PRESS for progress is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day in March.

The aim is to progress gender parity and organisers are calling for groups across the world to “motivate and unite friends, colleagues ad communities to think, act and be gender inclusive”.

They say there has never been a more important time to keep motivated as the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report found that gender parity is over 200 years away.

“The good news is that across the world women are making positive gains day by day,” the International Women’s Day organisation says. “There’s indeed a very strong and growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support. So we can’t be complacent. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity.”

They quote feminist and activist Gloria Steinem, who once said, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights”.

Events have been organised across Sussex. Among them, the Old Market Theatre in Hove has curated a mini-season of shows and events through March and April to celebrate women, while Brighton Dome is joining forces with Brighton Women’s Centre and Brighton Museum to hold a day-long event celebrating International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day takes place on March 8. Visit

Here’s a list of events across Sussex:

International Women’s Day Celebration 2018

Brighton Dome café-bar, Church Street, Brighton; The Old Courtroom, 118 Church Street, Brighton; and Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, 12A Pavilion Parade, Brighton

Saturday March 3, 10am -5pm


All day: Brighton Museum hosts Wonder Women, an opportunity to meet some incredible women from history including Brighton suffragette, Minnie Turner, and fossil hunter Mary Anning, whilst getting up close and personal with some of Brighton Museum’s Collections.

All day: In order to gather content for the forthcoming display Queer Looks, a pop-up lookbook studio will be installed in Brighton Museum. The Queer Looks project will explore the cultural heritage of dress in LGBTQ communities in Sussex from 1967– 2017, looking at how clothing is used to express the identities of individuals who identify as LGBTQ. Contribute your own LGBTQ story to the project by wearing or bringing along an outfit that means something special to you.

All day: Brighton Museum will be exhibiting Virgin Territory, a Film Installation with Creative Tasks, and Their Fight, Our Future, a pop-up display of newly created outfits featuring important women in history, by students from Northbrook MET.

10.30am: Sing Your Heart Out with Aneesa Chaudhry in the Brighton Dome Concert Hall, a chance to get together with local women to sing, have fun and make some new friends.

10.30am: At The Old Courtroom, Sussex Police explain what it’s really like to be a woman on the beat, and how in Sussex, women have climbed to the very top of the force.

10.30am: There’s a masterclass in hand massage from Jing Massage at Brighton Museum.

11.15am: The discussion I’m Not Rain Man: Women and Autism, at The Old Courtroom challenges stereotypes of people with autism.

12noon: Tour guide Louise Peskett will be holding 45-minute-long walking tours of the Royal Pavilion Estate to discover the important Women of Brighton’s history. Meet in the museum foyer.

12noon: Charlie Craggs (pictured top), founder of Nail Transphobia, comes to the Brighton Dome Café bar with her pop-up nail salon. In a unique form of activism, Charlie will be giving free manicures to tackle transphobia through nail art, giving people the chance to sit down and have a chat with a trans person and to challenge their misconceptions.

12noon: In the Brighton Museum seminar room, take part in a Body Positivity workshop with Free the Nipple.

12.15pm: FotoDocument and have collaborated to create Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Worldwide, showcasing photo essays from global documentary photographers at The Old Courtroom.

From 12.30pm:  The Real Junk Food Project will provide food.

12.30pm: Take part in a body movement workshop in the Brighton Dome Mezzanine Landing.

1.30pm: Explore female representation in art with Susie Courtault’s Lost Women of Art at Brighton Museum.

1.30pm: In the Museum Lab at Brighton Museum, Celebrate Your Heroine: An Accessible Art Workshop is held by The Network of International Women for Brighton & Hove, which is creating a Tapestry in the Brighton Dome’s West Corridor, where everyone can come and add their own piece to reflect the diversity, heritage and creativity of women who live in our City.

2pm: Brighton-based Juno Dawson, British trans author of young adult fiction and non-fiction, brings her highly acclaimed book The Gender Games to The Old Courtroom. Dawson doesn’t just tell her story, but the story of everyone who is shaped by society’s expectations of gender and identity – and what we can do about it.

3pm: Codebar – a female-run non-profit initiative collective from London – will be running a workshop on beginners coding in the Brighton Museum Seminar Room.

3pm: Join Sarah Taylor for a Confidence and Creativity workshop  to inspire, empower and motivate at Brighton Museum.

