PREPARATIONS are well underway for International Women’s Week this year in York.

The event - which runs from March 7 - 15 - is curated by local organisers and the programme is pulled together by a small group of volunteers.

This year’s theme is ‘Respect and Recognition’ for women within these shores and beyond, whatever their cultural or personal background and identity.

More than 30 events will take place around the city, some for women only and some open to all.

This year’s programme includes a variety of performances of plays, poetry, book readings, talks, workshops, yoga, and movement classes.

There will also be an opportunity to taste Fair Trade food and witness musical events, including the Newcastle-based ‘Ladies of Midnight Blue’, who will be performing with the Human Rights Defenders from the University of York.

A spokeswoman for the organisation said: “There’s the chance to hear about the history of women in politics and another event to discuss present-day attitudes to women in politics.

“Not surprisingly three events will be looking at women’s activism on environment matters and offering a chance to find out how to get involved.

“The Minster is once again opening its doors to a day workshop making re-usable feminine hygiene wear and there is a workshop to knit or crochet squares for a ‘blanket of universal security’.

“There’s a showing of the film ‘Maiden’, the inspirational story of the first all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round World Yacht Race.

“And the return of the very popular ‘Frock for FROK’ women’s clothes swap which also raises funds for women in northwest Pakistan.”

Notable talks and discussions include one on oriental dance, another on the menopause, what the concept of ‘honour’ means, women’s return to work after childbirth and whether complementary therapies have a role in integrated healthcare.

A spokeswoman added: “The programme brings people together to celebrate women’s achievements, to witness women’s struggles, and to work towards justice and equality for all, locally and globally.

“We expect events to be welcoming and inclusive and to share the spirit of respect and recognition which comes with listening to each other even if we don’t share the same views."

Soon after the week finishes, York Women’s Forum is also hosting a Women’s Conference.

'Women Power York: Collective Voices & Action for Equality’, and York’s wonderful all-female Brass Band, Femmes Fortissimo, return for the third year running with the ever-popular concert.

For anyone wanting to find out more, brochures and flyers are available at