This year’s Muslim Arts and Culture Festival (or MACFEST as it’s commonly known) is going all out in celebration of International Women’s Day, scheduling a week’s work of free digital events, each showcasing women from a range of different cultures, backgrounds and other countries.

Their packed line-up starts on Sunday 7 March with comedy, poetry, readings art and performance from women of all faiths as they gather online to discuss and celebrate their cultural heritage. On International Women’s Day itself, Monday 8 March, the MACFEST  team invite viewers to tune into Women of the Kalasha – and Other Pakistani Women, a digital panel led by author and Centre for Dialogue and Action Executive Director, Dr Amineh Hoti, who will be talking about women of Pakistan and their stories including about the Kalasha women from the remote Kalash Valley of Pakistan.

On Wednesday 10 March, The Black Queens of Islam sees independent cultural researcher on Black and British history, Ismeal Lea South, celebrate the Black and Muslim women who were trailblazers in the areas of academia, activism, the arts and entrepreneurialism. A day later, Muslim Women Converts: Celebration and Challenges talks to women from Britain, Dubai, Poland, and France who converted to Islam with Safiya Florence Ascoli-Ball and Yvonne Ridley, Amna Jameel and Sherifa Tamsin Madgwick.

As International Women’s Week comes to a close, MACFEST is joined by author, Afghan parliament member and Chair of the Women, Civil Society and Human Rights Commission, Fawzia Koofi, on Saturday 13 March for a discussion about her life, work and career chaired by festival founder Qaisra Shahraz. Later that same day, the festival hosts a digital panel focusing on Muslim women in politics featuring politicians like Anna Stamou from Greece, Munaza Hasan from Pakistan and three UK politicians including Julie Ward, Yasmine Darr and Dzidra Noor and academic Dr Amina Easat-Daas. Then, on Sunday 14 March, women from across Manchester gather to celebrate art, performance, songs, poetry, crafts of Egypt and Somalia, Indonesian dance, famous women activists of Bosnia and Nigeria in a celebration of Muslim women and their cultural heritage.

Each of MACFESTs International Women’s Day events is free to attend and can be viewed from home. To secure your tickets, simply visit their Eventbrite page by following the booking button below.

Sun 7 Mar - Sun 14 Mar
Simon Bland
Published on:
Sun 7 Mar 2021