The centenary of women’s suffrage #MARCH4WOMEN
Modern echoes of the suffragette marches of old
VOTES FOR WOMEN
and the Representation of the People Act 1918
THE EAST END WOMEN’S MUSEUM
Making a home for women’s history
Also inside: The Minister for Women - The Mayor of London – Barnardo’s and the National FGM Centre – Planet Nation Sponsored by
The Minister for Women and Equalities
29 Barnardo’s and the National FGM Centre
The Mayor of London
33 Pressing for Progress
#March4Women Modern echoes of the Suffragette marches of old
The Fight to end FGM
Gender equality and the gender pay gap
14 #BehindEveryGreatCity The centenary of Women’s Suffrage
37 The East End Women’s Museum Making a home for women’s history
42 Stonewall Come Out for Trans Equality this Women’s History Month
20 HSBC Diversity and the Balance network
44 Planet Nation Creating a space for LBQ and Trans women
24 Votes for Women and the Representation of the People Act 1918
46 Women’s Equality Party
27 Celebrating Vote 100 In the UK Parliament
We would like to thank: Nagina Kayani, Sarah Crawley, Melanie Unwin, Sophie Tye, Helen Pankhurst, Josh Hobson, Mike Clarke, Fiona Daniel, Fiona Gildea, Rosalie Spawls, Sarah Jackson, Hannah Schraer and Naomi Bennett for your help and support in putting together this year’s magazine
© Copyright 2018 wHM Magazine - Women’s History Month Magazine ® is published by Talent Media, Registered office: 106 Charter Ave, Ilford, Essex IG2 7AD, W. www.womenshistorymonthmagazine.co.uk T: 020 3697 9371. Copyright of all images and articles remains with the publisher unless otherwise stated. All other rights recognised. No material in this publication may be used or copied without prior permission from the publisher or contributor. Disclaimer: We cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited text, photographs or illustrations. Views expressed and included in wHM Magazine by individual contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Publisher: Darren Waite - Sub Editor: Robert Ingham – Editorial Assistants: Kelly Gent / Sally Cranfield - Design: Ross Miller - Social Media: Nate Parker. Cover Image: Maquette statue of the suffragist Millicent Garrett Fawcett by artist Gillian Wearing. Supplied by: #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign / The Mayor of London’s press office, City Hall, SE1
A MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER FOR WOMEN AND EQUALITIES The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP
As a female politician, issues that affect women across the country – pay, equality in the workplace, representation in political life, and many more – are close to my heart. In my new role as Minister for Women and Equalities, I am absolutely committed to addressing gender imbalances and empowering women and girls in the UK to go out and achieve whatever they want to. This year is a very special one. It marks the centenary of the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which allowed some women the vote for the first time. This was a hard-won, long-fought battle on the part of brave and tenacious people who were absolutely determined to change the law, and ultimately create a fundamental shift in society. I am humbled when I reflect that before the Suffrage 4 - WHM 2018
movement achieved this, women were removed from the political process in every way. They were unable to stand for election, and were physically separated from Parliamentary action – having to watch from behind a ventilation shaft above the Commons chamber, and later behind a grille from the Ladies Gallery. The changes that have taken place in 100 years are quite incredible. I am proud that, to mark the centenary year, the Government will be spending £2.5 million of a total £5 million centenary fund on celebrations and projects specifically designed to encourage more people to get involved in public life. Some of this money will go to projects specifically designed to increase the number of women in political office – including piloting a programme to inspire young women with opportunities to be leaders in their communities.
We need to make real progress on other issues, too. Putting women on an equal footing with men in the workforce is another fundamental shift in society that needs to happen to drive equality. Understanding the barriers faced by women in work will help break them down. We are one of the first countries in the world to require all large employers, those with more than 250 staff, to publish their gender pay gap. This is an important step in tackling inequality and giving women the chance to achieve in the workplace while maintaining a personal life.
The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP
Minister for Women and Equalities
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A MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR OF LONDON 2018 marks the centenary of the first women securing the right to vote and is a milestone for gender equality. This year more than ever, Women’s History Month is an important moment to celebrate the fact that women are leading at every level of society in London - in public service, the arts, politics, science and in business - and are inspiring Londoners across our city to fulfil their potential. But it is also a time to take stock of how much there is left to do to tackle the huge inequalities women still face. As a proud feminist in City Hall, I’m committed to doing everything I can to remove the barriers to success women in London face today. In 2018, it is simply unacceptable that your gender can still determine your opportunities in life, how much you get paid and your career prospects. There are still too few women in public life, in board rooms and on our screens. This is just not good enough. I am delighted to support Women’s History Month, and in this momentous year, I pledge to redouble my efforts to fight for 6 - WHM 2018
gender equality. There will be a range of events taking place across the capital, such as the brilliant Women of the World Festival at the Southbank Centre and International Women’s Day will see activity right across the country. This year and beyond, through my #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign, I will be encouraging Londoners to celebrate the women of all backgrounds who make London the greatest city in the world as well as working with London’s leading industries to support real positive change. I want London to not only be the best city in the world to be a woman, I want it to be a trailblazer in fighting gender inequality in all its shapes and forms.
Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
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MODERN ECHOES OF THE
SUFFRAGETTE MARCHES OF OLD by Dr Helen Pankhurst
This month on the 4th of March, I will be leading ‘#March4Women’ in central London, the Sunday before International Women’s Day. We will be marching in the footsteps of my grandmother Sylvia, great aunts Christabel and Adela and great grandmother Emmeline, as well as the tens of thousands of suffragettes who rallied to hear them speak in Trafalgar Square – which is where this year’s rally and musical extravaganza will take place. On the centenary of the year some women finally won the right to vote, it is with mixed feelings that I will be there shoulder to shoulder with countless others, suffragette colours in the wind, calling out the ancestral battle cry of gender equality and ‘Deeds Not Words’. Processing suffragettes c.1908
Emmeline Pankhurst at Trafalgar Square c.1908
The emotions include pride, of course, for all that women have achieved. And pride in the family’s complex role. The complexity itself a microcosm of differences within the movement. That pride is mixed with a sense of injustice for the very many women who made enormous sacrifices for the women’s vote and whose names have been forgotten. Those who were beaten, force fed, stigmatised, ostracised, humiliated, and downtrodden – all because of their demands to be counted as political citizens. And the reaction of a government who continued to find more and more brutal ways of silencing them. It is partly for the ‘forgotten foot soldiers’ of the movement that I will be donning my sash
in remembrance – marching together with the Olympic suffragettes, a band of women who came together as volunteers at the Opening Ceremony of London Olympics and have gone on to use re-enactment to campaign today.
Each of the five main chapters is devoted to a different sphere of women’s rights: politics, money, identity, violence and culture, with quotes from women’s experiences bringing these to life.
There is anger, too, that an entire century later, women still have not secured equal rights in this country and globally, in any sphere of life.
