Visit Southampton

Centenary of the Women's Vote 2018 and International Women's Day

February 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time, with December marking 100 years since the first general election in which women voted in the UK.

2018 will celebrate this key step in the process towards female emancipation and universal suffrage with a full year of events across the country. 

International Women's Day ​​(March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.​ ​International Women's Day​ (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD run by the Suffragettes in 1911.​ IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.

    • Centenary of the Women's Vote 2018

    Centenary of the Women's Vote 2018 - Photo Credit: LSE Library

Events in Southampton

The Shadow Factory
7 Feb - 3 March at NST City in Guildhall Square
Southampton is home to our only hope of victory: the Spitfire.  But when the Luftwaffe drops 2,300 bombs in three devastating raids, the city goes up in flames and the Woolston Supermarine Spitfire factory is destroyed. From the ashes, a story of chaos, courage and community spirit emerges.
Jackie is the third generation of Dimmock at her family-run laundry.  Polly is the first and only draughtswoman in the Spitfire design office.  How will each woman forge her own path in this evolving landscape?
International Women's Day Walk

Sunday 4 March at 2pm, Southampton Common
Registration starts at 1.30pm
Starting and finishing at the Hawthorns Centre on Southampton Common.
Brisk or gentle hour-long walks available.
Wear a dash of purple and celebrate the achievements of women around the world.
Please show your support for women and help make this a fairer world.
Organised by Southampton Women's Forum in partnership with Sustrans.
Find out more > 

Stroppy Women - Guided Walk for International Women's Day
8 March 10.30am starts at Holy Rood Church - £5.50
It is said history is written by men, but this walk tells the story of feisty women throughout the centuries who made a significant contribution to Southampton’s turbulent history. Medieval widows, intrepid travel writers, tragic actresses, ruthless monarchs, and of course women who led the fight for Votes for Women, finally achieved a hundred years ago.
The Music Industry of Tomorrow: South Coast Women in Music 2018
9 March  The Spark Building, Southampton Solent University  1pm - 5pm
We need to come together to tackle the gender imbalance and frequent sexism within the music industry. 
This is an industry conference and networking event celebrating the role of women in music. We aim to bring together women in music and women aspiring to work within the industry, providing a positive and inspiring platform. 
At its core, this is an event to promote diversity. Men are not excluded from this discussion and are encouraged to attend as for progress to be made surrounding the role of women in music, the industry as a whole must be involved.
This event is happening at the Southampton Solent's The Spark building on 9th March - the day after the International Women's Day.
Find out more > 
Walking Tour Notable and Notorious Women of Southampton.

The 90 mins walks, will show that for over 800 years, women of all ages and social classes, have been responsible for changing the course of history.
Join See Southampton on these fascinating themed guided walks taking place on

March 22nd
May 24th
July 26th
Sept 27th
Nov 29th

Qualified Guide: Sandra M Lochhead
Meeting Point: Lions, Bargate
Price Per Person: £20.00
Walks commence at 1pm with traditional Cream Tea at The Dolphin at 2.30pm where your tour guide Sandra will be available to answer questions.
Group Size max. 15
Evening and group walks can be accommodated.
Race For Life Pretty Muddy
30 June / Southampton Common

A brilliant 5k muddy obstacle course where you can show cancer that hell hath no fury like a woman in pink. 
Find out more >
Race For Life
1 July / Southampton Common

5k or 10k challnge for women and girls
Take part and run, walk or dance the route or do your bit by sponsoring someone you know.
Find out more > 


Notable Women of Southampton

Lucia Foster Welch

Did you know that Lucia Foster Welch was Southampton's first Lady Mayor?
She was also first woman councillor, first woman Alderman and first woman Sheriff. As in Southampton the Mayor also holds the title of Admiral of the Port, Lucia was England’s first Lady Admiral. 
 Find out more > 

Sarah Emily Davies

Sarah Emily Davies was born in Carlton Crescent, Southampton (22 April 1830 – 13 July 1921). She was an English feminist and suffragist, and a pioneering campaigner for women's rights to university access. She is principally remembered as being the co-founder and an early Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge University, the first college in England to educate women.  
Find out more >

Did you know that there is student accomodation called The Emily Davies student residences? - owned by Southampton Solent University and located in the heart of Southampton city centre.

More useful links

Women's Suffrage in Southampton - Bevois Mount History > >

Radio 3 marks women’s vote centenary >

The Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme >

Daily Echo Heritage: Celebrating 100 years of suffrage for women >

Daily Echo Suffragette Spirit campaign launch: Nominate the incredible women who make a real difference > >

International Women's Day >  

Local links

Southampton Women's Forum > 

Sotonettes > 

Southampton Ladies Circle > 

Women's Business Club Southampton > 

HSBC UK Breeze free bike rides for women > 

Solent Running Sisters > 

Southampton Women's Football Club > 

SO:Write Women >