international women's day 2023
Women and members of feminist groups take part in a march to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, in Mexico City, on November 25, 2022. Source: Victoria Razo/AFP

Every year on March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated in many countries around the world.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is “#EmbraceEquity” — chosen to raise awareness of the need for equal opportunities for all.

On most days, many of the social, economic and political achievements of all women go unnoticed. It’s a shame but March 8 gives us a chance to highlight them.

Recognising the importance of this day, many universities in the UK organise events and activities every year to empower and inspire women.

Here are some universities in the UK celebrating International Women’s Day 2023.

Six UK universities celebrating International Women’s Day 2023

The University of Manchester 

For International Women’s Day 2023, The University of Manchester is organising several activities to recognise and appreciate all their female students and staff.

 “International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements and drive gender equity,” shares Banji Adewumi, director of equality, diversity and inclusion at the university. 

This year, their digital “Wall of Women,” will display women from different ethnicities, backgrounds, nationalities, abilities, ages, religions and beliefs and sexual orientations. 

Aside from that, workshops and discussions will be organised to discuss women’s role in academics and business. 

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of these empowering events. Click here to get more information about each event. 

Heriot-Watt University

To celebrate this IWD, Heriot-Watt University has a full day of events planned for March 8.  The kickstart the day, a celebratory breakfast will be organised for all.

Here, students can leave a message to a woman they appreciate or look up to while enjoying some drinks and food.  

Breakfast will be followed by games and activities where common myths and stereotypes about women will be challenged in a safe space. 

The eventful day will also include a talk by a professor on her personal academic journey, a karaoke session, home-cooked meals for one pound and a cycle ride. 

Don’t miss out on this exciting day to celebrate all women and girls. For more details on the events, visit their website here

University of Bradford

This IWD, the University of Bradford, is organising an institution-wide programme to celebrate all the women across its university. 

It starts  with a book display in their library showcasing amazing literature written by women. This display will be held until March 10. 

Aside from that, talks by female professionals, workshops and networking events will be organised to discuss the challenges that women face. 

Visit their website to get more details on all their events. 

University of Leicester 

In line with the theme this year, the University of Leicester is using this day to celebrate women’s achievements, challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias and seek out inclusion. 

Over the week, a number of thought-provoking and celebratory events will be held on campus. These events include a talk on breast cancer awareness and prevention, a Zoom webinar on gender apartheid in Afghanistan, the screening of a one-woman show, a stargazing night and many more.

As spaces are limited, visit the website to secure your spot before it is too late. 


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University of Essex

At the University of Essex, IWD is not just celebrated for one day. Here, celebrations go on over the week. 

Events to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements are organised throughout the week.

It kicks off on March 8 with discussions by a panel of female academic experts, followed by sports activities. 

Over the rest of the week, there will be a discussion on raising awareness for period poverty, and the week will end with a basketball game by the female players from the Essex Rebels and the Leicester Riders. 

Get the details here

University of Gloucestershire

The University of Gloucestershire is organising a free event for International Women’s Day 2023. Begin the day with coffee and pastries, followed by exhibitions from art and photography students.

There will also be a presentation dedicated to Iranian women, a choir performance and opportunities to mingle and form new connections. 

“We’re delighted to be hosting an Embrace Equity-themed event for International Women’s Day this year. This is a truly celebratory and inclusive event, with plenty of opportunity to learn, enjoy a range of exhibitions, see old friends and meet new people,” shares senior lecturer in social work Aimee Georgeson. 

While tickets are free, they are limited. Be sure to get your tickets soon.