“Each of the five main chapters is devoted to a different sphere of women’s rights: politics, money, identity, violence and culture”
This reality, though never in doubt, has been crystallised for me throughout the process of writing my book, Deeds Not Words, The Story of Women’s Rights, Then and Now. I spoke to hundreds of women and girls in Britain from every walk of life, and analysed countless statistics.
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These include, for example, one from Frances Morris, the Director of Tate Modern, who commented: “There is something powerful about my generation of women who have been brought up with gender bias from birth regulating our personal and professional lives and finding – not surprisingly - that now, empowered as a result of largely our own actions, we find a different way forward, as leaders, managers and colleagues.
After so long on the margins this is gratifying. The margins are the place in the forest where the great mushrooms grow, in soil that has been racked over and disturbed but often disregarded.
No chapter ends with five out of five. Shamefully, it is violence against women in all its different forms that is dragging us behind and infecting every aspect of women’s lives.
My generation has likewise been somewhat trampled, but like the best mushrooms 1 in the margins, we are now showing our heads!” 1
The final substantive chapter entitled ‘power’ pulls the analysis together in a more analytical way by looking at case studies exploring how best we can move forward.
Each thematic chapter is summarised with a score out of five as a way to reflect on how close we have come to full equality.
Returning to the issue of the modern echoes of the suffragette march, there’s also a sense of sorrow.
“Returning to the issue of the modern echoes of the suffragette march”
#March4Women 2017_Laura Pankhurst, Helen Pankhurst, Emeli Sandé, Annie Lennox, Mel C
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#March4Women 2017_thousands join CARE International’s March4Women campaign in London. Credit: Guy Bell
Every generation of feminism has tried to push society forward in terms of also addressing other inequalities – but they have often fallen short of their own aspirations, let alone those of subsequent generations. Although they are critiqued for being a middle-class movement, many in the suffragette movement undoubtedly pushed against society’s rigid distinctions, including those of age, class, wealth, sexuality, colour and disability.2 Many of the most privileged women, however, also wanted social change only to the extent that it benefited them without challenging their own areas of privilege. The same applies today. I’m acutely aware that the women’s movement here in the UK has made the most progress in areas that benefit those who are already in a position of comparative privilege, leaving behind multitudes of women whose disadvantages extend beyond their biological sex. We could achieve so much more if we were more sensitive to double and triple discrimination – ensuring that those who are most
disenfranchised have the greatest voice. Furthermore, in an increasingly interconnected world, our solidarity needs to extend beyond the shores of our own country. Feminism is increasingly, undeniably and urgently a global issue.
I was born and raised in Ethiopia, and spent much of my adult life working for international organisations including CARE International on women’s issues in developing countries. The work has addressed sexual and reproductive rights, and improving access to clean water and sanitation.
“Every generation of feminism has tried to push society forward in terms of also addressing other inequalities” 11 - WHM 2018
The strongest form of feminism opens its eyes to the world as experienced by all women, and builds solidarity with women globally. Since the battle is now not one for a single Act that is in the hands of government, as it was in the run up to 1918 and 1928, but rather the transformation of social norms in society as a whole. We need boys and men to be marching, marching alongside their friends and colleagues, their grandmothers, mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and granddaughters. By doing so they are consciously speaking up against traditional forms of entitlement, taking on the role of allies, and they are also growing, strengthening the visibility of a masculinity defined by harmony and not toxicity. The support of many men has been pivotal in making #March4Women happen – support for example by male
CARE staff, by the Mayor of London who has kindly partnered with the organisers, and by the wonderful composer David Arnold, who is producing a star-studded musical line-up for the rally.
past struggles resonating loudly. The gender equality goal is still very much work in progress. 1
References: Frances Morris, email to author, 23 January, 2017, 2 http:// votingcounts.org.uk/rosa-may-
So, join me in London for #March4Women. It’s a unique moment of celebration and determination bringing people together of all backgrounds – of all ages, genders and nationalities. We will be joined by women MPs from every political party and by women leaders in many others spheres too, including civil servants, those in business, law, teaching, music, dance, poetry and, always my favourite, women activists of all background and all ages. And that is why I hope that, on the 4th of March, the prevailing feeling among the crowd will be one of affirmation and celebration – reflected in the spectacular line-up of those who will be entertaining us on the day. It is a day of joy mixed with purpose with the echoes of
billinghurst; http://www.telegraph. co.uk/women/politics/aristocratanarchist-princess-sophia-duleepsingh-parted-ways/
Join Helen at CARE International’s #March4Women on Sunday 4th of March. www.march4women. co.uk. March4Women will be hosted by comedian and broadcaster Sue Perkins. Speakers include the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Bianca Jagger, Dr Shola Shogbamimu (Author, Lawyer, Public Speaker & Women Rights Champ), Faeeza Vaid (Muslim Women’s Network), and poet Salena Godden. With a star-studded line-up of singers, including a musical finale produced by acclaimed composer David Arnold.
“It’s a unique moment of celebration and determination bringing people together of all backgrounds” 12 - WHM 2018
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#BehindEveryGreatCity Mayor of London marked centenary of womenâ€™s suffrage by revealing names to be etched onto the historic Millicent Fawcett statue.
#BehindEveryGreatCity Lucy Worsley
On the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act (6 February), a landmark victory which gave the first women the right to vote, Sadiq Khan revealed the names of the 59 women and men who will feature on the plinth of the statue. They were all people who dedicated themselves to womenâ€™s suffrage and, through their campaigning, helped secure the vote.
14 - WHM 2018
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, revealed that artist Gillian Wearing’s Millicent Fawcett statue is set to feature names and portraits of women and men who were central to the suffrage movement. Later this spring, the statue of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square will be unveiled, the first-ever monument to a woman to stand within the central London location. To celebrate and highlight the contribution made by the women and men featured on the statue,
a specially-commissioned exhibition took place in Trafalgar Square to mark the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act. The exhibition titled ‘Make a Stand’ featured life-sized images of men and women included on the plinth of the statue, with images sourced from the Museum of London, LSE, the National Portrait Gallery, the Women’s Library and from other archives and private collections.
The list was compiled by a group of historians, specialists in Women’s History and Suffragette history, the artist Gillian Wearing OBE and a curator from the 14-18 NOW programme with the Mayor’s Office. The names are representative of the geographic, economic and cultural spread of people who made women’s suffrage a possibility after many years of campaigning.
Justine Simons and Gillian Wearing with Millicent Fawcett statue maquette 15 - WHM 2018
Make a Stand exhibition, Trafalgar Square 6th February 2018
Alongside the photographic figures, there were handmade cloth banners featuring iconic slogans of the campaign for the vote, such as ‘deeds not words’. The figures were set against the backdrop of Trafalgar Square which, 100 years ago, was an important location for many of the rallies and marches that took place in the struggle to secure the right to vote. The plinth of the historic statue of Millicent Fawcett will include well-known figures like the Pankhursts and Emily Wilding Davison, as well as many unsung heroes including: • Lydia Becker – President of the NUWSS prior to Millicent Fawcett, and campaigned for the voting rights of unmarried women and widows. • Ada Nield Chew – a working-class factory worker who promoted 16 - WHM 2018
women’s trade unions and was one of the first Clarion Van speakers. • Henrietta Franklin – an education reformer and leader of the Jewish League for Woman Suffrage. • Edith How-Martyn – campaigned for birth control and was a key figure in Suffragette Fellowship. • Lolita Roy – President of the London Indian Union from 1908. • Louisa Garett Anderson – a medical pioneer who founded the Women’s Hospital Corps. • Rosa May Billinghurst – a suffragette who was part of Christabel Pankhurst’s campaign in the 1918 election. She survived polio and campaigned for the Women’s Social and Political Union in a modified tricycle or on crutches.
