International Women’s Day is an annual event dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women across the globe, as well as raise awareness and rally for equality.

The day is marked with celebrations, lobbying, fundraising, and raising awareness of different issues that affect women. It is an opportunity to draw attention to issues that affect women, and in particular highlight issues that impact marginalized groups such as women with disabilities, transwomen and BAME women.

Campaign Theme: #ChooseToChallenge

The theme this year is Choose To Challenge and is aimed at calling for all of us to challenge and call out inequality. You can find out more about this theme on the International Women’s Day website.

UN Theme: ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World.

Each year the UN select a theme for IWD, and this year’s chosen global theme is ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World.’ The pandemic has had a direct impact on women and girls, and with this is mind, the focus this year:

You can find out more about why this theme was chosen here.


As part of the day, events are run across the globe. However, in light of the pandemic, most of these events will most likely be virtual. This does however have its advantages as it means we can engage with events internationally that may not otherwise have been available. The lists below give some of the planned virtual events, but this list is not exhaustive. A map of IWD events across the UK can be found on the WOW Foundation website.

Please be aware that some of these events are not free and you should check before booking tickets to attend.

Southwark / Pan-London Events

International Women’s Day VAWG Awareness Seminars Solace, Southwark’s Domestic Abuse Service provider, will deliver two Violence Against Women and Girls seminars via zoom | Monday 8th March – 10am – 1pm & Friday 12th March – 10am – 1pm.

The seminars are open to anyone who lives or works in Southwark. To book your place, please email: [email protected] 

International Women's Day Chamber Music Concert | Sands Films Music Room | Rotherhithe | Virtual Event | 8th March 2021 | 20:00.

An online concert celebrating the work of three women composers inspired by the spirt of Belle Époque. Tickets are free, but donations are welcome. Find out more here.

The Menopause - Challenging the Taboo | London South Bank University | Southwark | Virtual Event | 8th March 2021 | 15:00 – 17:00.

Webinar focussing on breaking down stigma around the menopause, with talks around best practice and how individuals and workplaces can be more inclusive. There will be an expert panel and the opportunity to share views and experiences. Find out more here.

Emilia | Shakespeare’s Globe | Southwark | Stream Online | 1 – 31 March 2021

The archive recording of Emilia’s run in the West End will be available to stream online for the whole of March, in partnership with WOW Festival and to celebrate International Women’s Day. Find out more here.

Women in health and care: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world 

NHS England | Southwark | Virtual Event | 8th March 2021 | 07:30 – 16:00.

An all-day event discussing and celebrating the role of women in health care. The event is designed to fit around the busy lives of women in health and care, so you are welcome to take part in as much or little of the event as you want to. More information and the full programme for the day can be found here.

London Women in Enterprise: Leaders who inspire | National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses | London | Virtual Event | 1st March 2021 | 16:30 – 18:00.

An informal and educational virtual event with interviews of four diverse and inspirational women in enterprise in advance of International Women’s Day. More information on the speakers and how to book a place can be found here.

Trust Talks : Diversity & Inclusion - International Women's Day | The Prince’s Trust | Westminster | Virtual Event | 11:00 – 12:00.

A 45 minute talk with 15 minutes Q&A focused on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the work place. More information here.

Women Who Challenge: The Legal Sector | Support Through Court | Westminster | Virtual Event | 19:00 – 20:3.

An online event showcasing the work of leading women in the sector who are breaking barriers and advocating for women’s place within it, challenging the gender norms and stereotypes they have encountered. Tickets are £15 for general admission, with a discount for students. More details on booking and further information about the event can be found here.

Southwark Rebel Women | jointly hosted by Mental Fight Club and Team London Bridge | Monday 8th March at 5pm) | More information here.

Find out more

You can find out more about what's happening on the International Women's Day website here.

What are you doing for International Women's Day?

Let us know what activities and events you are running and we'll help you to share them, email: [email protected], or tweet us: @cosouthwark

Our training and events

We are always running lots of useful training and events and so if you have a look you will be sure to find something timely and topical for your charity.