HONOURING WOMEN’S ACHIEVEMENTS More than 100 women from many walks of life joined Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz and councillors at an event which marked International Women’s Day on 8 March. The event, which began with a special breakfast for invited guests, also celebrated the contributions of local women to the struggle for equality including the first woman Mayor for West Ham, Daisy Parsons MBE. International Women’s Day is an annual event marked globally to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women while continuing to highlight the need for gender equality. Mayor Fiaz opened the event, held at the Old Town Hall, in Stratford, with a speech that paid tribute to the work of women across the borough. She said: “Newham has a very proud tradition of championing women’s rights. Our plaque for Daisy Parsons, the first ever female Mayor for the borough, is a testament to Newham that it has been historically the birthplace of important progressive social movements and has been
Mayor Daisy Parsons MBE opening the Beckton Lido, August 1937
in the leadership of struggles for the advancement of our society. “Women like Daisy were leading figures in the suffragette movement, making their mark in challenging injustice, poverty and inequality. We celebrate their legacy, and pledge to ensure people of all backgrounds and genders have equal life chances and the opportunity to achieve their potential.” A number of women spoke about their own experiences, both personally and in the work that they do professionally and voluntarily across the borough, before joining the Mayor, female Cabinet members and councillors to unveil the plaque to honour Daisy Parsons. Another plaque is due to be unveiled at East Ham Town Hall in honour of one of the first women MPs, Susan Lawrence, who became the Member of Parliament for East Ham North in 1923. Prior to taking her seat Susan served as a local councillor, and dedicated her time to improving the working conditions of women factory workers in the East End and beyond.
The unveiled plaque
The Mayor, Councillors and guests mark International Women’s Day