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Break The Bias: Celebrate International Women’s Day With 9 Rad Events Happening Around Auckland

By Alice Rich
7th Mar 2022

Four women sit on a bench with a dog in the foreground just chilling.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is tomorrow and, despite Omicron prompting a wave of event cancellation, there are still a whole lot of epic ways to celebrate, both online and in person. With an online breakfast, a vintage vocal performance, inspirational speakers, narrative diversifying stories, dance, paint and self-defence. Consider your IWD lineup sorted. 

Here are 9 of the best events to hit up in Tāmaki Makaurau this International Women’s Day and beyond. 

International Women’s Day Breakfast Livestream

Tuesday 8 March, online

Level up your breakfast game by beaming into this International Women’s Day livestream hosted by UN Women Aotearoa and Zonta Club of Wellington. The event will celebrate women and girls around the world who are leading climate change initiatives to build a more sustainable future. Keynote speakers include Governor-General of Aotearoa Her Excellency, The Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro, Minister of Internal Afffairs and Minister for Women Hon Jan Tinetti, Kapiti Coast District Councillor and Climate Change Activist Sophie Handford and Founder of Tamaki Health & Gandhi Nivas, Ranjna Patel. 

OK Now Ladies: EMPIRE

Tuesday 8 March, Grey Lynn

Dance up a storm in the EMPIRE dance series by OK Now Ladies. The self acclaimed “kinda like Zumba, but sluttier” dance classes are for all levels of dance ability with the organisers, Taryn and Bianca, emphasising you truly don’t need to be able to dance to participate. Expect to sweat to a carefully curated playlist in a safe, healing space where you can feel completely free to do you. 

The Women’s Empowerment Summit 

Tuesday 8 March, online

If you need a dose of inspiration, or six, you might like to beam into The Women’s Empowerment Summit. This online day event features six incredible speakers—Natalie Tolhopf, Nurain Jonah, Lisa Tregenza, Jess Stuart, Natalie Coombe and Bonnie Te Ara Henare— who’ll be sharing what it means to lead with heart in life and business. A question and answer session will follow each speaker, and then you’ll be guided through a workshop to help you channel all that inspired energy into action. 

Paintvine

Tuesday 8 March, Auckland CBD

Aotearoa’s favourite Paint & Wine Party is hosting not one, but two, events on International Women’s Day-pick from a pīwakaka at The Oakroom or a peony bouquet at Dr Rudy’s Rooftop Brewing Co. For the uninitiated, Paintvine is a relaxed two hour step-by-step painting and wine experience suitable for everyone, even if you’ve never picked up a paintbrush before. All painting materials supplied. 

EmpowerHER

Tuesday 8 March, online

Brought to you by Impact Hub Waikato and National Council of Women New Zealand, EmpowerHER is a virtual event all about connection. Taking place online from 7.30-9pm you’ll get to hear from keynote speaker Nanise Ginnen, Co-Founder and Director of Impact Hub Waikato. Following the keynote you’ll be able to ask for, and give, support in an uplifting ‘give and take’ activity. Profit from tickets sold will be donated to Women’s Refuge.

International Women’s Day Live On TikTok

Tuesday 8 March, online

TikTok is hosting a 3-hour livestream event in celebration of International Women’s Day. Hosted by hilarious comedian Melanie Bracewell, and kicking off at 9pm NZ time (7pm Australia time) on @tiktok_Australia, the event will feature conversations with TikTok creators Drew Afualo, AJ Clementine, Ellie Gonsalves, Jazz Thornton and Aretha Brown. 

Narrative Muse

Ongoing, online

Representation is one of the critical keys to breaking the bias so it’s vital the stories we’re seeing and reading reflect the stunning diversity of our communities. Narrative Muse is doing just that. The online platform matches users—known as musers—with books, tv shows and movies by and about women and gender diverse people and we’re here for it. Simply sign up (it’s free) and complete a mood quiz. The clever algorithm will then curate a collection of stories perfect for you. Select the one that takes your fancy and dive in. 

Mary Quant Closing Event 

Saturday 12 March, Auckland CBD

It seems fitting to celebrate International Women’s Day with a full day of events inspired by fashion revolutionary Mary Quant at the Auckland Art Gallery. Start the day by being transported to the golden era of jazz by vintage vocal trio The Madeleines. Next, pull up a seat to hear New Zealand Fashion Week ambassador, Jess Molina, and Aotearoa’s leading stylist, Sammy Salsa, in conversation about dressing ‘The Panthers’. Finish up the celebration by attending a kōrero with Curator of International Art, Sophie Matthiessen on everything Mary Quant. 

Women’s Street Smart Self-Defence Workshop

Saturday & Sunday 12-13 March, Albany

Brush up on your self-defence at this Women’s Street Smart Self-Defence Workshop run by S.A.F.E. Self Defence & Close Quarters Combat. The comprehensive programme, taking place at Massey University Recreation Centre over two days, will cover everything from defending yourself against punches, headlocks, hair grabbing and choke holds to using your body as a weapon. 

Want to keep the conversation flowing? Check out 8 of the very best podcasts for women, by women

Image credit: Chris Murray

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