Oxford International Women’s Festival


27 February—14 March 2021

Join us for two weeks of events around Oxford celebrating women’s strengths, successes & solidarity.

Threads of Liberation 2020 Festival

The theme for the 2020 Oxford International Women’s Festival is inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first Women’s Liberation Conference which was held at Ruskin College, Oxford over 3 days at the end of February 1970. The conference was led by women, as a space to question women’s role in society, create new dialogues and to campaign for women’s equality and equality of opportunity.

The women developed four demands: equal pay, improved education, twenty-four hour nurseries, free contraception and abortion on demand, as well as a commitment to campaign on other issues as they arose.

This ‘thread of liberation’ was a continuation of earlier struggles; the Civil Rights Movement, the abolition of slavery and the campaigns for women’s suffrage and for women’s welfare rights.

The struggle for women’s liberation has continued, but also reacted to growing concerns about women’s role in society: the commodification of women in the media, sexual politics, clothing rights and body image. This has all been influenced by the way in which ideas are communicated, the role of language and how political and personal relationships continue to govern society in both positive and negative ways.

The Festival’s aims will be to debate and examine some of these ‘threads of liberation’ and how these influence women’s lives locally, nationally and internationally through music, dance, film, discussion and debate.

About OIWF

Organised by local women to reflect a wide range of backgrounds and experience, our annual festival has played a significant part in the community for over a quarter of a century.

It offers an exciting and informative programme including exhibitions, workshops, topical talks, walks, performances and social events celebrating women’s achievements in sport, science, politics, health, film, literature, theatre and more…

We aim to highlight women’s local, national and international issues as well as championing those who are campaigning to improve women’s lives in Oxford and beyond.

A fantastic variety of events take place each year in various venues throughout Oxford city and the wider county. The festival always includes the celebration of International Women’s Day with a main event in the Town Hall. We are proud of our 30 year long history as an International Women’s Festival and of the many exciting offshoots from our work among the grassroots community groups of Oxford.

Past events

2014 saw the 25th Anniversary of the Oxford International Womens Festival, and as part of the celebrations we created an archive of events from past festivals, for people to enjoy again.

Get involved

The Oxford International Women’s Festival could not exist without the dedication of our volunteer collective.

Whether it’s contributing on a regular basis to the committee, helping to organise an event or simply handing out flyers, there’s an opportunity for everyone to get involved.

We’re looking for volunteers to help out at the main event on 6th March 2020, so if you are interested in getting involved please get in touch.

Who we work with

Here are some of the companies and organisations we have partnered with for the 2020 festival.