we mark the centenary of some women gaining the right to vote.

“Our programme of events on International Women’s Day will highlight current arts and social practice of women at the University who are working across art, fashion, architecture and writing.

“The events will also honour social activist and artist Sylvia Pankhurst who studied at Manchester School of Art between 1898 and 1903.”

The programme of workshops, exhibitions and celebrations will take place across Manchester Metropolitan’s All Saints Campus and include:

Writing and Women - collections and archives

A collection of writing for, by and about women and young girls from the last 250 years. Items from the University’s collections will be on display featuring household management and recipe books, etiquette guides, periodicals, teen magazines, political essays and works of fiction showcasing a wide range of attitudes and opinions.

Art School Suffragettes Workshop

This workshop will include a talk about how the suffragettes used art, design and fashion as tools towards their cause. Inspired by their methods, today’s Manchester School of Art students discuss the ideas that are still worth fighting for and share their passions and concerns, while creating temporary works that share their messages.

Suffragette Afternoon Tea Party

Tea and cake will be served to visitors in the University’s Holden and Grosvenor galleries, with critical dialogues on the exhibitions and all attendees being encouraged to wear suffragette colours.

In addition to the ‘Sylvia’s Sisters’ event, Manchester Metropolitan Law School will be hosting a walking tour of Manchester with guest walkers sharing their experiences of women's movements in Manchester.

The International Women’s Day events will culminate on Friday, March 9, with the second annual Family Law Conference. The conference will bring together a mixed audience of academics, practitioners and students to discuss current issues in family law. Lady Hale, President of the Supreme Court, will be welcomed to the University as the events keynote speaker with her 'View from the Supreme Court Bench'.

Find out more about the programme of Manchester Metropolitan events taking place on International Women’s Day and register at

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