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

Walking Tour Notable and Notorious Women of Southampton
May 24th / July 26th / Sept 27th / Nov 29th

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
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.   Find out more > 

Deeds Not Words: a talk by Helen Pankhurst
30 Nov / 7.30pm at The Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, Winchester SO23 8SB / £8 advanced / £10 on the door

On the 100th anniversary of some women getting the vote, Helen Pankhurst – great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, and herself a leading women's rights campaigner – charts how women's lives have changed over the last century, and offers a powerful and positive argument for a new way forward. Find out more > 

City of Sanctuary Sewing Group
Every Monday 10am - 12noon / Free - there is a suggested donation of 50p for those who can afford it. 
Third Age Centre, 11 Cranbury Terrace, Southampton SO14 0LH
The women only group meets every Monday morning at the Third Age Centre from 10am - 12pm. 
The group is FREE, there is a suggested donation of 50p for those who can afford it. 
It's a great environment to learn a new skill and make great friends. Come along, all women are welcome. 
All of the tools and materials are provided so just bring yourself. For more info call 02380 711 700 / email   Find out more >
Women's Only Sewing Class
6pm - 8pm / £6
Third Age Centre, 11 Cranbury Terrace, Southampton SO14 0LH
Have you got a new sewing machine, but don’t know how to use it? Or have you always wanted to learn how to sew your own garments? These evening class are aimed purely at beginners. After this class, attendees will have the basic fundamentals needed to create their own one of a kind piece. 
Classes are every Monday (except bank holidays) from 6pm til 8pm. Each session is £6 each and all proceeds goes back into the Women for Women project to keep its activities going.
For more info call 02380 711 700 / email 
It's a lovely welcoming environment to meet new women in Southampton and learn a hobby. Find out more >
Women's Writing Group
Third Age Centre, 11 Cranbury Terrace, Southampton SO14 OLH
Second Friday of each month / £2 donation
3AC Women's Writing Group from 2-4pm, the second Friday of each month. 
It's a great environment to share new ideas, get creative and meet new people. Your first session is FREE and then up to £2 suggested donation to cover costs. For more info call 02380 711 700 / email   Find out more >
Hot Hot Hot - Song Theatre on Menopause
Sat 17 March at 7.30pm / Ticket entry
The Art House Gallery Cafe and Venue, Above Bar Street, Southampton

An acapella song theatre piece based on stories gathered from real women about their experiences of the peri and menopause, in all it's glorious, tragic, hilarious and occasionally gory detail.
Throughout September 2018, Southampton City Council is running a localised ‘This Girl Can Southampton’ campaign to promote and encourage women to get active.

Sorry you have missed..

Stroppy Women - Guided Walk for International Women's Day
Thurs 8 March at Holy Rood Church 
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 writer​s, tragic actresses, ruthless monarchs, and of course women who led the fight for Votes for Women, finally achieved a hundred years ago.

Sisters Act!
Thurs 8 March 
Solent Showcase, 157-187 Above Bar Street, Southampton SO14 7NN
Come and join with other women in our city to STAND TOGETHER and PRESS for PROGRESS
Bring along women in your life that inspire you!! Join with others to celebrate inspiring women in our city.
Take part in a live piece of art exploring issues affecting women in our city.
Be encouraged by the Suffragette Film where women STOOD TOGETHER to bring change.
This free event is to mark International Women's Day (#pressforchange) hosted by Dangerous Ideas and The Showcase Gallery with artwork carried out by Sarah Filmer.
Looking at Me, Looking at You: The Representation of Women in Western Art
Thurs 8 March 
Silver Birch Suite, Southampton Solent University, East Park terrace, Southampton / £28
The Arts Society of Southampton - Linda’s talk will explore how women have been represented in Western Art since ancient times to the 20th Century and how attitudes to women’s status as subjects, patrons and makers of art has changed.
International Women's Day Community Event
8 March 11am - 3pm 
YMCA Newtown Youth Centre, Graham Road, Southampton
A fun pamper day. Fun activities will include:
Fashion show, Community food, Henna artist, Salsa dance, Beauty and Nutrition presentation and more.
Fri 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.
Bright Club #11: women in Research Special
Fri 9 March 
One O Four, 104 Above bar, Southampton, SO14 7DT

As part of the International Women's Day celebrations, Bright Club Southampton is putting on a Women in Research special show! We've got a host of researchers, from philiosophy to pain. Come and join us for a chuckle or two!
Jane Austen and the Navy
Sat 10 and Sun 11 March 
A special walk about one of Southampton's most famous residents. Two hundred years ago saw the posthumous publication of Jane Austen's 'Sailors' novel Persuasion. During Jane's time in Southampton in the household of her brother Captain Francis Austen, Jane met many naval officers and Admirals. Find out about some of the influences for her novel.
Women of Southampton - History Cycle Ride
Sun 11 March 
Starts from the Hawthorns Cafe on Southampton Common

To celebrate International Women's Day and the centenary anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the UK, join British Cycling for a free historical cycling tour of the places associated with the famous (and not so famous) women who called Southampton home and contributed to its rich history.
Starting at Southampton Common, we will travel down to the city centre and then across the Itchen Bridge out to Netley. Stopping at Queen Victoria Country Park for tea and cake with the Mother's Day crowds, we will then head back to Southampton city centre for no later than 3pm. 
Please bring warm clothing as we will be stopping fairly frequently - if the weather is very poor then the ride will be cancelled. Please also bring water and a replacement inner tube. Places are limited, so please book to ensure a space.
Nina Hamnet Queen of Bohemia – One Woman Show
Sat 31 March / 2pm / Southampton City Art Gallery / £7 (£6 concessions)
To coincide with International Women’s Day, NINA, Queen of Bohemia, brings theatre to the Gallery in this exciting show by actor and playwright Vanessa Rosenthal. 
How To Stop Pretending You Love Your Body: a talk by Deborah Coughlin
13 May 7.30pm / £8
Railway Inn, St Paul's Hill, Winchester SO22 5AE
Do you love the way you look? Do you spend time trying to? Do you pretend that you do, or need convincing?
In this talk Deborah Coughlin will take us through the theories and facts behind why having a body can be so tricky. She will discuss the pitfalls of faking body positivity and inspogram, and the radical steps we can take to change our body vision.
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. 
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.
Women in Power
8 - 29 Sept 
Nuffield Southampton Theatres City, Above Bar Street, Southamtpon So14 7DU
A series of raucous comedy sketches written by some of the UK’s most influential women and directed by NST Associate Blanche McIntyre.  Expect songs, dance, music and women takingthe lead in this new comedy, based on a Greek classic. 

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 >