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Bristol Women’s Voice works to make women’s equality a reality through celebrating, connecting and campaigning.

We come together every year in celebration of the diverse communities of women across the city. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to learn, share, laugh, and to connect with each other, with Bristol Women’s Voice and with organisations in Bristol.

We thank all the amazing groups who generously donate their time to make today possible and hope you will enjoy the exciting and varied programme they bring.

If you would like to translate this page or to view it in any other format, please click on the blue button in the top right corner of the page called “Accessibility” and select the translation function or relevant accessibility function. The programme is opens in is Recite Me. 

The Programme

10:30 – 12:00 – I’m not technical… but I work in tech

Curious about working in tech but intimidated by all the jargon? Our panel will be sharing tips on how to thrive in the industry without writing a single line of code.

Panellists: Selina Martinez Keogh (BBC); Antonia Stockwell (Basekit); Alicia Teagle (SR2 & Women Rock & Technology Volunteers); Emily Hill (Ghyston).

Chaired by Vanessa In (Havas).

12:15 – 13:45 – Global feminist movements: connecting with our sisters worldwide

Panellists bring their experience of working for women in Europe, Latin America, Iran and Kurdistan Region.

Panellists: Diane Bunyan (Council of Europe); Laila Garzón Deguer and Valentina Isadora Moya Espinoza (Latinas in Bristol); Natasha Martirosian (Iranian activist); Shokh Mahmood (WADI Organisation).

Chaired by Bonny Chung (Bristol Women’s Voice).

14:00 – 15:30- Caring Economy: what value do we place on care?

Caring is fundamental to our society’s infrastructure and our communities’ foundation. If we continue to undervalue caring as the core of our societal well-being, we will continue to see the breakdown of society.

Our panellists will discuss and debate what change needs to happen in Bristol to ensure that caring is everyone’s business.

Panellists: Anne Malindine (Raised in Bristol); Anndeloris Chacon (Bristol Black Carers); Dan Norris (West of England Combined Authority); Ellie King (Labour Party); Lorraine Francis (Green Party); Sophie Chester-Glyn (Co Produced Care); Jos Clarke (Liberal Democrat Party); Rose Hulse (Conservative Party).

Chaired by Katy Taylor (Bristol Women’s Voice).

15:45 – 17:00: Feminism and the environment: Can women approach climate change differently?

In the context of the climate emergency and increasing weather disasters, our panel discusses if a more gendered approach might be part of the solution.

Panellists: Abiir Shirdoon (Eastside Community Trust); Carla Denyer (Green Party); Eleanor Fairbraida (The Really Wild Lockleaze Project); Kerry McCarthy (Labour Party).

Chaired by Alice Hulme (Bristol Women’s Voice).

10:30 – 12:00 Breaking down barriers for women in sport

From menstruation and menopause to intersectional marginalisation, panellists discuss breaking the barriers to women in sport.

Panellists: Daisie Mayes (Bristol Bears); Emily Williams (Welsh Surfing Champion); Jordan Wylde  (OpenMinds Active CIC); Katie Davies (Bristol Rovers Gas Girls); Lizzie Edgecombe (Access Sport Bristol); Dr. Petra Kolic (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Chaired by Rae Williams (Bristol Women’s Voice).

12:15 – 13:45 Spotlight on Women’s Health

So many of us have significant health issues and some of us struggle to get appropriate treatment. Bristol Women’s Commission Health Task Group brings together some distinctive voices to discuss.

Panellists: Dr Joanne Medhurst (Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board); Karin Smyth (Labour Party); Monira Chowdhury (North Bristol Trust); Primrose Granville (BBC).

Chaired by Penny Gane (Bristol Women’s Commission, Women’s Health Task Group).

14:00 – 15:40  Women in the built environment: building for inclusion

Women’s use of urban space is impacted by design, inequality, infrastructure and use. Hear more on how we can build for inclusion.

Panellists: Carly Heath (Bristol City Council); Claire Hiscott (Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner) ; Jenna Dutton (Women in Planning Network); Reem El-Nady (Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments).

Chaired by Dr Elahe Karimnia (Bristol Women’s Voice).

