Women from all backgrounds and walks of life in Oxford are being brought together for the city's 19th International Women's Festival.

Throughout the festival, which starts Saturday, March 1 and runs until March 15, the city plays host to a number of events - from singing in Barton, to a display of French fashion at the Town Hall, and an open meeting at Redbridge travellers' site.

This year, more than 30 different organisations are involved, with activities planned around the theme of Women's Journeys. It starts with a Mad Hatter's Tea Party in Broad Street, Oxford, with mad hats, tea from the Buttery, and music by the Sea Green singers and the Oxford Samba Band.

Festival co-ordinator Chris Eady said when the festival first began, the organisers had to approach people to set up events - but that groups now asked to get involved.

She said: "It's not just active feminists any more.

"Most of the women who come along are just testing something for the first time and we get every type of woman - from the very young to the retired - all coming because they want to celebrate women."

Men are welcome to all but one of the events - a women-only discussion group held at the Global Retreat Centre in Nuneham Courtenay.

Ms Eady said: "Although the issues for women have changed, there are still many issues that are key to women, which you share whether you are a young professional person or a mum at home."

She said the most dramatic event would be a journey through the history of French fashion at the Town Hall in St Aldate's, on March 7. She described it as "extravagant and highly visual".

The festival costs around £4,000 to put on - with most of the events free of charge. For more information go to oxfordwomen.co.uk