International Women’s Day in Yorkshire

in Bradford in Headingley in Leeds

Celebrate IWD in Yorkshire on Friday 8th March 2024 with the following events and resources:

International Women’s Day Offers in Yorkshire

Dakota Hotels, Leeds

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In honour of International Women’s Day on 8th March, luxury hotel group Dakota Hotels have revealed their groupwide charitable cocktail – ‘Grain ‘n’ Grind’.

Partnering with charities Girls Out Loud and Women’s Fund Scotland for the second year running, Dakota Hotels’ ‘Grain ‘n’ Grind’ blends Johnnie Walker Black Label with The King’s Ginger liqueur, vanilla syrup, lemon, and Angostura Bitters – for a sweet and complex cocktail.

£1 from every cocktail sold will be donated to the regional female-focussed charities.

Dakota Hotel Leeds

Places of interest

Woodhouse Moor, Leeds

The site of the largest Suffragette rally in the north of England. Adela Pankhurst spoke for 90-minutes here and Mary Gawthorpe was also a speaker with a banner proclaiming: “If you believe in justice join the women’s procession”. The rally took place on June 1908.

Mary Gawthorpe Blue Plaque

Mary Eleanor Gawthorpe was born at 5 Melville Street in Woodhouse, Leeds. However when she eventually received a blue Plaque in June 2013 this street was no longer there so the plaque was placed at 9 Warrels Mount in Bramley.

Leonora Cohen Blue Plaque

Leonora Cohen’s Blue Plaque is placed at 2 Claremont Villas on Claredon Road, Woodhouse, Leeds. Leonora Cohen is probably most famous for smashing a show case in the Jewel House at the Tower of London with an iron bar, which sits in Leeds City Musseum.

A label attached to the bar read:

Jewel House, Tower of London. My protest to the Government for its refusal to Enfranchise Women but continues to torture women prisoners – Deeds Not Words. Leonora Cohen.

Leonora Cohen

Other artefacts are available to see at the Kirkstall Abbey museum.

Leeds Arts Club

The Leeds Arts Club was set up by A.R. Orage and journalist Holbrook Johnson in October 1903 in a building next to Leeds Town Hall. The Leeds Arts Club was instrumental in the local suffragette movement. Mary Gawthorpe, Isabella, Bessie and Emily Ford were all members and heard lectures and debates given by A.R. Orage and George Bernard Shaw. In 1905 Isabella Ford gave a talk at the Arts Club called “Women and the State,” urging women to reassert their public rights.

Leeds Art Gallery

Frank Rutter became the Curator and then Director of the Art Gallery in 1912. He was a member of Leeds Arts Club and the secretary of the Men’s Political Union for Women’s Enfranchisement.

Leeds City Museum

The Leeds City Museum has the main archive collection relating to Leonora Cohen, including the ‘Blue Dress’ she wore to the Leeds Arts Society Ball with the Suffragette colours and icons embroidered on to it. They also have the hand written tag that was attached to the iron bar she used at the Tower of London among a range of other interesting artefacts.

Leeds Coliseum

Leeds Coliseum stood where the O2 Academy is now on Cookridge Street. The Coliseum was the site of at least two disturbances both related to the visits of Prime Minister Herbert Asquith.

Women’s Social and Political Union headquarters, Grand Assembly Rooms, Briggate

The Leeds branch of the WSPU was based at the Grand Assembly Rooms on Briggate. They produced a leaflet giving “Eight reasons why women want the vote”.

Armley Jail

Also known as Armley Gaol, this was the incarceration place for most Yorkshire Suffragettes. Lilian Lenton and Leonora Cohen were both locked up in Armley Jail and both then went on hunger strike.

Hunslet Moor

Leeds Mercury describes local suffragettes as as being out “in the rain in South Leeds with their Piano Organ and tambourines”.

Adel Grange

Adel Grange was the home of the Ford sisters. The Fords were active in the Anti-Slavery and Trade Union movements, before joining the Suffragette movement. Christabel Pankhurst was invited to stay there by Isabella Ford in 1906 when she visited Leeds to speak on Suffrage. Fund-raising events took place here for various causes including the Leeds Arts Fund, Women’s education and the Leeds Women’s Suffrage Society, which was founded by the Ford Sisters. It is now a Nursing Home.

Headingley Stadium

Two Suffragettes were arrested for attempted arson at Headingley Stadium in November 1913 during the week of Asquith’s visit.


Notable Women of Yorkshire

Yorkshire women throughout history have shaped feminism and the women’s rights agenda.

The Brontë sisters

The Brontë sisters reached international acclaim in the early 1800’s with their ground-breaking novels which broke conventions by featuring women as protagonists. Visit Thornton, near Bradford, where they were born, or Haworth, where they later lived.

Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellionsferment in the masses of lifewhich people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; the need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they sufferfrom too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.

Charlotte Brontë, taken from Claire Harman’s Charlotte Brontë: A Life.

Isabella Ford

Isabella Ormston Ford (23 May 1855 – 14 July 1924) was an English social reformer, suffragist and writer from Headingley, Leeds.


Mary Gawthorpe

Mary Eleanor Gawthorpe was an English suffragette, socialist, trade unionist and editor from  Woodhouse, Leeds. She was described by Rebecca West as “a merry militant saint” and lived from 1881 – 1973.


Dora Thewlis

Dora Thewlis was a British suffragette whose arrest picture made the front page of the Daily Mirror and other press. She was born on 15 May 1890, at Shady Row in Meltham Mills, near Huddersfield in the West Riding of Yorkshire.


Betty Boothroyd

Betty Boothroyd (1929 – 2023) was a British politician who famously served as Speaker of the House of Commons from 1992 to 2000, in the process berating the mostly male chamber in a curt, no-nonesense, manner and a recognisably Yorkshire accent. She was the first woman to have served as Speaker. She was born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire.


Mel B

Melanie Brown was born in Hyde Park, Leeds, and grew up in the Kirkstall area of the city. She was a member of pop group The Spice Girls who sold over 100 million records worldwide, becoming the best-selling female group of all time, and who championed the motto “Girl Power”.

In November 2018, former Spice Girl, Melanie Brown, became a patron of the domestic violence survivors’ charity Women’s Aid.


Lady Hale

Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond, is a British judge who served as President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from 2017 until her retirement in 2020, and serves as a member of the House of Lords as a Lord Temporal.

In 2004, she joined the House of Lords as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. She is the only woman to have been appointed to that position. In 2017, Hale was appointed under the premiership of Theresa May to serve as President of the Supreme Court. She was the third person and first woman to serve in the role. Hale is one of four women to have been appointed to the Supreme Court (alongside Lady Black, Lady Arden and Lady Rose).

Lady Hale was born in Leeds and lived in Redcar until the age of three when she moved with her parents to Richmond, North Yorkshire. She was educated at the Richmond High School for Girls (now part of Richmond School), where she and her two sisters were all head girls. She later studied at Girton College, Cambridge (the first from her school to attend Cambridge), where she read law.

Related Accommodation

The accommodation below is nearby - and has been updated recently.

The Deakin at Claremont Serviced Apartments

Claremont, 23 Clarendon Road, Leeds, LS2 9NZ, United Kingdom

Bradford Apartments

29 Brearton St, Bradford, BD1 3ED, United Kingdom

Hollins Hall Hotel, Golf & Country Club

Hollins Hill, Bradford, BD17 7QW, United Kingdom

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