Edge Hill has continued to champion women’s rights with a variety of events to mark International Women’s Day throughout March.
Staff and students have been celebrating the University’s long history of educating and empowering women with a month-long calendar of events at The Arts Centre, a special Ormskirk parkrun and ‘Women’s Week’, run by the Students’ Union.
Mrs Pankhurst’s Players, Edge Hill’s feminist theatre collective, returned to the stage with a sneak peek behind the curtain at their new show Sugar, Daddy; Wicked Women was a moving and uplifting physical performance exploring the lives of known and unknown heroines from Elizabeth I to Malala Yousafzai.
Other highlights of the programme included Laura Vanhulle Dance Theatre’s Yin, a performance by four female artists which explored opposite forces and their need to co-exist.
Still to come is HEDDA, a reimagining of Henrik Ibsen’s classic play Hedda Gabler by award-winning director Jen Heyes with iconic performance artist David Hoyle in the title role on March 23, and RED, a poignant, riotous and triumphant exploration of Liz Lea’s story of female endurance, which takes place on Tuesday March 10.
While Herring Girls, a multimedia dance collaboration which produces a folk tale setting for remarkable stories of women, takes place on March 19.
Cathy Butterworth, Arts Centre Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be marking and celebrating International Women’s Day at The Arts Centre throughout the whole month of March, with a number of performances which reflect the full diversity of women and their lived experience.
“At The Arts Centre we understand the agency of the arts and culture to break through gender and identity stereotypes, and through powerful performances, workshops and discussion, we want to communicate the importance of this to as many people as possible.”
Edge Hill University was set up in 1885 as a pioneering institution, the first non-denominational teacher training college for women, and its history is tied up with the struggle for women’s rights and progress.
Many of the University’s academics pursue areas of research relating to women’s rights and Programme Leader for Politics Paula Keaveney, who was involved in organising Edge Hill’s Wonder Women initiative to mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, is presenting as part of her research a half-day conference on women, politics and the leadership in the Liverpool City Region on March 18.
Elsewhere on campus, this week’s Ormskirk parkrun is focused specifically on encouraging more women to take part, preferably while wearing purple, and the Students’ Union have been hosting a variety of events including women-only fitness sessions, team sports, a ‘Craftivism’ event on banner making, and a body positivity workshop.