• Annie Kenney – a working-class mill worker who became a leading figure in the Women’s Social and Political Union, campaigning in Bristol. • Sophia Duleep Singh – a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union who campaigned for votes for women. She led a 400-strong demonstration to parliament together with Mrs Pankhurst, and was the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. • Jessie Craigen – a working-class speaker. Despite researchers’ best efforts, an image of her could not be found so she is represented as a name without a picture on the statue plinth. Perhaps during this process of highlighting her story, a photo of her will come to light.
The plinth will also feature some of the men who campaigned for women’s suffrage, including Laurence Housman, the founding member of the Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage, and George Lansbury, one of the most well-known male supporters of women’s suffrage in Britain – he helped form the East London Federation of Suffragettes which his daughter-in-law Minnie Lansbury also joined. The statue is being created by Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing OBE after being commissioned by the Mayor with 14-18 NOW, Firstsite and Inivia. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan with historian Lucy Worsley
This follows Caroline Criado-Perez’s successful campaign for a statue of a woman in Parliament Square. The statue is being funded through the Government’s national centenary fund. It is being unveiled as part of the Mayor’s major #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign across 2018 to celebrate the role London played in the movement and to drive gender equality across the capital.
The campaign champions the fact that it is the achievements and contributions of women, from all walks of life, which make cities like London great. The campaign slogan #BehindEveryGreatCity is a deliberate play on the feminist slogan used globally in the 60s and 70s, ‘Behind every great man stands a great woman’, and highlights that women instead power great cities.
Throughout 2018, the campaign will highlight London’s story in the history of the women’s suffrage and equality movement, celebrating significant milestones and achievements while identifying and tackling barriers to women fulfilling their potential today. A range of events and celebrations will take place throughout the year, such as at The Museum of London, the home of the
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The Mayor will use the centenary of the Representation of the People Act this year to work with London’s many leading industries – from culture, education and business, to politics and public life – to support the continuing success of women and to push for greater gender equality for women from all backgrounds across the city. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Sixth February marked an important moment in the history of our city - 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act was passed which gave the first women the right to vote. “As part of our #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign I’m really proud to unveil the women and men whose names and portraits will be etched on the plinth of the Millicent
Fawcett statue – which will be the first statue of a woman in Parliament Square. “The plinth will include well-known figures of the suffrage movement as well as those that are less well-known. This is an important step in ensuring we highlight the contribution to gender equality made by these 59 women and men.” Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons, OBE, said: “One hundred years ago, women who campaigned for the right to vote secured a landmark victory against a system that denied them their fundamental democratic rights. “To mark this historic achievement, I am delighted we can announce the names of the 59 women and men who will feature on Gillian Wearing’s statue of Millicent Fawcett.
“These people fought tirelessly for women’s right to vote and, while some of the names are well known, others have been too often overlooked. “Through Gillian’s work, we will shine a light on their role and inspire Londoners in our continued fight for gender equality. “The campaign for gender equality has achieved so much over the past 100 years but it is clear there is still a long way to go.
Despard and How-Martyn Fkr courtesy of LSE, The Women’s Library
world’s largest Suffragette collection.
“As part of our#BehindEveryGreatCity campaign I’m really proud to unveil the women and men whose names and portraits will be etched on the plinth of the Millicent Fawcett statue” 18 - WHM 2018
“We want to honour this moment by bringing these key figures out of the archives into Trafalgar Square, on the same spot where major speeches took place 100 years ago. “This year, together with organisations and industries across London, we will spread the message that Behind Every Great City are women and girls from all walks of life, contributing hugely to the success of our capital.” Artist Gillian Wearing OBE said: “I am delighted to reveal the names of the women and men who will feature on the plinth of Millicent Fawcett’s statue. These were all incredible people and, by honouring them in Parliament Square, I believe they will continue to inspire generations to come.” Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, said: “It is absolutely right that the Millicent Fawcett statue will honour the whole suffrage movement, so we are delighted to see that women and men, the suffragists and suffragettes who stood together and campaigned for votes
for women, will again be standing together as part of this memorial. “As we mark 100 years of women’s votes, we must resolve to change women’s lives today and tomorrow by ending the sexism, violence and discrimination they experience.” Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, said: “1418 NOW is delighted to commission this new work by Gillian Wearing, the firstever statue of a woman in Parliament Square.
“The statue is a powerful way to remember the work of Millicent Fawcett and acknowledge the contributions of the many other people involved in the struggle for universal suffrage.” Find out more about the #behindeverygreatcity campaign here: https:// www.london.gov. uk/about-us/mayorlondon/get-involvedbehindeverygreatcity
Chrystal Macmillan courtesy of LSE, The Women’s Library
“The statue is a powerful way to remember the work of Millicent Fawcett and acknowledge the contributions of the many other people involved in the struggle for universal suffrage” 19 - WHM 2018
Up Close and Personal with Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC UK “Diversity is about more than just gender, it is about inclusivity.” travel, see new places and experience different languages & cultures.
Amanda is Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC UK and with more than 1 million customers and a team of 5,000 people, she is responsible for the management of one of the world’s leading commercial banks. What does a typical day look like for you? Every day is different, there is no such thing as a typical day. Currently my time in the office is split between London & Birmingham, although I also spend time with colleagues around the UK, visiting various commercial centres and attending client meetings. Hearing about how we are supporting our customers to build their businesses is definitely the best part of the job. What do you enjoy most? Spending time at our family home in Dublin with my husband, our 3 children and our 2 dogs. Chances are, if I have time away from work, you will find us there. I do also love to
Why is gender diversity important? As a business, it is important to build a workforce that is reflective of society. Women and men from different backgrounds and diverse cultures make for a stronger and better organisation. We each bring our own unique experience and a diversity of thought, and this leads to better decision making. This is not only true for ourselves, but for our customers too diversity allows us to make deeper connections with colleagues and customers. The theme for International Women’s Day is Press for Progress, what would you like to see progress being made on in terms of gender diversity? I would like to see work-life balance be better understood, accepted and supported. Our work and home lives are so intertwined that they can’t be separated. We need to find a way to embrace both at the same time. Creating organisations that are more human, and establishing workplaces that knows people as who they are, not just what they do, with an understanding of their personal lives and what motivates them, will allow employees to bring their whole selves to work.
