Walk for women

Rise up, strong women of Manchester – Walk for Women 2019

  • Manchester’s celebrations of International Women’s Day started off on the 2ndof March with a Walk for Women, calling for women to rise up
  • The march took place as part of Manchester International Women's Festival 2019, celebrating Strong Manchester Women
  • The event was inclusive, multicultural and enjoyed by people of all ages

This year’s Walk for Women was the second of its kind in Manchester, with the first taking place last year to mark the 100 year anniversary of women getting the vote in the UK. 

The event was held as part of Manchester International Women’s Festival, celebrating strong Manchester women. The campaign features 14 #StrongMCRWomen, including councillors, poets, charity chairs and lead organisers and a professional boxer – to name just a few. 

LGBT Foundation attended the Walk for Women.
The LGBT Foundation Women’s Programme were representing LGBT women and showing their support for women’s rights

Speaking before the march, Councillor Sarah Judge said that she was feeling excited for the walk and told the Northern Quota that since the unveiling of the Emmeline Pankhurst statue last year, more young children and families are learning about the history of women’s rights and are getting involved with events like this one. 

The Lord Mayor of Manchester, June Hitchen, told the Northern Quota that International Women’s Day is important to Manchester because it was built on immigration, and that we need to recognise their international input into making our city so great. 

“Globally millions of women are all standing together saying ‘we are loud, we are proud’.”

Women of colour matter, sign held by Chloe from Rainbow Noir
Manchester’s Walk for Women celebrates all kinds of women. 

Before the march set off, crowds were entertained by children from St John’s Primary School who played drums whilst the audience chanted “say it loud, say it clear – Manchester strong women are here.” 

Then came the turn of Manchester Samba, it’s impossible to do anything but smile when listening to samba music and watching a group of old and young dance together. Bhangracise then joined them, playing drums and dancing Bhangra alongside the Brazillian style samba group. 

Dancers and children cheer after the performances end.
Crowds cheer after the performances end at St Peter’s Square. 

By 3pm, it was time for the march to start moving to the Castlefield Bowl. The crowds formed, with the 14-strong Manchester Women. The route of the march took participants past the Great Northern, down Deansgate, onto Liverpool Road then finally to the Castlefield Bowl. Chants included “What do we do when they mess with our rights? We march, we vote, we fight, we fight” and “What do we want? Equality. When do we want it? Now!”

On arrival, Claire Mooney, a singer-songwriter, was performing to welcome marchers to the arena, greeting them with “Walk for women, come on in!”

Her performance was followed by Chorlton Women’s choir and Horizons choir, who were joined by Claire Mooney and Councillor Sarah Judge.  

The celebration of international women’s day is not just for women in the UK. Councillor Sarah Judge highlighted the international issue of gender equality in her speech following the march. 

“Women around the world are suffering and we absolutely can’t have that!” 

After the official events ended, Manchester Samba and Bhangracise once again collaborated and danced in union including members of the audience –  young and old, women and men joined in, all with big smiles and lots of laughter. 

International Women’s Day is on the 8th of March, to find out more about events happening in Manchester read our brief summary here