15:45 – 17:00 Caring Economy and Employment: reducing barriers for women in the work place

The panel will address how women with caring responsibilities and women working in the caring economy – early years, childcare and social care workers – should have their role recognised as key workers in the health of our economy and society at large.

Panellists: Louise Duggan (Women’s Work Lab); Mhairi Threfall (Pregnant then Screwed); Nina Searle (TLT); Sadie Fulton (TUC South West); Sandra Gordon (Women in Business Charter); Vicky Shaw (Pelican, water2business and Wessex Water Enterprises).

Chaired by Sue Cohen (Bristol Women’s Commission, Economic
Task Group).

10:30 – 11:15  Wititi Peru-Folk Dance Group Dance Group Dance Lesson

Following on from the spectacular opening performance, the Wititi Peru-Folk Dance Group will teach you the moves. It’s also a chance to find out more about the association and what they do.

11:30 – 13:15 Breathing Fire

An interactive drama workshop exploring your thoughts and ideas around what healthy weight means to you, and how the related issues impact our lives. No experience necessary, activities will include using an exploratory and playful approach.

13:30 – 14:15 Young Women’s Forum

This relaxed session is for women under 30. Using creativity and conversation explore, think about and discuss what you love about being a young women in Bristol, and what you would like to see change! This session will be a supportive place to meet other young women, think about what matters to you and to find out about Bristol Women’s Voice’s Young Women’s Forum.

14:30 – 16:15 Women’s Open Mic

Registrations from 2:30pm, performances from 3:00pm. Opened by the Bristol Young City poets Nara Pring and Altoma Elwasila hosted by Chloe Thorn and Eva Lynch. A chance to showcase incredible and emerging talented Bristol women. Come and perform! From rhymes to rhythms and all kinds of family-friendly performances in between. All women performers including beginners very welcome – we have a
guitar and mic! Please all come and support.

10:30 – 11:15 Crafting for Wellbeing

Changes Bristol run an interactive, professional & friendly session, with participation designed to invite conversation without pressure. Changes Bristol has been providing support to those in mental distress in Greater Bristol, since 2003. People access their services in the city of Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire (BNSSG), and Bath & North East Somerset.

11:30 – 12:15 Harmony Within: Cultivating Self-Love and Wellbeing

Embark on a joyful journey of self-discovery and care with Mose Issie. Explore self-love through interactive activities, singing, and a soothing soundscape.

12:30–13:15 Inspiring Stories

Bristol Uni student, Megan Hamil, went from non-swimmer to an Iron Man athlete. She will share the know-on effects of doing this, how it changed her perspective, self-development and progression.

12:30 – 13:15 / 13:30 – 14:15 Introduction to Podcast Making –  cancelled

14:30 – 15:15 Refugee Women of Bristol

An active workshop that explores the challenges facing Refugees & Asylum Seekers in the UK today, and how Refugee Women of Bristol is playing its part in supporting the refugee women of Bristol. 

115:30 – 16:15 Fighting Women

Bristol Radical History Group’s Isabella Lorusso is speaking on her book, Fighting Women, a critical feminist work based on interviews with women who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War.

10:30–11:15 Missing Link

Missing Link will provide a women-led practical creative session focussed on wellbeing. The activity will include information sharing about support services available from Missing Link, Next Link and Safe Link.

11:30 – 12:15 Mazi Project

The MAZI Project is hosting a panel discussion and workshop that will explore all things women in food, from being a woman in a professional kitchen, to running your own food business as a woman refugee and to creating a more inclusive future for the industry.

12:30 -13:15 Women’ s Work Lab

Mums: how can you find work that works for you and your family? Come and learn more about how the Women’s Work Lab has helped hundreds of women like you do just that!

13:30 – 14:15 The Power of Groupwork, Poetry and Inner Superheroes

Sexual violence specialists SARSAS’s workshop on the transformative power of play, imagination and writing for expression and voice.

14:30 – 15:15 Wellbeing in Pregnancy and Beyond

A Mothers for Mothers workshop focusing on mindfully connecting with your body, your thoughts and those who surround and support you in pregnancy and early motherhood through the lens of emotional wellbeing and growing strength. Join us for a grounded ‘walk’ through some shared experiences of motherhood – the sometimes unexpected experiences of motherhood and the challenges that we can encounter!

