DMU to hold creative arts events to celebrate International Women’s Day

By Khrista Davis

De Montfort University will be welcoming students and the public to creative arts events to help mark International Women’s Day on Monday(MAR8) and to highlight the struggles women have had and how they overcome them.

The two events have been organised by the Sangeeta Foundation, which raises awareness about mental health through music and the arts, together with Senior Lecturer in Public Relations at DMU, Indrani Lahiri.

Both events will be held online, the first on Sunday, followed by the second on Monday.

The Light Within will be the first event, from 4 to 5pm on Sunday with a panel discussion that looks into the hurdles the panel members have come across and how they remained resilient.

Dr Lahiri said: “We have been planning this for the last year with the Sanjeeta Foundation. We have been working together and trying to look into different kinds of areas, such as mental health.

“We wanted to talk about the struggles that women have encountered and how they face those challenges and basically wanted to get an inside story of the women who work in an industry.

“IWD is more about celebrating the histories of women, womanhood and reminding ourselves that we can do more. As women it is important to recognise that we have got some barriers and restrictions, but that we need to be flexible within ourselves on how much we can do to overcome them.”

The second event, being held on International Women’s Day, aims to help participants ‘stay resilient with creative arts media and performances’ and will include two workshops, on Improvisation and Wellness from 2 to 3pm and on Arts and Media from 3 to 4pm. Both focus on mental wellbeing and on resilience – two things that are important for women to grasp.

Faculty Projects Officer, Sarah Lewis, said: “IWD is a great opportunity to promote, celebrate and give visibility to the great women in our society, although it’s important to remember to celebrate and recognise women throughout the year and not just on the 8th of March. This year’s IWD theme is #ChooseToChallenge which is an important message to share.

“We are spreading the word about the event via email to staff and students and on our DMU Event Calendar.”

The Sunday event will be hosted by green and social activist Shahanshah Mirza, and the panel will include Payal Nath, co-founder of Kadam (a society for rural livelihoods via crafts) and Kadam-Haat (a social enterprise for creating rural sustainable income via crafts), and Piloo Vidyarthi, Versatile Theatre personality, actor and musician.

Also on the panel will be diversity, disabilities and domestic abuse campaigner Marta Paszkowska, who said: “I was brought up in Poland where International Women’s Day was celebrated and still is. Every year men, boys, fathers, brothers and uncles send a little flower to each of the girls important to them. Now it can be replaced by a single text but we still do it.

“Women get best wishes from top politicians and even there is some legacy of communism agenda of equality in it. I think it is a quite positive message raising awareness of women’s role in a modern world.

“The longer I live abroad, this nice feeling of being important at least for one day fades away. I do miss it a lot here where I live. I am strongly against any communism agenda in a political field but I must say, we can give socialists and communists some credit for this only single thing, the rest of their agenda should be definitely ignored.

“The Light Within to me means resilience and getting your biggest dreams come true. Just like my parents used to tell me when I was a little girl: You can do it, Maya!”

For more information or to register for the event, contact or go to

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