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Manchester’s inspirational women featured in free talks to celebrate International Women’s Day 2015

Manchester – A series of free talks about some of Manchester’s most inspirational women will be held at Central Library, to celebrate International Women’s Day 2015.

The talks, highlighting the lives and achievements of some of Manchester’s most celebrated women, will feature links to the historic collections held in the library’s Archives+ Centre.

Famous Mancunian women who will be highlighted include Annie Horniman, Elizabeth Gaskell, The Pankhurst family and Enriqueta Rylands.

On Thursday 5 March, ‘Mrs Gaskell the first multi-tasker’, describes the hectic lifestyle of the author Elizabeth Gaskell. ‘Marie Stopes and Married Love’ follows at 6:30pm, telling the story of Manchester University lecturer Stopes’ 1918 book ‘Married Love’ – a manual designed for help with ‘sex difficulties’. Officially castigated by the press and the church, the book sold thousands of copies.

‘The women who made Manchester’ (12pm, Saturday 7 March) The talk unearths the roots of the rise of the Manchester women who made their mark on fields ranging from science to social justice, examining the circumstances which provided them with the opportunity to make their marks.

‘The Pankhursts: First Family of Feminism’ (1:30pm, Saturday 7 March), tells the story of the radical Manchester family who catapulted the fight for women’s suffrage to the top of the public and political agenda a century ago.

‘Annie Horniman and Manchester Theatres’, (3pm, Saturday 7 March) examines Annie Horniman a pioneer of the modern repertory theatre movement. Archives+ hold a variety of items relating to the Gaiety Theatre including playbills, programmes and photographs and caricatures of its’ cast of plays.

Annie was a supporter of women’ s suffrage and equal rights and also a patron of the arts, who bought Manchester’s Gaiety Theatre, in 1908. Material relating to Manchester’s theatrical history has built over the years into the substantial collection known today as the Manchester Theatre Collection.

Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Rosa Battle, said: “International Women’s Day is an important date marking the economic, political and social achievements of women.

“Manchester has long been associated with plenty of inspiring women, challenging stereotypes and assumptions . These talks will provide an opportunity to share some of their diverse and unique stories and learn more about these women.”

International Women’s day, celebrated annually on 8 March, provides an opportunity to learn about inspiring achievements of women while calling for greater equality. This years theme, ‘Make it happen’ ,encourages effective action for advancing and recognising women.

More information about the talks and other Archives+ events can be found at www.archivesplus.org/events.

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