A PACKED programme of events has been lined up to mark Dorset Women's Week.

Women's Action Network Dorset (WAND) has announced a whole week of activities around International Women's Day next month.

The events start on Friday, March 6 with a free talk at the West Dorset District Council offices in South Walks, Dorchester from 1pm courtesy of activist and humanitarian Dr Carl Wilkens.

He will be sharing his experiences of the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and stories of Rwanda's women and the courage, forgiveness and resilience they have shown.

Later that day there will be a Question Time style debate featuring local parliamentary candidates at the Town Hall in Dorchester from 8pm with the candidates setting out what they plan on doing for women in Dorset.

Other Dorset Women's Week event include performances and activities in Bridport hosted by local group Bridfem, a talk from the RSPB on how the organisation was set up by a group of women in 1889 and the chance to try out a yoga session known as Shakti Dance.

The events will culminate in the 10th annual Dorset Women's Day celebrations at the Dorford Centre in Dorchester from 10am to 3.30pm on Saturday, March 14.

There will be a range of exciting workshops and performances on offer at the free event covering everything from crochet and jewellery making to self empowerment techniques and creative writing.

There will also be cookery demonstrations and a Rummage Room, where people can donated any unwanted clothes, accessories and books and pick up something new.

All proceeds will help support other events put on by WAND.

There will be free crèche facilities available on the day and a range of homemade cakes and refreshments on offer.

Broadcaster and author Tracey West said: "As a proud Patron of WAND I am thrilled that this year, in partnership with other local organisations such as Bridfem, they are offering a whole week of activities and generous offers.

"From serious talks to sport, from performances to nature, Dorset Women’s Week is a great way to try something new or do more of the things you already enjoy with truly something for everyone – and for all ages too!"

For more information on any of the Dorset Women's Week activities visit wandwomen.org.uk To book a place at the Carl Wilkins talk or the parliamentary debate, or to request a copy of the programme,email wanddorset@gmail.com or call 01305 252204.

Copies of the programmes are also available at libraries and tourist information centres in Bridport, Dorchester and Sherborne, as well as from the offices of Dorchester Town Council, Bridport Town Council, West Dorset District Council and Bridport Arts Centre.