What woman past or present do you most admire and why? The woman I admire the most is Martina Navratilova, she re-defined what was possible in the sport of tennis and the game to a whole new level, winning 59 Grand slams in her career spanning four decades. Her story is one that amazes me- to achieve what she has done in the face of adversity is just remarkable. Throughout her whole life she has been met with adversity, challenge and at times out-right prejudice. Her determination to succeed, and her principled approach to life to live by your values, is something I admire greatly. What top tips would you give to a woman wanting to join financial services? My advice to all potential new joiners is to be honest and treat each other with respect, courtesy and a little humour. If I was to give specific advice to women, it would be to recognise that having a developmental stage within a new role is expected and totally normal, and therefore
you do not need to have mastered all the core skills on the job description in order to apply. Equally, we need to be comfortable with and learn from unsuccessful applications. We shouldn’t be holding ourselves back for the fear of rejection. You were recently recognised in the The Financial Times HERoes list as a champion for women in business, how important is that acknowledgement to you? As with any of us, it’s always nice to receive recognition. However for me recognition is not the driver, what gets me up in the morning is the desire to make a positive difference to colleagues and customers. Hearing praise from a customer about one of our relationship managers or an employee demonstrating the core values of HSBC is far more pleasing. What advice would you give your 18-year-old self? If I had to tell my 18 year old self anything it would be to not worry so much, to live in the moment and enjoy today for all that it brings.
Striking the right balance with HSBC UK’s award winning Balance Network. We meet the Co-Chairs and two members of Balance UK Corporate Real Estate and Private Banking customers here in the UK.
I joined HBSC in 1999 in Mauritius as the first female foreign exchange trader in the dealing room. I’m the Head of Credit for Business Banking, Corporate Banking,
How would you describe the purpose of the Balance Network? Balance focuses on gender diversity and supports the recruitment, development and engagement of colleagues and senior leaders that drive towards a gender balanced workforce.
What do you enjoy most about being the Co-Chair of Balance? I love a lot of things about being involved in Balance: actively making change happen, meeting lots of different people from diverse backgrounds but with the same objective: positive change, also seeing the passion and commitment that people bring to HSBC and the genuine desire to bring progress What events and activities does Balance organise and how important is senior participation? Balance typically organizes events which include internal as well as external speakers, covering a range of topics from career focus, performance discussions, self-confidence, addressing bias and myths regarding gender etc. Senior participation is important for two reasons: one because realistically it is difficult to bring change if we do not have buy in from senior stakeholders and secondly it is important because they set the right tone and increase awareness discussions in their respective team meetings. How will Balance be supporting International Women’s Day (IWD) in the UK this year? We have a full and exciting agenda for IWD with events in London, Birmingham and Leeds and including our colleagues globally. Stephanie Ip, Co-Chair of Balance UK
I was born in Taiwan but grew up in New York City, where my family migrated to when I was young. I’m currently based in London in HSBC’s global headquarters and am part of a global team within Commercial Banking looking at strategic growth initiatives for the bank How important are employee networks such as Balance UK? Employee networks such as Balance provide a platform for employees from different parts of the bank, across all levels of seniority, to connect in an informal and non-threatening manner – acting as a conduit for their voices to be heard across the group. What does a typical day look like for you? Given the global nature of my role, I meet with colleagues overseas on an almost daily basis, usually via video conference which still amazes me as when I was growing up telephones had wires and rotary dials. Since being appointed Co-Chair of Balance UK a few months ago, my daily routine has evolved to include working with my amazing Co-Chair Steph and our committee members. Not a day goes by without some form of communication about Balance and what we are doing (or can do!) to further drive the agenda. What do you enjoy most about being the Co-Chair of Balance? People! In just a few short months I have met so many colleagues from all parts of
the organisation – both male and female – who are passionate about diversity and inclusion and want to do all they can to support. As all employee networks are run by volunteers, it never ceases to amaze me how much we can accomplish when
unified with a common purpose and goal. The amount of time and effort everyone gives to the organisation is just incredible. Nancy Liang, Co-Chair of Balance UK
What makes Balance unique? The Balance UK network’s committee and members represent both men and women. We meet a couple of members to explain why they are involved with Balance.
Why is being a member of Balance important to you? Creating an open, inclusive, gender balanced workforce carries with it real commercial benefit for organisations, their employees and customers, even if you don’t believe those elements it’s simply the right thing to do. How does being a member help you be more inclusive and why does that matter to you? I’d like to think that gender simply isn’t an issue in any of my decision making, how I approach work, run meetings, and I always work hard to create an open, caring, trusting and inclusive culture in my teams. Being part of Balance UK has really helped me, and I want to use this as an opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with others and to carry on learning. Simon Garcia, Head of Communications and Employee Engagement
Why is being a member of Balance important to you? I believe that having a balanced workforce makes complete and logical business sense – after all 50% of the population is female. How does being a member help you be more inclusive and why does that matter to you? I get to share thoughts with progressive likeminded people and can directly help to support our (both female and male) staff to help build a balanced workforce. John Maton, Chief Data Officer UK & Europe
Votes for Women and the Representation of the People Act 1918
Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929) © Parliamentary Art Collection
By Mari Takayanagi
‘We have been told that the War has made a very considerable alteration in the situation. I should be the last person to deny that women have done well, and have been of very great assistance to us during the years of trial, but I fail to see any reason in that for giving them the vote.’ Processing suffragettes c.1908
Thus spoke Frederick Banbury MP in the House of Commons on 19 June 1917. It’s often assumed today that women got the vote in 1918 as a reward for work in the First World War. Although many Members of Parliament did indeed argue that in Parliament at the time, not everyone agreed - as the comment by Banbury, a long-standing opponent of women’s suffrage, shows. Also women given the vote in 1918 were over the age of 30 and had to meet a property qualification.
The irony of this was that many of the very women who did the most crucial war work, standing in for men in factories, fields, and farms, could not vote because they were likely to be too young and unlikely to meet the property requirement. So how did this peculiar situation come to pass? It’s often not realised that about 40 per cent of men couldn’t vote before 1914 because they didn’t meet residential and property requirements. As well as the poorest in society, men such as sons living at home with parents or other family members were excluded; also students and men in the armed forces, who didn’t meet the residency requirement. Although overshadowed in our collective memory today by the ‘Votes for Women’ campaign, there were organisations
Representation of the People Act, 1918 Copyright Notice© Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1918/7&8G5c64
such as the Adult Suffrage Society and indeed the Labour Party who campaigned for votes for all adults, men and women, before the war without success.
