MONMOUTH'S second Women's Festival, which opens on March 3, will see former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dame Margaret Anstee, who lives at Knill, near Presteigne, speak about women and peace-building.

Other highlights include the peer and politician Baroness Shirley Williams speaking on March 9.

Events range from health and well-being sessions to a fashion show, music and dance evening presented by local schools.

Author and Channel 4 broadcaster Juliet Gardiner will look at women's role in the Second World War. Claire Hamilton will present an evening of myth, storytelling and harp.

And author and professor of creative writing at the University of East Anglia, Patricia Duncker, speaks about approaches to women's writing, publishing and reading women's work.

Festival proceeds will support women locally, contributing to a new Low Risk Birth Unit at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny and supporting UNIFEM, the United Nations' fund for women.

Full details are available from the Nelson Museum and tourist information centre.