3.15pm: In the Old Courtroom, The Guardian columnist Sali Hughes  she discusses the impact of the changing beauty industry with three inspirational panellists in Empowerment or Oppression: What does the beauty industry do for women?


Brighton Dome’s monthly music night SPECTRUM hosts a talk on Navigating the Music Industry as a female artist.

‘Hijack’ Children’s Festival

Sunday March 4, 11am-2.30pm

Komedia, 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton

Free/maximum of three children per adult

‘Hijack’ Children’s Festival is a one-off event to celebrate International Women’s Day, for children aged 4-11 and their families. A jam-packed programme gives children and their adults the chance to explore gender stereotypes with hands-on creative activities. Brighton and Hove Toy Library will bring in a range of gender-neutral toys, books and games. Nail Transphobia nail salon will tackle transphobia through nail art. Founder Charlie Craggs travels around the UK with her pop-up nail salon and offers free manicures, giving people the chance to sit down and have a chat with a trans person. Hijack are also commissioning artist Kitty Wallace to create a six-week after-school club that uses creative activities to explore gender stereotypes in more detail: it starts in two Brighton schools in the summer. Kitty will be at Hijack IWD to kickstart this project and try out some of the activities. There’s a chance to do some Craftivism for equality with artist Alina Azadeh, mixing and matching symbols and phrases championing gender equality and turning them into a bespoke soft badge or medal using an array of fabrics, threads and letter stamps. There will be a DJ set by DJ Darlo, who will play some inspiring and fun tunes and the whole event will be hosted by Brighton-based comedian and mother of twins Jen Brister.

Phone 01273 647100 or visit


The Old Market, 11a Upper Market Street, Hove

Sunday March 4, 7pm

Tickets £12.50/concs £10/TOM’s Friends 15% off

Alula is the first all-female Cyr troupe and tonight they perform their debut Hyena, a whirlwind of women, wheels, acrobatics, dance and song. The act features synchronised spinning with three wheels, joining wheels to create striking structures plus double and triple spinning on a single wheel. Picture: Mark Dawson Photography.

Phone 01273 201801 or visit

Sara Pascoe: LadsLadsLads

Brighton Dome, Church Street, Brighton

Wednesday March 7, 8pm

Tickets £19/concs £15

Stand-up comedian, writer and actress Sara Pascoe is on a year-long one-woman stag do and she has been drunk and lonely everywhere – spiritual retreats, city breaks, life drawing classes and football matches. This is a new show from the comic who’s appeared on TV in Live at The Apollo, Mock the Week and QI.

Phone 01273 709709 or visit

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story + Q&A (12A)

Connaught Theatre, Union Place, Worthing

Thursday March 8, 6.15pm

Tickets £11.50/child, senior and student £10.50

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is screened to celebrate International Women’s Day and is followed by a Q&A with its star Susan Sarandon, broadcast live in partnership with UN Women National Committee UK. Starring both Hedy Lamarr and Susan Sarandon, the movie follows the life story of the Hollywood wild child who became a screen idol – and was also the brilliant mind who co-invented 1940s wireless technology still used today. Hedy Lamarr was known as the world’s most beautiful woman – Snow White and Cat Woman were both based on her iconic look. However, her arresting looks and glamorous life stood in the way of her being given the credit she deserved as an ingenious inventor whose pioneering work helped revolutionise modern communication. Mislabelled as “just another pretty face,” Hedy’s true legacy is that of a technological trailblazer.

Phone 01903 206206 or visit

Sophie Willan

The Basement, Argus Lofts, 24 Kensington Street, Brighton

Thursday and Friday March 8 and 9, 8pm

Tickets £10/concs £8. Age 14+

Award-winning breakout star Sophie Willan is on tour with a new that explains why she has had a lifetime of being branded by others. It’s going to be a raucous hour…

Phone 01273 709709 or visit

Ballet British Columbia

Brighton Dome, Church Street, Brighton

Friday March 9, 7.30pm

Tickets £10-£20/u26s £15/schools £7.50

Ballet British Columbia, an 18-strong company of dancers from Canada, is touring the UK for the first time with a programme devoted exclusively to the work of three internationally celebrated women choreographers as part of the Dome’s International Women’s Day celebrations. 16+ a room, with fast-paced choreography, by artistic director Emily Molnar is inspired by the work of Jeanette Winterson and Emily Dickinson. Solo Echo by Crystal Pite, the Olivier Award-winning Sadler’s Wells associate artist and former Ballet BC dancer, is a romantic work inspired by two Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. And the third piece is Bill, by Tel Aviv-based choreographer Sharon Eyal, who has worked with regular collaborator Gai Behar to create a daring piece for the finale.