“In October 1916 Parliament set up a large cross-party body to discuss issues such as this” But the First World War changed the debate in Parliament. It was not politically acceptable to send men off in their millions to fight, particularly after the introduction of conscription in 1916, and not give them a vote in the next general election. And if fighting men had to get the vote, so did other men in militarily-useful jobs. The question then had to be asked, what about the women working alongside them? In October 1916 Parliament set up a large cross-party body to discuss issues such as this - the Speaker’s Conference on Electoral Reform. Women’s suffrage organisations, who had 25 - WHM 2018
never stopped campaigning during the war but carried on behind the scenes, lobbied the members of the Conference. The constitutional National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies led by Millicent Fawcett wrote to all the members individually; the militant ‘Suffragettes of the WSPU’, a breakaway body from the Pankhurst’s Women’ Social and Political Union, picketed the members outside the Palace of Westminster. Sympathetic MPs at the Conference, including longstanding suffrage supporter Sir Willoughby Dickinson, worked hard to ensure some measure of votes for women could be agreed. As a result, the Conference recommendations in January 1917 included votes for all men, and all woman who were on the local government register (i.e. meeting a property qualification), or whose husbands were, provided they had reached a specified age ‘of which 30 and 35 received most favour’. This was not the adult suffrage that many suffrage 26 - WHM 2018
campaigners had hoped for. Sylvia Pankhurst, a pacifist who opposed the war, remembered this moment; ‘I declared women should and could have had equal franchise if they would make a strong demand for it’. However she was in the minority. On 29 March 1917 in a suffrage deputation to Prime Minister David Lloyd George at 10 Downing Street, Fawcett stated, ‘We should greatly prefer an imperfect scheme that can pass, to the most perfect scheme in the world that could not pass.’ Also present was Emmeline Pankhurst who said, ‘In war time we cannot ask for perfection in any legislation.’
People Act on 6th February 1918. Today we celebrate its centenary as one of the most important Acts in the history of parliamentary democracy, for both men and women.
“I declared women should and could have had equal franchise if they would make a strong demand for it”
On 19 June 1917, the House of Commons debated clause 4 of the Representation of the People Bill – votes for women. MPs had a free vote on it, and some such as Banbury were still prepared to oppose it. But in the end the clause was passed by a huge majority, 385 votes to 55. The bill received Royal Assent and became the Representation of the ‘Emmeline Pankhurst’ by John H. F. Bacon, chalk on paper, c.1908 Copyright Notice- © Parliamentary Art Collection WOA 5438
CELEBRATING VOTE 100 IN THE UK PARLIAMENT Parliament Week
Vote 100 is the UK Parliament’s programme of events celebrating a number of anniversaries throughout 2018: • Representation of the People Act 1918 (100 years) - All men over 21 and some women over 30 granted the vote for the first time. • Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 (100 years) - Gave women over 21 the right to stand for election as an MP. • General Election 14 December 1918 (100 years) - Women over 30 (and all men over 21) vote in a General Election for the first time, and Constance Markievicz elected as the first woman MP. • Equal Franchise Act 1928 (90 years) - Gave women the vote on the same terms as men. • Life Peerages Act 1958 (60 years) – Enabled people to be appointed members of the House of Lords for life, including women for the first time.
The Voice and Vote Exhibition During summer 2018, a major free public exhibition, ‘Voice & Vote: Women’s Place in Parliament’, will be in Westminster Hall. The exhibition will cover the campaign for votes for women and the representation of women in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, using rare and previously unseen historic objects, pictures and archives from the Parliamentary
collections and elsewhere. Together with immersive and interactive technologies, the exhibition will tell the story of women in Parliament, the campaigning, the protests and the achievements.
of women’s place in Parliament by recreating lost historical spaces of the Palace of Westminster. These are:
It will also examine where we are today and how you can make change happen.
• The Ventilator - 200 years ago, this attic space above the House of Commons Chamber was where women watched and listened to Parliamentary debates.
The exhibition will give visitors the experience
• The Cage – the nickname for the Ladies’ Gallery which 27 - WHM 2018
allowed women to view the House of Commons after 1834, closed off by brass grilles which restricted women’s view. • The Tomb – the name given to the Lady Members’ Room, poorly furnished and cramped, shared by early women MPs of all parties. • The Chamber - The final part of the exhibition will explore the experience and work of women MPs and members of the House of Lords today.
• Get involved in UK Parliament Week 12-18 November 2018, our annual festival which empowers people to get involved with their UK Parliament. Find out how you can have your voice heard. For more information about all Parliament’s Vote 100 activities please see www. parliament.uk/vote100
The ‘Voice and Vote’ exhibition will be open 27 June – 6 October 2018. Book your free ticket now on the Parliament website.
Join in the celebrations: • Watch #YourStoryOurHistory films which feature four women who discuss the positive impact legislations passed by the UK Parliament has had on their lives. • Take part in EqualiTeas from 18 June – 2 July 2018! We’re asking everyone across the UK to celebrate our hard-won democratic rights over a cup of tea and slice of cake. 28 - WHM 2018
“Together with immersive and interactive technologies, the exhibition will tell the story of women in Parliament, the campaigning, the protests and the achievements”
Barnardoâ€™s and the National FGM Centre fight to end FGM New cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are being recorded at the rate of one every 90 minutes, a graphic illustration of the scale of this deeply shocking practice. cause long-term problems with sex and childbirth.
National FGM Centre direct work with children
FGM is the deliberate cutting, injuring or changing of a girl or womanâ€™s genitals for non-therapeutic reasons. According to the most recent annual statistics, there were 11,471 newly recorded cases of FGM in England between 2015 and 2016. The majority of FGM is carried out overseas, but figures from NHS Digital for the last financial year reveal 57 cases where the practice had been undertaken in the UK.
The most common age range for FGM to be performed is between five and nine. FGM can cause serious harm and even death. Girls and women can suffer from tetanus, be rendered infertile due to blood-borne diseases and even suffer broken limbs as a result of being held down so FGM can be performed. It is deeply traumatising both physically and psychologically, and can
FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since 1985. Anyone caught performing FGM faces up to 14 years in prison, and parents or carers who fail to protect a girl from FGM can be imprisoned for up to seven years. In 2003 it became a criminal offence, with a maximum sentence of 14 years, for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to take their child abroad to have FGM. Yet, despite the tens of thousands thought to be at risk, there is yet to be a successful criminal prosecution. In an effort to combat the problem, social workers, teachers and those in the 29 - WHM 2018
“NHS Digital for the last financial year reveal 57 cases where the practice had been undertaken in the UK” healthcare sector have had a legal duty to report to the police known cases of FGM in those under the age of 18 since October 2015. They are also required to report cases where they suspect a girl is at risk through their normal safeguarding channels. Such professionals are being taught how to recognise the signs that a girl has undergone FGM, or may be at risk of the practice, by the pioneering National FGM Centre which is run by Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity, and the Local Government Association (LGA). Through innovative social work, training and education programmes, it helps girls, their families and affected communities. Working in three sites across England, it supports both girls who are at risk of FGM and those who have 30 - WHM 2018
undergone the procedure. Specially trained social workers are embedded in local authorities in these pilot areas. The Centre is part-funded by the Department for Education and, according to independent evaluation reports, has made “positive” and “valuable” progress towards its aim of ending FGM by 2030. Leethen Bartholomew, Head of the National FGM Centre, said: “FGM is child abuse and has a devastating effect on girls and young women. “The Government’s aim is to end FGM in the UK by 2030, and we want to be able to look back and say
making that difference. We want to make FGM history.”