15:30 – 16:15 Real Talk -The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Backlash: what this means for the fight for equality

In a current landscape where Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives are increasingly scrutinised, criticised, and evaluated for “return on investment”, this real talk delves deep into the challenges of contemporary EDI efforts.

11:30–12:15 ADHD and Women

Lisa Whitehouse Founder & CEO of Interculture CIC, leads a workshop covering: late diagnosis, entrepreneurship, strategies for the struggles, harnessing the strengths and learning to thrive.

12:30 – 13:15 The Impact of Honour Culture on Girls

Youth activists from Integrate UK will run a screening of Integrate UK’s short film, Blame Her, followed by a facilitated discussion on its key themes, including the gendered impact of honour culture on girls, warning signs of honour-related abuse, and an intersectional approach to challenging honour-based abuse.

13:30–14:15 Adaptive/Disabled athlete stories inspiring others

Ignite Bristol is a movement to support more d/Deaf, Disabled and neurodivergent children and adults to be active in Bristol. Hear more from Lizzie Edgecombe about the work already taking place, innovative research, future plans and how you can get involved.

14:30–15:15 Empire Fighting Chance

Emily Habberfield will talk about opening the world of Boxing and contact sports to women and girls of Bristol, barriers for sport and safe spaces and channelling your emotions into productive life changes.

15:30–16:15 Feminist Leadership in Practice

Explore what feminist leadership might mean to each of us collectively and individually, what is holding us back and how we can practically step-up to being feminist leaders. Offered by Bristol Women’s Voice.

10: 30 – 11:15 Stepping Up

Stepping Up Bristol is an award-winning programme for excellence in diversity and mentoring. The workshop will be interactive and enable participants to highlight their skills and provide hints for confidence building.

11:30 – 12:15 A Problem Shared is a Problem Halved

A discussion space held by Sadaga, Arabic speaking women, to explore barriers to equality for migrant women and what can be done.

12:30 – 13:15 Introduction to Laughter Yoga

Join Sophie Shirt in taking a few minutes out of the day to feel your feet on the ground, connect with your breath and get your feelgood vibes flowing. Laughter has so many benefits; come along and find out more.

13:30 – 14:15 Mother in the Mother

Explore your maternal lineage in this creative Paper Doll workshop. This fun, but often profound exercise, helps us to consider how we parent our children in light of the way we ourselves were parented. Run by Pippa Grace, author of ‘Mother in the Mother’ an anthology of local women’s stories. Open to all, you do not need to be a mum yourself to take part. There will be a book signing of Mother in the Mother after the workshop.

14:30 – 16:30 Pachamama Project

The Pachamama Project’s Founder and CEO Ella Lambert will be talking about her project to tackle worldwide period poverty. She will also be demonstrating how to make reusable sanitary pads that are distributed to refugees and vulnerable people globally and that provide them with a free and long-term solution.

10:30 – 11:15 Empower Your Voice, Transform Your Life

Step into the power of your voice, speak with confidence, strength and authenticity. Have your voice and message heard and respected. Release your fear and connect with your unique sound with Gena Rose, Bristol Windrush Reggae Choir Director.

11:30 – 12:15 Afrobics with Kenzi Dance

A vibrant, energising and fun-filled Afro dance fitness class to an irresistible soundtrack of Afrobeats, Dance Hall and more!

12:30 – 13:15 Trauma-Informed Chair Yoga

Join Fiona for a session of trauma-informed chair-based yoga. This chair yoga class includes all the elements of a mat-based class but is fully inclusive and open to all abilities.

13:30 – 14:15 Flamenco for All

This is a little taster of the richness, rhythm and diversity of flamenco, coordinating clapping, basic arm and body movements to performing a simple choreography that everyone will be able to follow easily.

14:30 – 15:15 Sona Pilates

This Pilates mat class utilises Pilates key principles and works through the whole body in a fun and adaptable session that will leave you feeling better aligned, glowing and connected. Learn how to develop the body’s understanding of how to move efficiently and effectively in everyday activity.

15:30 – 16:15 Sona Box & Breathe

Box and Breathe combines Pilates form and strategy with boxercise energy that will work the whole body and get the heart pumping. A high energy workout that will tone, improve agility and shake off any stresses. Arrive, align, breathe deeply, engage, sweat and stretch. Pads and gloves are provided.