Phone 01273 709709 or visit

Shoreham Community Trust

The Shoreham Centre, 2 Pond Road, Shoreham-by-Sea

Saturday March 10, 11am-3pm


In its third year celebrating International Women’s Day, there will  be a market, a platform, some inspirational speakers and workshops.

Phone 01273 454686 or visit

A Voice for Change

Pestalozzi International Village Trust, Ladybird Lane, Sedlescombe, Battle

Saturday March 10, 2pm-5pm

Pestalozzi students share their stories of the barriers women and girls face in deprived communities around the world. Male and female students will discuss issues as wide ranging as reproductive health, trafficking and domestic violence, while also celebrating the achievements of women and girls in their home countries. Guest speakers include Geraldine Booker from the Quicken Trust, and Pestalozzi alumna Youdon Lhamo, a Tibetan midwife and women’s health campaigner. The audience will be invited to pledge their Voice for Change with a series of actions to support women’s initiatives around the world.

Phone 01424 870444 or visit

Girlhood (15)

The Old Market, 11a Upper Market Street, Hove

Monday March 19, 7.30pm

Tickets £6/TOM’s Friends 15% off

Regarded as one of the best recent coming-of-age films, Celine Sciamma’s movie follows Marieme (Karidja Toure), a reserved high school student with few friends living in the housing projects on the outskirts of Parjs with her mother and abusive brother who finds an outlet for escape as the fourth member of a girl gang who embark on a stealing spree in the city. There’s an iconic scene as the girls dance and lip-synch to Rihanna’s Diamonds.

Phone 01273 201801 or visit

Women Over 50 Film Festival’s Best of the Fest (12A)

The Old Market, 11a Upper Market Street, Hove

Tuesday March 20, 7.30pm

Tickets £6

Ageing is one of the key themes of The Old Market’s Reigning Women season. Many of the experiences facing women that are intimately tied up with getting older are often concealed and ignored, never taking centre stage in explorations within mainstream arts. The Women Over 50 Film Festival (WOFFF) celebrates older women on screen and behind the camera with an annual short film festival and regular screenings and events in and around Brighton and Hove. In collaboration with WOFFF, The Old Market is screening a hand-picked selection of the best films that the 2017 WOFFF has to offer. Expect a wide variety of women represented in a cornucopia of different media. There’s documentary, fiction, animation and more. Every film WOFFF screens has a woman over 50 at the heart of the story on screen or a woman over 50 in one of the core creative roles (writer, producer or director). WOFFF’s grand aim is to play a key part in the creation of a film viewing, filmmaking and film education community centred around the lives, stories and experiences of older women.

Phone 01273 201801 or visit

Kiri Pritchard-McLean: Appropriate Adult

The Old Market, 11a Upper Market Street, Hove

Wednesday March 21, 8pm

Tickets £12.50/concs £10/TOM’s Friends 15% off

Kiri Pritchard-McLean, a Chortle Award nominee, made a wish to mentor vulnerable kids and as a consequence she’s going to be more careful of what she wishes for in future. This is a morality tale about other people’s lack of morals.

Phone 01273 201801 or visit

Enter The Dragons

The Old Market, 11a Upper Market Street, Hove

Thursday-Saturday March 22-24, 7.30pm

Tickets £12.50/concs £10/TOM’s Friends 15% off

This funny, frank and fearless show about the pressures facing women as they age. Winner of the Best of the Brighton Fringe 2017, Enter The Dragons takes the archetypal Hero’s quest and reframes it for the mature woman in the modern world.

Phone 01273 201801 or visit

Above: Hyena

Below: Sara Pascoe/picture: Matt Crockett

Above: Sophie Willan

Below: Ballet British Columbia/picture: Chris Randle

Above: Girlhood

Below: Women Over 50 Film Festival’s Best of the Fest

Above: Kiri Pritchard-McLean

Below: Enter The Dragons