History of FGM
It is not known when or where FGM was first practised but it is thought to date back to at least the 5th century BC.
“Through innovative social work, training and education programmes, it helps girls, their families and affected communities” Some communities wrongly believe it is a religious requirement, but in fact it is not mentioned in the sacred texts of any of the world’s major religions, and research shows it pre-dates both Islam and Christianity. A Greek papyrus scroll in the British Museum, dating back to 163 BC, mentions FGM being performed on girls in Egypt at the age when they received their dowries.
the centre played a really active and important role in
There is also said to be a link between FGM and slavery.
In 1609 Joao dos Santos, a Portuguese Dominican missionary in India and Africa, reported a group near the Somali town of Mogadishu “had a custom to sew up their females, especially young slaves, to make them unable for conception which makes them sell dearer, both for their chastity and for better confidence which their masters put in them”.
wrote about the Egyptians carrying out infibulation - a type of FGM - on slaves to prevent pregnancy. Other anthropologists believe FGM was practised by Equatorial African herders to protect young female herders from being raped or from “an outgrowth of human sacrificial practices, or some early attempt at population control”.
Almost two centuries later in 1799, an English explorer called William Browne
During Victorian times, a form of FGM called
National FGM Centre Data
Level 1 & 2 Guidance and Consultation
Level 3 Direct work with family.
HARMFUL PRACTICES IDENTIFIED
Consulting & advising professionals on cases.
(FGM Protection Orders) Supported
WHO’S REFERRING? 129
FGM Survivors (Over 18)
It was also used as treatment for behaviour seen as unfeminine, such as “distaste for marital intercourse” or “a great distaste for her husband”.
SUMMERY OF CASES THE CENTRE HAS WORKED ON BETWEEN SEPT 2015 - JAN 2018.
clitoridectomy, which involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris, was used as a treatment in the UK for a wide range of conditions including “hysteria” and mental illness.
FGM Survivors (Under 18)
Education Social Care
Level 4 High risk. Long term work.
21 8 26
FAMILIES ETHNICITY & RELIGION
11 Abuse linked to Faith
We have worked with
5 Honour Based Abuse 2 Physical Chastisement 2 Other Harmful Practices
countries including Asia, A Africa the Middle East and various Local Authorities across the UK. 52%
10% Pentecostal Christian
families from 46
Religion where known…
Signs that a girl could be at immediate risk of FGM • If a female family elder is present, particularly when visiting from a country of origin, and taking a more active / influential role in the family; • If there are references to FGM in conversation, for example a girl telling other children about it;
• A girl may confide that she is to have a “special procedure” or to attend a special occasion to “become a woman”;
• A girl may talk about a long holiday to her country of origin or another country where the practice is prevalent;
• A girl may request help from a teacher or another adult if she is aware or suspects that she is at immediate risk;
• A girl is taken abroad to a country with high prevalence of FGM, especially during the summer holidays which is known as the ‘cutting season’.
• Parents state that they or a relative will take the child out of the country for a prolonged period;
FGM is child abuse. If you are concerned that the girl is in immediate danger, contact the police by calling 999. You should also contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office if the girl has been taken abroad by calling 020 7008 1500.
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National FGM Centre information session
Pressing for Progress By Sarah Crawley, Director of Barnardo’s Cymru.
I have spent the majority of my working life in local government and latterly the children’s charity sector within Barnardo’s. In each role, I have challenged inequality of provision and tried to improve services, particularly for vulnerable people. This year’s theme for Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on the 8th March 2018 is “Press for Progress”. This is about acknowledging the global growth in advocacy, activism and support surrounding gender parity and sexism. So what is gender parity? It is a numerical concept related to gender equality, a statistical measure that
Sarah Crawley, Director of Barnardo’s Cymru
compares a particular indicator among women, like average income, to the same indicator for men. To measure changes in gender parity over time gives policy makers and researchers a sense of whether society is progressing or regressing in a given area, and therefore is a good way of measuring gender progress in societies. American sociologist Paula England reviewed a range of gender parity indicators over recent decades, including incomes, college graduation rates, and workforce participation.
She found that gender parity in most areas had increased sharply since the 1970s at the peak of the women’s movement, but that trend began to slow in the mid-1990s. As an illustration of just how slow it is, the World Economic Forum says the gender pay gap won’t close until 2186 if it continues at the present rate. International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month are not just about the on-going recognition of inequality, but also recognising the achievements of women in society at bringing together 33 - WHM 2018
“As an illustration of just how slow it is, the World Economic Forum says the gender pay gap won’t close until 2186 if it continues at the present rate.” governments, women’s organisations, corporations and charities. The final report of the Fawcett Society’s local government commission found just a third of councillors are women and only 4% of councils had maternity provision for councillors. It concluded that local government isn’t ‘fit for the future’ due to a range of outdated practices and attitudes. If we look at the devolved combined authorities, all six elected metro mayors are men. The Fawcett Society’s report also concluded that there will be no gender equality in local government until 2065 at the present rate. 34 - WHM 2018
While this seems quite a bleak picture and one that will take considerable time to change, I wanted to highlight my own experiences of being a woman in local government and now in a prominent position within the charitable sector. Women have made progress in the public sector, particularly local government and the charitable sector. As the Director of Barnardo’s Cymru, around 86% of my workforce is female and more than four in five members of my senior leadership team are women. Before joining Barnardo’s, I had 14 years of experience in various roles within local government, including some large local authorities. I entered local government on a graduate scheme in housing and regeneration for the London Borough of Lewisham. The six trainees were evenly split by gender, age, sexual orientation and ethnicity, although we were predominantly white British.
I worked in mainly female managed departments during my time in Lewisham and enjoyed great support from managers, particularly female colleagues. Moving to Coventry City Council, I was privileged to work for the Chief Executive Stella Manzie, an incredible leader with an amazing ability to meet someone once and remember their name. I mention this as I have often seen phenomenally capable women having to work harder than their male counterparts. They have to be tireless, driven and infallible every day to achieve the same recognition as their male colleagues. At Swansea Council, female councillors tirelessly stood up for the rights of children and young
“I worked in mainly female managed departments during my time in Lewisham and enjoyed great support from managers, particularly female colleagues.”
thousands of vulnerable people. It is this workforce that is the force for change. All women in whatever sector need to come together to challenge discrimination and the perpetuation of gender inequality.
