International Women's Day Events in Scotland 2016

Presenting: your very own guide to International Women's Day 2016 in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. High fiving your your fellow women has never been so easy...

Preview by Kate Pasola | 07 Mar 2016

Hey, look! In the space of a few short years we’ve gone from wasting our collective energies debating whether or not it’s worthwhile celebrating International Women’s Day and forcing feminists to write down justifications on wipe-boards to chilling the fuck out about it all and enjoying the gender-inclusive ride. This week Scotland’s become a nation filled to its half-female brim with IWD events, so much so that we felt it necessary to jot ‘em all down in a guide for you. From an all-female roller derby to literary symposiums, girl band gigs to queen themed clubs, you're well and truly spoilt for choice this IWD.


First up, the beautiful ‘Burgh’s very much saturated with IWD goings on this week. Those lucky enough to have the afternoon off on the day itself (Tue 8 Mar) can head over to International Women’s Day at The Festival Theatre, where from 12-6.30pm you’ll be treated to inspiring talks from the likes of Orla O’Loughlin, Artistic Director of the Traverse Theatre; Alice Strang, Curator of the Modern Scottish Women exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Lee Chalmers of the Women’s Equality Party. There’s also live entertainment, chats from female comedians and readings from Elspeth Murray and Jennifer Williams of the Scottish Poetry Library. The event is free but you’ll be encouraged to donate what you can in aid of various women’s charities.

Sticking with the theme of the symposium, next up we’ve got an event so popular it relocated to the Scottish Storytelling Centre to accommodate more participants. IASH and Scottish PEN’s Dangerous Women symposium will spend a whole day unpicking stitches from a history of women labeled dangerous, be it socially, creatively or politically. Tickets are free and lunch and refreshments included, so act fast to book your place. 10 Mar, 10am-6pm.

For those seeking quite literally a little less conversation and slightly more action, Auld Reekie Roller Girls have you covered with their double-header derby on 12 Mar at Meadowbank Stadium. Because really, what screams WOMYN POWER better than cheering on a group of athletes narrowly avoiding concussion in pursuit of sweet, heady, rollerskate-based victory? 12 Mar, 12pm.

If you prefer your IWD celebrations to take the form of auditory pleasures it’s worth checking out The Franklys at Sneaky Pete’s on 9 Mar. This one's perhaps better defined less as an IWD event and more an arse-kicking night of garage rock from four women who refer to themselves as ‘like The Hives, but with better hair and makeup’. We're sold, regardless.

Art buffs can also get in on the IWD fun this week by taking stock of the the various women-focused exhibitions which have sprouted across the city; from Scottish National Galleries’ Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors 1885-1965 to By the Book: Scottish Women Illustrators, and Stills’ Joseph McKenzie: Women of Dundee exhibition.


Speaking of which, that very same theme continues northwards, with Tin Roof’s Where Our Minds Are Now exhibition, a showcase of the work of over thirty different artists who created responses to the theme of ‘Women and Gender Parity’. The exhibition will take place until 9 Mar.

Slaloming from art to science, next up is Dundee’s Women in Science festival which continues until 13 Mar. The festival is pretty much an explosion of events ranging from anatomical, forensic and criminology events to Women’s history trails, a screening of The Mother Load’s short film and author Lucy Hawking’s Explore the Universe space adventure talk. Dates, times and prices can all be found in the festival’s online brochure.


Last but not least, Glasgow’s got it all figured out this IWD too. The day itself is marked with Glasgow Women’s Library’s Outstanding Women in Scotland Awards (3-5pm), in which ten award winning women will receive prints made for them by up-and-coming printmakers who regard the winner as an inspiration.

Glasgow’s Feminist Film Club are set to mark the occasion on Mar 10 in a truly celluloid manner, screening Laura Mulvey & Peter Wollen's 1977 Riddles of the Sphinx at Boyd Orr Lecture Theatre D on Mar 10.

And finally, after a long week of very sensibly celebrating all that’s good in womanhood, your opportunity to let loose comes courtesy of PUSH IT who will throw a ‘Queenz’ themed hip-hop and R&B themed party on 12 Mar at Stereo in honour of ‘laydeez of regal realness’ the world over.