This project in Manchester is marking the 2018 anniversary of being 100 years since women first won the (partial) right to vote.
In 2018, British women will have much to celebrate. It is a year that marks 100 years since women first won the (partial) right to vote. Although we’ve come a long way, there is still much work yet to be done.
Wonder Women is Manchester’s take on this anniversary. It is a five-year project that, in the run-up to 2018, features women’s events, debate, music, art, tours, culture, film and more. It is a commemoration of the suffragette movement born in our city and a rallying cry for national and international feminist debate. It is a city wide, collaborative project that asks how far we’ve come in 100 years – and how far we have yet to go.
Wonder Women launched in March 2013. Led by People’s History Museum and Creative Tourist, seventeen organisations provided events and activities as part of a month-long programme. In its first season 42,000 people took part in the month-long programme. Running in parallel with International Women’s Day events, it provided audiences with a rich and wide programme showing the best of Manchester’s cultural offer.
Wonder Women in 2013 provided a banner for many different museums, galleries and other cultural organisations to get involved in telling the story of women from the past who achieved so much, while celebrating the lives of women today and raising awareness of contemporary issues in the UK and around the world.
Events included walking tours, Women in Science events at Manchester Museum and a programme of Spanish films at the Cornerhouse. Manchester Art Gallery also marked 100 years since a suffragette protest smashed the glass on paintings. There is a strong public appetite for events such as these, which is reflected in national movements such as No More Pg3, Women on banknotes, the everyday sexism project and features such as a recent piece on the suffragette legacy on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
In 2014 work will continue to explore these themes with a conference in Manchester as part of International Women’s Day that brings together academics, artists, politicians and activists to present and speak about how their work today is affected by the suffragette legacy of feminism.
The conference will encourage people to think about what the suffragettes did for them and what this means for them in the context of the world today – how they can play their part in keeping the momentum alive and not waste the sacrifices people made in the past.
The overarching Wonder Women project has a strong visual identify to take us to 2018, alongside pages within Creative Tourist, a Wonder Women blog and Wonder Women on Twitter @WonderWomenMcr