10:30 – 11:15 Older Women’s Space

In response to Bristol Women’s Voice older members’ suggestions, this space invites older women to speak out about what matters to them. A facilitated women-only session is a chance to explore how we can make change happen together. Offered by Bristol Women’s Voice in partnership with Bristol Older People’s Forum.

11:30 – 12:15 Sustrans Cycle

Most women don’t get enough physical activity, and many want to do more. Explore solutions and current barriers to walking, wheeling and cycling in Bristol.

12:30 – 13:15 The Cycle of Change

ForMed and Menopause Bristol will show Cycle of Change: Understanding Menopause, a short film to empower women and share real-life experiences from all stages of the menopause transition. It will be followed by a talk about the collaboration, what has happened since and a Q&A.

13:30 – 14:15 Trauma-Informed Approach in Everyday Life

Womenkind lead this workshop to outline the Trauma-Informed Approach and how an awareness of this can positively impact our relationships, society and the support we provide to others.

14:30 – 16:15 Community Crafting

This drop-in craft session is being hosted by Eastside Community Trust and volunteers from Easton. Bring the crafts you are working on at home or take part in the activities on the day. Come along enjoy the space and the people. We look forward to seeing you there, and you are welcome to drop in for as long or short a time as you like.

10:30 – 11:15 Heal from Hurt

Learn about listening skills and facilitation to support women to heal from hurt, with Belinda French.

11:30 – 12:15 Stone the Crones

Poetry workshop with Beccy Golding of Stone the Crones, using creative writing to explore aging. No previous experience or expertise necessary.

12:30 – 13:15 SignHealth

Find out more about SignHealth’s services for d/Deaf people including their domestic abuse service that is accessible for all d/Deaf people who need advice, information or support about what to do in an unhealthy relationship.

13:30 – 15:15 Crafting for Change

Learn about the Power of Craftivism whilst crafting an item for the Value the Caring Economy Campaign. Offered by Bristol Women’s Voice.

For IWD24 we have a bigger sports and active lifestyle area outside on College Green, with a range of women’s adventure sports and city activity groups and stalls, information and demonstrations to get you moving.

Find out more about women’s rugby with Bristol Bears or the highs and lows of being a competitive surfer with Emily Williams, surf coach at The Wave and Welsh Champion surfer. Both are also speakers on the Breaking Barriers for Women in Sport panel in City Hall, with leading expert women in policy, health, inclusion, and research exploring what we need to do to make change happen.

If whacking balls is more your thing, connect with Wick Ladies Hockey. Water-loving women need to know about swimming with Open Mind Active and surfing with Bristol Girls Surf Club.

Some of us prefer to keep our feet on the ground and run with Queen’s Square Run Club. Freewheel with Muslim Cycling Sisters and find out more about women cycling as part of being active with Sustrans’ talk in City Hall.

Really wheely but lower to the ground, the perfectly balanced Campus Skateboarding Crew want to bring women on (skate)board. Inside City Hall you can also hear talks about women’s inspirational stories of achieving and self-discovery: local-gone-national Empire Fighting Chance’s incredible boxing project and how it includes women; student Megan Hamil’s journey to super athlete and how it changed her; and sports inclusion project Ignite working to make sure there are opportunities for all women and girls to get active whatever their needs.

Finally, Avon Fire & Rescue have an all-female crew stationed outside, ready to address any inquiries you have in relation to recruitment, safety and leadership. Feel free to drop by for a friendly conversation and take a closer look at the fire engine.

The Vestibules are two former entrances located at either end of City Hall. The venues, run by Artspace Lifespace, aims to showcase Bristol talent and give cultural and community groups unique environments to display their work.

Bristol Women’s Voice thank Artspace Lifespace for their help with making these special events happen.

To access the exhibitions, please use the former Vestibule entrance to City Hall on Park Street.

Deanery Road Vestibule: The Empowered Voice’s

The Empowered Voice’s goal is to unite the voices of Bristol women, spotlighting and amplifying their stories, giving them a platform to be heard. We have invited women from across Bristol to talk about themselves, their lives and their memories, bringing together a collection of voices and expressing the experiences of women, so that their voices can be heard by many.

You will be able to hear these conversations by scanning QR codes exhibited alongside a polaroid photo that represents each conversation.

