Following last year’s success, the Durham Women’s Gala will return on 8th June 2019 to celebrate women’s contribution to society. Taking place in Wharton Park, the historic home of both the Women’s Gala and the Durham Miners’ Gala, this year’s event will focus on young women and their role in politics as part of the TUC Year of the Young Worker.

The family-friendly event will bring together inclusive, child-friendly activities with live music, food and feminism. Speakers will include the Shadow Attorney General, Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, Northumbria PCC Vera Baird, and young feminist campaigners from Tyneside to Teesside. Some of the North East’s premier female musical acts will perform for visitors, and entry will once again be free of charge.

Maura McKeon, chair of the Friends of the Durham Women’s Gala and Durham’s youngest County Councillor, said ‘It is vital that a diverse array of voices speaks at all levels of our politics, and young women bring a unique perspective. Frustratingly, we often have to fight harder to be taken seriously. I hope that the Women’s Gala can amplify our voice and shine a light on the formidable women of all ages who are building a better North East.’

The Gala is supported by UNISON, the public-sector trade union and the largest women’s organisation in the UK.

Last year’s event welcomed over 1000 people to Durham City to mark 100 years of women’s suffrage.



Durham Women’s Gala


Durham Womens Gala poster FINAL

This year we celebrate the centenary of (some) women getting the right to vote. In response to the 1918 Representation of the People Act, the mothers of our movement started a programme of mass political education for newly-enfranchised women, including an annual Gala that ran until 1970s and attracted speakers such as Barbara Castle, Nye Bevan and Clement Attlee. To mark the anniversary, the Women’s Gala is returning to its home of Wharton Park as a free, fun day for all to enjoy on Saturday 30th June, 10.30am-16.00pm.

Like the Women’s Gala events of yesteryear, we will have high-profile female speakers including

Chi Onwurah MP,
Clare Williams,
Vera Baird,
Roberta Blackman-Woods MP,
Liz Twist MP,
Helen Goodman MP,
Sharon Hodgson MP and
Jude Kirton-Darling MEP.

We have live music from Ladies of Midnight Blue, an all-woman brass/afrobeat fusion duo with a focus on social justice, and the Mums in Durham Choir, who found fame on BBC2’s The Choir: Gareth’s Best in Britain.

Expect a day of family fun including mini-golf, mini-cars and football games provided by the Foundation of Light. The Brownies will teach kids how to make solidarity bracelets and mini-Suffragette banners, and families are invited to attend a banner-blessing with feminist vicars in St Cuthbert’s Church after the speeches. You can learn more about the history of the Gala and Labour women’s activism in the North East through our heritage trail and quiz.

Street food vendors from across the North East will provide a range of refreshment from gluten-free, vegan crepes to pizza, Armenian lavash flatbread and chips. There will be a fully-licensed bar selling local tipples including Durham Gin, and Hill Island Brewery have even brewed a special beer for the day.

Women’s organisations and not-for-profits, including Trade Unions, will have the opportunity to organise, recruit and fundraise. There will also be space for voter registration, and we’re teaming up with County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust to help the NHS celebrate its 70th birthday.

For more information like us on Facebook, or RSVP to our event.

The Women’s Gala is generously supported by UNISON, the Labour Party NEC development fund, Durham County Council, and women across the North East.

Durham Women’s Gala set for 30 June 2018

Women Female Feminism Lady Madam Friends Concept

2018 marks 100 years since women in the UK were give the vote. Women across County Durham came together in September 2017 and agreed to organise a FREE celebration event in Wharton Park in Durham.

The date has confirmed as Saturday 30 June 2018.

For decades women in County Durham organised their own Gala. At its peak, it attracted thousands of people and saw speakers such as Barbara Castle, Jennie Lee and Harold Wilson. In this centenary year of women’s suffrage, we are bringing it back to celebrate how much women in County Durham have achieved, and to look at ahead at what must still be done.

The Women’s Gala itself will take place in Wharton Park on Saturday 30 June 2018, 12pm-4pm.

There will be speakers, live music, refreshments, crafts, mini golf, mini cars, football, women’s section banners, voter registration, and spaces for unions and not-for-profit organisations to recruit and fundraise. All are welcome regardless of gender, and families are particularly encouraged to attend. Entry will be free.


You can contact us at womensgala@outlook.com