International Women’s Day is upon us (Sunday 8 March) and this year, it’s particularly important for us to stand together.
If you’re a champion of celebrating all women, in all their diversities—faiths, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, ability—then this day is a day to rally around the simple fact that “women’s rights are human rights”. We know that the goals of the IWD aren’t limited to a “single day” of the year, but this Sunday is your call to action to make an impact with the collective and remind governments, businesses and everyone else watching that all ladies, including women of colour, women with disabilities, and queer or trans women, aren’t going anywhere.
The best part is that there are so many amazing gigs happening around our glorious city this weekend, which give you an epic opportunity to show you support and stand in solidarity. You'll find us hitting the All About Women festival at the Sydney Opera House, a suffragette-themed dinner and a free book initiative in partnership with female authors like Zoe Foster-Blake and Margaret Atwood.
Here are all the best International Women’s Day events to check out in Sydney this weekend.
Books On The Rail
This movement kicked off in Melbourne back in 2016 but now, you’ll find this awesome gig on Sydney’s transport until the end of this week. The general idea behind Books On The Rail has been to get people reading a whole lot more. This looks like setting books loose on public transport with everything from historical fiction to memoirs and psychological thrillers to colouring books with the hope you’ll find one, take it and read it, and then release it back into the wild ready for someone else to discover.
For this week, Books On The Rail has collab’d with female-identifying authors like Clare Bowdwitch to Maxine Beneba Clarke all in arms with International Women’s Day. A tonne of books have already been picked up like Zoe Foster-Blake’s Love and Margaret Atwood’s recent work The Testaments (a couple of authors dropping their own signed copies of books too).
When: Every day until Sunday 8 March
Where: Buses, trains, ferries across Sydney
All About Women
Sydney Opera House
Designed to make you think and push your boundaries, All About Women is a mammoth festival that asks questions about gender, justice and equality. Basically, there’s a mega line-up of talks, panels, workshops and even live-streams to get into and we guarantee you’ll want to tick-off as many as you can. On the talks and ideas-side of things, our picks include Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Azadeh Moaveni’s discussion on dissecting the stereotype of the ISIS bride and cognitive researcher Gina Rippon’s chat on the “gendered brain”.
We're also excited about this talk on the forgotten women of astronomy and a talk from Stanislava Pinchuk (aka Miso) called The Thread of War, which encompasses her mind-blowing new photographic work The Red Carpet (pictured above).
The stunning image took two years to develop—" mapping and tracking on-site, working in-camera with transparencies, paint and light and set-building in post-production," Pinchuk explains—and it shows a Ukrainian Bessarabian rug transposed onto the Monumental Steps of the Sydney Opera House.
"The intervention references the histories of women documenting their personal experiences of conflict through textiles," Pinchuck says. "The artwork acts as a metaphorical red carpet for the Sydney Opera House—acknowledging the history and labour of women's domestic interiors as the art historical foundation leading to the existence of modernist ‘starchitecture'."
You’ll also be able to hit some juicy panels too: Flex Mami, Clementine Ford and Lindy West will be spilling their ideas on finding your voice and shouting it out loud; plus there’s a Sober Curious session that looks at the relationship between boozy benders and sobriety and an Abusive Cultures idea-share which unpacks male entitlement and female vulnerability. The full program is here.
When: Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 March
Where: Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay
The Suffragette Dinner
On a normal day, Song Kitchen in Surry Hills is where you need to seat yourself when you want to eat good food for a good cause. With 100% of profits going directly to YWCA NSW programs and services supporting women and children escaping domestic violence, the team here is known for their buttermilk pancakes for breakfast, oysters for lunch and grain-fed sirloin for dinner.
For International Women’s Day, Song Kitchen is throwing it back to old-day food times with a three-course menu based on recipes donated by real suffragettes. Executive chef Liz Mason will be hosting the dinner, using original recipes from the 1886 Woman Suffrage Cookbook. Paying homage to the original recipe-makers and their fight for women’s rights, Mason has created a tongue-in-cheek menu with dishes called “Mrs Impey’s ‘up-rice-ing’ of cutlets” and “Mrs Washburn’s ‘speach up for your rights’ peach sherbert”. To knock your feasting back, four matching wines made by a stellar line-up of female winemakers will be offered on the night too. More details are here.
When: Saturday 7 March, 6:30pm
Where: Song Kitchen And Bar, Surry Hills
Cost: $75 per person, $40 per person extra for matching wines
Secret Ladies’ Business
If you’ve ever dreamed of learning how to brew your own beer, listen up. Hop and Grain is the Inner West’s only homebrew store selling homebrew kits and equipment as well as running classes, private brewing-themed functions and hosting brewing meetups so let’s just say, after one visit, you’ll actually be able to flex a whole heap of knowledge on how to whip up the ultimate cold one yourself.
For International Women's Day, the crew here will be diving straight into all-grain brewing, making small-scale batches on the kitchen stove-top and you’ll get solid inside info on how to make a cruisy pale ale like an absolute pro. Classes will be for women only (as Hop and Grain's customer-base is largely dudes). Details are here.
When: Sunday 8 March
Where: The Hop and Grain Brew Store, Marrickville
Flow & Nourish Yoga Class
Athleisure juggernauts Lululemon and holistic yoga studio and cafe haunt Egg Of The Universe are teaming up this International Women’s Day for a morning session. The 60-minute yoga class will also feature a live female DJ followed by a heap of refreshments in the cafe and Lululemon pop-up shop. Complimentary mats will be available on the day as well.
When: Sunday 8 March, 8.30am – 10am
Where: Eveleigh Green, Eveleigh
If you haven’t heard about Agenda 2020, sit tight. This hard-copy book is your staple read for the year, compiling the big accomplishments and stories of powerful Australian women like Cate Blanchett, Delta Goodrem and Tina Arena, to name a few. The book is available to purchase from the Park Hyatt’s swanky Lobby Bar until March 19 and you’ll also be able to nab special offerings like the Agenda Cocktail ($29) or you can buy a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and receive the book for $130. More info is here.
When: Until Friday 19 March
Where: Lobby Lounge, Hyatt Regency Sydney, CBD
Get powerful and give back with this edit of International Women's Day t-shirts.
Image credit: The Red Carpet by Stanislava Pinchuk courtesy the artist and Antidote Projects