Women’s Paste Up Collective @jojo_stickers

This exhibition uses low-impact materials to assemble large-scale collage panels centred on Care Giving, in line with Bristol Women’s Voice, Value the Caring Economy campaign, and bringing together artists’ contributions from across Bristol and beyond for live paste-up.

We also invite you to collaborate in creating a new Caring Economy interactive paste-up artwork panel on site. Materials will be provided.

Post-event, these exhibits will be displayed to promote conversations in communities around the Caring Economy.

Come and meet our stallholders in the Main Hall

Age UK – BCC Fostering service – Bristol Disability Equality Forum – Bristol Older People’s Forum – Bristol Radical History – Bristol Women’s Commission – Bristol Women’s Voice – Changes Bristol – Chinese Community Wellbeing Society – Latinas in Bristol – LoveWell – Mothers for Mothers – Nextlink, Safelink, MissingLink – One25 – Period Friendly Spaces – Project Mama- Refugee Women of Bristol– Sadaga – SARI Charity – SARSAS – Soroptimist International Bristol – Stepping Up – TALO – The Beauty of Caring – The BridgeThe Women Who Built Bristol BooksWomen’s Equality Party (Bristol, Bath, Avon & Somerset)Womankind Women’s Institute

Food & Drink

Buenos Aires Latino

Buenos Aires Latino is a catering/event company led by two Argentinian women, promoting the Latin American culture through food and events, and connecting with the Bristol community. They cook with love and the passion of Latin America.


Houria CIC is a Bristol-based anti-slavery and anti-racism organisation, and hiring female survivors of slavery in a Pan-African catering company. Houria CIC founders shared a passion for food and refugee rights. They understood the link between modern slavery, migration and racism and made it their mission to create a joyful solution, a meaningful and sustainable enterprise in the heart of the community. Houria breeds freedom through food.

Somali Kitchen

Somali Kitchen is an organisation run by Somali women for women from migrant backgrounds who are living in Bristol. The Somali Kitchen project is about culture, identity and building confidence and combating isolation.

91 Ways to Build a Global City

91 Ways are a community-focused social enterprise based in Bristol and named after the 91 languages spoken here. They believe in connecting power of food and community. They aim is to build a more global city by encouraging people to share their personal food journeys, recipes, and passions.

Accessibility & Things to Note

  • British Sign Language translators available. Translators are also available in Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Somali and Sylheti. These are available to book in advance or on the day, and are allocated on a first come first served basis. Please book the translators for the sessions you want at the Bristol Women’s Voice desk in the foyer when you arrive, or if you are reading this in advance, contact:
  • We are delighted to welcome dancers from Wititi Peru-Folk Dance Group who will be performing at 10am to really kickstart the day.
  • We are also looking forward to hearing Councillor Asher Craig’s and Councillor Helen Holland’s welcoming address to this year’s International Women’s Day celebration .
  • Photos will be taken throughout the day which may be used on our website, promotional material or social media. If you do not wish to be included in any photos, please wear a ‘no photos’ sticker which can be collected from the desk in the foyer.
  • At 1:15-1:30pm in the main hall, Bring Your Own Baby (BYOB) Choir will be performing for 15mins. BYOB is a choir for parents and carers with children aged 0-5. Expect to be uplifted with a winning combination of gorgeous and plentiful smiles from big and little people.
  • A first come, first served, free creche is available in two-hour slots in rooms 1P04 and 1P08. Visit these rooms for more details.
  • A buggy park is available in the right hand entry to the council chamber. This area will not be supervised so any items are left at your own risk.
  • If you have any accessibility requirements, please visit the welcome desk in the foyer run by Bristol Disability Equality Forum, who will be pleased to support you.
  • Hearing loops are on setting T.
  • Room IP03 has been designated as a quiet room for those who need a breather, or for those who wish to pray.
  • The views and opinions expressed during events today are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bristol Women’s Voice. We do not endorse any flyers inside or outside City Hall or on College Green. We kindly ask that people do not hand out any flyers at our event.i

Our sponsors and supporters

We are enormously grateful to our sponsors and funders who have helped make this event possible:

We also want to thank our sponsors who have generously donated in kind:

Thank you also to Caroline’s Creche