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For International Women’s Day, we’re inviting you to get creative and produce a portrait or image of a woman who has inspired you.

International Women’s Day, taking place on Monday 8 March this year, celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

The global day was first celebrated on 19 March 1911, emerging from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the 20th century in North America and across Europe. It was officially recognised by the United Nations in 1977.

International Women’s Day is not affiliated with any one group, but brings together governments, women’s organisations, corporations and charities through talks, rallies, networking events, conferences, and marches. It’s a day to celebrate coming together to call for advocacy, change and progress in women’s and girls’ rights, so that the women of tomorrow have every opportunity to fulfil their potential.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re collecting creative expressions that celebrate women who have personally inspired you.

Get creative and produce a portrait or representative image of a woman who has personally inspired you. This could be a political leader, scientist, businesswoman, artist, athlete, family member, friend, teacher, or colleague. You can use whatever materials you like!

How to get involved

All you need to do is:

  • Choose your inspirational woman
  • Create something which represents them in a medium that makes you happy. Maybe try something new! For example, digital painting, sculpture, or embroidery
  • Send a picture of your work, plus a few sentences about who that woman is and why she inspires you, to [email protected] by Monday 1 March 2021

When and how can I do this?

However you like! You can spend as much or as little time as you need. This could be an activity you complete as part of a wellbeing session with colleagues. It could be something you spend a little time on quietly every other day as a bit of ‘you’ time. If you’re a teacher, you could encourage your students to do this and link it to your SOW. Or this could be something you do with friends online as an opportunity to catch up and get creative.

What happens next?

All submissions will be displayed in a virtual gallery which will be available to view online from Monday 8 March 2021 (we’ll email you a link to the gallery).

To give you a bit of inspiration, below you can find some fantastic examples of early submissions we’ve received for the gallery.

Digital Painting by Amber Selway

Illustration of Frida Kahlo
I chose Frida Kahlo who was a Mexican artist. Known mainly for her autobiographical art pieces, Kahlo explored ideas of politics and self-expression within her work. Although during her life her pieces remained largely unrecognised, her work was brought to prominence by art historians in the late 70s. She is now recognised as one of the most influential women in the art world.

Collage by Andrea Dean

I chose my daughter Grace. As a child my daughter was very shy, very quiet and reluctant to try new things. But when she went to university, she recognised the opportunity to become the woman that she wanted to be and challenged herself to take on new experiences. These words aren’t labels but how I see and have seen her.

Drawing by Hannah

Drawing of teachers

I have chosen my Teacher because of what she has done for me and everyone else.

  • Teaching us to become better people
  • Erasing our bad actions
  • Ability to make our learning fun
  • Correcting us when we go wrong
  • Helping us in every way
  • Encouraging us to become the best people
  • Raising us up to being talented people
  • Supporting us always

Drawing by Eliza

Drawing of Malala

Malala inspired me because despite being shot by the Taliban she still stood up and spoke for her country and all women.

Painting by Anna Edmonds


I chose my Mum because she is kind and because I love her.

Drawing by Darcy Whymark


I chose Maggi Hambling because I just love her work, it is so free and feels like it just pours out of her. I love how it feels messy and unfinished and shows how art isn’t a perfect thing. It makes me understand how sometimes I just need to make marks on paper, and it frees me to do that.

As part of our celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re also hosting two virtual events for students aged 13–18, both taking place on Monday 8 March 2021:

To discover more free online events for schools, colleges and families between 5 and 14 March 2021, explore the full British Science Week programme from the TransPennine STEM Ambassador Hub.

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