Sarah Crawley dressed as Dr Barnardo for a fundraising half marathon
people, led agendas on the improvement of schools and services for looked after children, and embedded the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, resulting in real and visible change. At Barnardo’s, I work with some incredible women, not only fellow directors, but also services managers, project workers, finance and business officers, personal assistants, fundraisers, policy and research officers, store managers and our amazing volunteers. It is these women who I would like to recognise in the charitable sector. They embody the values and beliefs of the sector, delivering services to
children, young people and families every day sometimes to the detriment of their own work life balance. It is them giving 100% that enables the charitable sector to keep going, to support the most vulnerable and to provide services to those who need them most. They also accept and work through the pain of people’s experiences, supporting them not only with kindness, but also interventions and actions that help them to move forward with their lives. There are prominent female leaders across the sector, heading organisations of women to deliver on a daily basis to hundreds and
We often advocate and rally against injustice in our job roles and in our personal lives on behalf of others. Why don’t we do it for ourselves? The two most prominent issues at present are the sexual harassment claims unfolding at a rapid rate along with campaigns such as #MeToo, and the publication of gender pay gap information across the private and public sectors, as required by law for organisations with 250 employees or more from April this year. For me, true equality will only come when women are paid the same as men in the same role and when the lowest paid staff in all sectors aren’t predominantly women. It will only come when more women are represented in senior roles including 35 - WHM 2018
councillors, directors and trustees positions. We still have some way to go. Figures across the UK in 2016 revealed a gender pay gap of 9.4% for fulltime workers and 18.1% for all staff. Happily, as its figures will shortly show, Barnardo’s gender pay gap is considerably lower than the national average, but the charity is not being complacent. It has developed and is implementing a sevenpoint action plan, including appointing a Corporate Director ‘champion’ to drive through change.
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Other steps include requiring recruitment firms to provide a diverse gender mix for all senior appointments and setting up a women’s network within the charity. Some say that the national gender pay gap is due in part to the lack of women in senior roles, but I would say this is part of the problem that needs to be addressed at the same time. A target for the number of women in senior positions has helped towards changing this, but more needs to be done. So we all need to make our pledge for parity so that women and girls achieve
their ambitions. We still need to demand gender equality for all women. I know myself and my female colleagues at Barnardo’s will continue to work towards this, even if achieving it takes well beyond the end of our careers.
“Figures across the UK in 2016 revealed a gender pay gap of 9.4% for fulltime workers and 18.1% for all staff.”
THE EAST END
WOMEN’S MUSEUM MAKING A HOME FOR WOMEN’S HISTORY IN EAST LONDON. by Sarah Jackson - co-founder and coordinator of the East End Women’s Museum
Museum directors, and representatives of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Be Living at the site of the museum’s new home in Barking. Photo: Jimmy Lee.
When the hoardings came down on what was supposed to be a women’s history museum in east London three years ago, they revealed a black and red, faux Victorian shop front, featuring an image of a man in a top hat standing in a pool of blood.
The ‘women’s museum’ turned out in fact to be a tourist attraction cashing in on the popularity of misogynist serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Lots of people were angry, including myself and my friend Sara Huws. Looking for a positive, creative way to protest, we decided to make the missing women’s history museum a reality, and turned to Twitter to seek support.
The East End Women’s Museum was born. East London has an incredibly rich social, political, and cultural history, and women were part of all of it although their voices are seldom heard. Those are the stories we want to tell; stories that illuminate the lives of East End women, not only their deaths.
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Through our work we aim to challenge gender stereotypes and offer new role models for girls and young women; create opportunities for women and girls to gain new skills and the confidence to tell their own stories; inspire and encourage civic participation; and support teachers, researchers, and other museums to uncover and include women’s stories. Now, through exhibitions, events, and online resources, we record and represent the histories of boxers and writers; suffragettes, queens, and thieves; scientists, seamstresses, dancers, and activists. Mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters.
We want to tell the extraordinary stories but we’re interested in everyday life too. One of our recent exhibitions, Women at Watney: Stories from an East End market, captures women’s memories of Watney Market in Shadwell past and present, which were recorded by volunteers from a stall in the market.
developer Be Living, and our local partner Eastside Community Heritage, we hope to open there in 2020.
Right now, we are a ‘kitchen table museum’ without an office or a building, but we’re delighted to have found a permanent home in Barking and Dagenham, in a new development close to Barking Abbey ruins.
But thanks to our brilliant supporters, we’re confident we can do it. In the meantime, we have a packed programme of events and exhibitions coming up this year, exploring women’s activism.
There’s also a lot of work to do before we open our doors: fundraising and building up a collection, as well as talking to women and girls across east London about what they’d like to see in their museum.
Thanks to the support of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham,
“Right now, we are a ‘kitchen table museum’ without an office or a building, but we’re delighted to have found a permanent home in Barking and Dagenham, in a new development close to Barking Abbey ruins.”
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What’s on in 2018
Making Her Mark: 100 years of womenled activism in Hackney
Women workers in a munitions factory, 1917. Photo: Imperial War Museum public domain collection.
International Women’s Day poster printed by Lenthall Road Workshop, based in Hackney.
Of course, this year marks 100 years some women won the vote and 90 years since all women did, but it’s also 50 years since the Ford Dagenham strike that inspired the Equal Pay Act. Our programme links 1918 and 2018, and focuses on the experiences of working class women in east London and their fight for equality.
6 February–19 May 2018, Hackney Museum, 1 Reading Ln, London E8 1GQ
Our Making Her Mark exhibition was created in collaboration with Hackney Museum and takes 1918 as the starting point in a look back at 100 years of women-led activism in the borough, on issues ranging from education, workers’ rights, and healthcare to domestic violence, the peace movement, and police relations. Making Her Mark explores how local women have brought about change in their community and in wider society through political campaigns, industrial action, peaceful protest, direct action, and the arts.
Working For Equality: the fight for fair pay and equal rights April–November 2018, various venues in Barking & Dagenham
Our Working For Equality project takes 1918 as the starting point in the story of 50 critical years in the struggle for working women’s rights, and connects the dots between the suffragettes’ equal pay campaigns during WWI and the Ford Dagenham strikers.
Women factory workers in Barking & Dagenham are at the heart of the story. We’ll be collecting their histories and sharing them through a mobile exhibition and a series of free events, including a Votes for Women garden party and a family day celebrating strong women, from the suffragettes who learnt jujitsu to early women boxers. Developed in partnership with Eastside Community Heritage and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. 39 - WHM 2018
A pop-up community kitchen will serve hot meals for the public at set times throughout the exhibition’s run, and a crèche facility will be available one day per week. East End Suffragettes: the photography of Norah Smyth East London Federation of the Suffragettes’ Cost Price Restaurant in the original Women’s Hall in 1915. Photo: Norah Smyth
The Women’s Hall: celebrating the east London suffragettes We are exploring some lesser-known suffrage stories in Tower Hamlets this year. The East London Federation of the Suffragettes were a radical group who split from the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1914 and fought for working women’s rights throughout the First World War. The Women’s Hall at 400 Old Ford Road in Bow was their headquarters from 1914-1924, a women’s social centre, and the home of their leader, Sylvia Pankhurst and her friend and fellow suffragette Norah Smyth.
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26 October-26 January 2019, Four Corners Gallery, 121 Roman Rd, London E2 0QN
Project developed in partnership with Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, Four Corners, and Alternative Arts, and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. The Women’s Hall 29 May-20 October 2018, Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, 277 Bancroft Rd, London E1 4DQ
This exhibition will evoke the interior of the original Women’s Hall. Visitors will be able to learn about the East London Federation of the Suffragettes (ELFS) and the First World War in the East End, view original materials, handle replicas, and attend events and workshops.
