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Five Ways to Celebrate International Women's Day 2020 in Sydney This Weekend

Take a free self-defence class, attend a thought-provoking festival and try a charity beer brewed by women.
By Leisha Kapor
March 06, 2020
By Leisha Kapor
March 06, 2020


Take a free self-defence class, attend a thought-provoking festival and try a charity beer brewed by women.

International Women's Day (IWD) is all about celebrating the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women all around the world — and about furthering the movement for the rights of all women and non-binary identifying folks. This year's theme is #EachforEqual, calling for all to take action towards equality and raise awareness to help forge a gender equal world. And it's a good opportunity to thank and uplift all the badass womxn in your life.

In Sydney, there are a bunch of events marking the day, so no matter what your interests — politics, art, beer — you'll be able to find something to get around. Here are just a couple of ways to spend this IWD on Sunday, March 8.

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    Free the NEIPA

    Young Henrys‘ female brewers are in the spotlight this month as the Newtown brewery launches its newest beer. Free the NEIPA has been created by brewers Carla Daunton and Michelle Hanrahan — with the help of all the women at the brewery — and has launched just in time for International Women’s Day, of course. The small-batch brew will be released on Friday, March 6 in venues and bottle shops all across Australia. In the spirit of IWD, ten percent of profits will be donated to Two Good Co — a Newtown charity that helps victims of domestic violence and homelessness through its buy-one, give-one lunch delivery model. Free the NEIPA has been created as part of the brewery’s limited release B-Side Series. It’s a hazy New England IPA that uses tropical hops and boasts notes of bergamot orange and other citrus, resulting in a juicy, yet sessionable, IPA. Be quick if you want to get your hands on this brew — and do some good with your beer bucks — because it won’t last long. You can Free the NEIPA at Young Henrys’ Newtown brewery, at bars like The Unicorn Hotel and Mary’s Newtown, or at bottle shops around town.

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    How many times have you thought about learning how to defend yourself, but never gotten around to doing it? Here is your reminder — and a chance to learn some kick-ass skills for free. The Sydney Jiu Jitsu Academy Ku Ring Gai is calling all women to bring their friends, mums, sisters, aunts and daughters to a free self defence workshop on International Women’s Day. The one-hour class will run from 10–11am on Sunday, March 8. No-gi world champion Charles Negromonte will be taking attendees through all the techniques you need to fight like a girl. If you find yourself wanting more and sign up for future classes, you’ll get free training for the rest of the month and won’t pay for your uniform either. Spaces in the class are limited, so head to the Facebook event to secure your spot.

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    International Women's Day Bar Takeover

    Drinking delicious and expertly made cocktails for a good cause is something we can all get behind. This International Women’s Day, Darlinghurst’s much-loved Shady Pines Saloon is doing it for the girls and bringing in an elite team of Sydney’s finest female bartenders for a women-only bar takeover. The all-star team is made up of Georgia Collins and Alexandra Hooker from The Baxter InnPS40‘s Meg Litherland, Jas Pirovoc from Cantina Ok!, Brit Rowe and Sarah Mycock from Old Mate’s PlaceBulletin Place‘s Atlanta Pahulu, Emma Bernadi from Alberto LoungeDouble Deuce Lounge‘s Claudia Morgan and Shady’s own Gracie Peters and Felicity Eshmann. They’ll all be donating their time for the event, and shaking and stirring their own signature creations — with all proceeds going to Rize Up. The Australian charity helps victims of domestic violence by providing them with food, bedding, funding and education. Doors to the basement bar open at 4pm, with the cocktails and festivities kicking on until midnight. As is always the case at Shady Pines, there’ll be plenty of peanuts to snack on and honky tonk tunes to boogie to.

    Image: Leticia Almeida

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    All About Women 2020

    Sydney Opera House’s All About Women festival does what many other talk-heavy events historically haven’t. Across a huge lineup of speakers, it pushes ladies to the front and puts them on stage to chat about their fields of expertise and their experiences, as well as a broad range of topics that are relevant to women. AAW 2020 is honing its focus on the post-#MeToo era. Yes, that’s a still a rather sizeable realm, and the fest’s range of topics is similarly broad. Across one jam-packed day, you can hear discussions about everything from body positivity to sexual assault, plus astrophysics, neuroscience, social justice and sobriety, too. While many of the festival’s events have already sold out, there are still plenty of talks, performances and freebies to add to your schedule. You could hear from Lindy West, Clementine Ford and Flex Mami on Finding Your Voice; unearth the vital contributions of women in astrophysics with Princeton University professor Jo Dunkley; explore the subversive art of Stanislava Pinchuk (AKA Miso); and get interactive at digital exhibition My Mother’s Kitchen, which asks eight LGBTQIA+ individuals to share their childhood kitchen stories.

    Image: Prudence Upton.

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    This Sunday, March 8, the Museum of Contemporary Art is taking its usual lineup of talks and guided tours and shifting the focus to women artists for International Women’s Day. Aiming to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women and their contribution to the industry, these talks and tours will be geared towards works in the MCA collection. Every hour, you’ll hear from MCA hosts, volunteers and young guides as they tell you about their favourite pieces by talented women, with the 1pm tour highlighting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women artists. Between tours, be sure to check out Favour Economy’s interactive sound installationFavour Economy is an ongoing collaborative art project exploring the femxle (including transgender and non-binary identities) experience of working in the arts, so expect a bunch of insightful audio recordings (or ‘favours’) from various artists and industry members. You’ll be invited to respond to what you hear and resonate with on a huge piece of canvas, too.

    Image: Liam Cameron

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Top image: All About Women by Prudence Upton

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