Manchester will change its name to Womanchester to mark International Women’s Day (March 8) and remind the world that it is the birthplace of innovation and progress.
Everyone in Greater Manchester is invited to join the Womanchester name change and those who have pledged their support for the campaign so far include Manchester Airport, Manchester Law Society, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, TFGM, the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel, the Co-operative, Greater Manchester Police, NatWest, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Womanchester and Manchester Central.
People and organisations who want to get involved can:
- Change the name of their organisation or address to Womanchester. For instance, Marketing Manchester has become Marketing Womanchester and has turned its M upside down to become a W.
- Celebrate the colour purple – one of the prominent colours of the women’s suffrage movement. This could include lighting up your building in purple, wearing purple clothes for the day or changing the colour of your website or social media profile.
- Share messages in support of #Womanchester and #RadicalManchester on social media as we attempt to get Womanchester trending. Welcome to Womanchester and I Love Womanchester logos can be downloaded here.
- Support an online Womanifesto aimed at furthering the principles of progress and innovation.
Part of the #RadicalManchester campaign from Marketing Womanchester, the name change is in recognition of the city’s leading role in the fight for women’s suffrage and innovations across business sectors, science, health, arts, culture and sport.
The #RadicalManchester campaign and Womanchester name change are part of the celebrations marking the centenary of the law which gave some women in the UK the vote for the first time, which was passed on February 6, 1918. Women first cast their votes at the UK general election on December 14, 1918.
Manchester was the home of Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the suffragette movement and the #RadicalManchester campaign is supporting the #Pankhurst100 fundraising efforts for the Pankhurst Centre museum.
Lou Cordwell OBE, a board member of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership and a director of the AllBright collective, said: “This is a day of activity that will help remind the world that Womanchester is the birthplace of progress and innovation, not only in supporting the vote for women but across business, science, health, arts, culture and sport.
“Becoming Womanchester for the day will enable us to collectively demonstrate the strength of this region’s commitment to equality and opportunity for all.”
Marketing Manchester Mbassador Dr Helen Pankhurst, who works for CARE International, is the great granddaughter of the Manchester-born Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who led the fight for women to be given the vote.
She said: “Manchester’s continuing contribution as a catalyst for global positive change cannot be underestimated and I am delighted that, to mark international Women’s Day in a purposive and fun way, Manchester is changing its name to Womanchester for the day as part of the #RadicalManchester campaign.”
Marketing Manchester, which will turn its M logo upside down to become a W for the day, is supporting the Pankhurst Centre through a year of activity relating to #RadicalManchester.
A series of #RadicalManchester events will take place across Greater Manchester this year, including the Allbright collective’s Womanchester.net festival – a series of events culminating in a Womanchester Celebration Evening on International Women’s Day.
Sheona Southern, Managing director of Marketing Womanchester, said: “This is a really significant year for Manchester and an opportunity to engage the whole of Greater Manchester in a campaign that will get the world talking about this vibrant city region.
“Changing the city’s name to Womanchester on International Women’s Day will support our #RadicalManchester campaign to encourage people to visit, invest, meet and study in Greater Manchester.”
Pam Smith, Chief Executive at Stockport Council and Region Lead for Equality, Fairness and Inclusion with GMCA, said: “Greater Manchester has been leading the way in the number of women in senior management and leadership roles in the public sector, which just shows how innovative and progressive this region is.
“The #RadicalManchester campaign is a great way to highlight the contributions of women from across the region and to have conversations about how we can continue to increase women’s participation across all industries, so I’d urge everyone to get involved if they can.”
Heather Waters, Enterprise Manager with NatWest, said: “NatWest is really pleased to be working with Womanchester to celebrate and promote the vital role that women have in starting and scaling up new businesses. We believe having more female business leaders can help in making sure that businesses in the North West trade safely, securely and profitably.
“Manchester has a proud history of trade, enterprise and innovation and we’re supporting that through a series of events, run by our Business Growth Enablers across March, to provide opportunities for networking, idea sharing and learning.”
Councillor Jean Stretton, Oldham Council Leader and GM Lead for Equality, Fairness and Inclusion, said: “This is a great way to mark Manchester’s radical past and to support the #RadicalManchester campaign.
“The whole region played a leading role in the fight for women’s suffrage and it is something to be celebrated. In Oldham, for example, we are incredibly proud of the contribution that Annie Kenney made as the only working class woman to hold a senior position in the Women’s Social and Political Union.
“Much progress has been made since those times but this campaign is an important way to continue looking at how we increase inclusion and women’s progress across all sectors and walks of life.”
The Womanchester campaign is supported by NatWest.
To download Womanchester campaign logos and graphics go to http://marketingmanchester.com/womanchesterassets.