A unique exhibition of the photographs of suffragette Norah Smyth which provide an intimate documentation of the ELFS’ activities. The exhibition will be accompanied by gallery talks and local history walks that explore Norah’s story and the work of the East End suffragettes in more depth. If you’d like to find out more about the East End Women’s Museum, our events, exhibitions, and volunteering opportunities, or to join our email list for updates about the project, please visit: www. eastendwomensmuseum. org
Make the Connection Careers at National Grid Every day we deliver safe and secure energy to homes, communities and businesses; connect people to the energy they need for the lives they live and help communities thrive and economies grow. Our people make the difference, it’s their impressive expertise and genuine dedication that will ensure we meet our purpose. Everyone at National Grid contributes and it’s the sheer dedication of our people that gives us the energy to deliver. So we look for talent and innovation, we expect high performance and we believe in opportunity for enthusiastic people who share our ambition, values and mind set.
To find out more about opportunities within National Grid, visit our website: careers.nationalgrid.com
From sites and offices to our huge range of afterwork clubs and social events, the National Grid culture reflects a commitment to inclusion and diversity. Our people are actively encouraged to treat everyone with respect and value every contribution. To ensure the whole community feels welcomed and valued, we’ve created Employee Resource Groups. They’re designed to support our people at work and champion improved understanding; Pride, Our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Supporters’ Network is a great example. It’s a network of National Grid employees who support LGBT colleagues, friends and family. Collectively, we embrace our differences and celebrate the value that diversity brings to National Grid.
Come Out for Trans Equality this Women’s History Month by Rosalie Spawls – Stonewall Media Officer
marginalised in society, including black women, lesbian and bi women, disabled women and trans women.
In the fight for equality, it can be easy to lose sight of the struggle that has come before, and the contributions ofRosalie those who have led Spawls - Stonewall media officer us to where we are today. Women’s History Month is an opportunity for us to reflect on the contributions and sacrifices that all women have made throughout history to bring forward the day where everyone is accepted without exception. Women’s History Month needs to belong to all women. This is a time to celebrate the diversity and breadth of womanhood. Many of the most powerful contributions to women’s history have been made by pioneering women who have so often been 42 - WHM 2018
From Marsha P. Johnson, the woman who is said to have thrown the first brick at the Stonewall riots that our organisation is named after, to contemporary feminist figures like Janet Mock and Laverne Cox, we need to centre all voices to recognise these contributions and move forward towards liberating all women. This is something that matters now more than ever. Over the last six months we have seen a deluge of damaging headlines targeting trans people and attempting to invalidate trans women’s identities as women. This alarming media coverage very much echoes the language used to defend Section 28.
Flashback to 30 years ago and it was this very same vitriol that was being used to hound lesbian, gay and bi people. The aim was to prevent progress on equality by demonising people, simply for who they are. We know there is a lot of common cause between trans people and feminists, and this is something many feminists and women’s organisations already acknowledge. Our Trans Report highlighted the profound levels of violence and discrimination in Britain today. More than a quarter of trans people (28 per cent) in a relationship in the last year have faced domestic abuse from a partner. As well, one in eight trans employees (12 per cent) have been physically attacked by colleagues or customers in the last year at their place of work. The situation is not acceptable and we need to work together to come out in support of one another to help further equality.
“This is the piece of legislation that dictates trans people’s right to be legally recognised as the gender which they identify by” In the coming months, we have a huge opportunity to do just that. The current government has pledged to review the 2004 Gender Recognition Act. This is the piece of legislation that dictates trans people’s right to be legally recognised as the gender which they identify by. The current process is a costly, bureaucratic and deeply distressing system that makes trans people ‘prove’ their gender identity through intrusive medical assessments and interviews with psychiatrists. It also requires trans people to have a formal diagnosis of ‘gender dysphoria’, to live in their ‘acquired gender’ for two years, and hand over evidence supporting all of this to a gender recognition panel (composed of clinicians who have never met the applicant) with the power to approve, or deny, an application.
This is where we have the chance to make a change. When the government reviews the GRA, they are expected to launch a public consultation. The consultation is a process where organisations and individuals can have their say on a proposed policy change, and is open to everyone to respond. This Women’s History Month and moving forward, we want to make sure that
trans voices are heard loud and clear, alongside cis lesbian, gay, bi and straight allies who support trans equality. When the consultation is announced, you can go to Stonewall’s website and look for details of the best way to respond to let the government know that you support trans rights. To find out more and to support the campaign go to: www.stonewall.org.uk/ trans
“We know there is a lot of common cause between trans people and feminists, and this is something many feminists and women’s organisations already acknowledge.” 43 - WHM 2018
CREATING A COMMUNITY SPACE FOR LBQ WOMEN By Naomi Bennett – Planet Nation The New Year always excites me – so much happens in the first few months of the year, and of course there is Summer to look forward to! In the first few months we celebrate LGBT History Month, Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. I always try and challenge myself to review the LBQ women’s community and see what I can do in the next 12 months to support it. I look at the current challenges, and how I can use my reach and brand through Planet Nation, and work out where the two cross over. This year in particular, I have been reflecting on the number of requests for a community space, the increased interest in spaces that are not focused around DJs and nightclubs, and also the various women’s movements (of which there seem to be more and more popping up every week). 44 - WHM 2018
There is great evidence that shows that spaces build community, and so with this in mind, when I went to see a play at The Bedford in Balham, South London and realised what an awesome space it was, I immediately realised it was the perfect space to bring the community together.
International Women’s Day takes place on 8 March (a Thursday), but because I wanted to showcase the diversity of talent and entertainment, I avoided a weekday and instead opted for a weekend so that I could really create that community space.
“I have been reflecting on the number of requests for a community space” Saturdays are impossible to hire an entire space without a huge hire fee and so, on Sunday 11th of March, from 1pm until 2am The Bedford is being taken over and becoming an LBQ community space. It will showcase everything from cabaret and music, to literature and selfdefence lessons (particularly important with all the #Metoo comments I saw on my wall late last year). There is even theatre; and of course, there are DJs during the evening. We’re also offering pre-booked lunches and dinners, and it is familyfriendly until 6pm.
I’m hoping the community will come together, make new friends, share their hopes for community spaces and activities in the future, and celebrate our diversity. Find out more about the event on the dedicated website: www. rainbowsociety.co.uk.
There are still a few slots available for DJs, musicians and workshops, but these are filling up fast. Tickets are already flying out the door and as time marches on I’m getting more excited that this really could be the #YearoftheWoman. If this is successful, hopefully there can be more – watch this space! Search #IWDextravaganza #RainbowSociety for more information.
About Planet Nation Planet Nation is a listings and lifestyle website by the community for the community. It launched in 2016 following five successful years of running Planet London. As well as an events calendar to promote events taking place, there is also a variety of articles on various subjects including books, theatre, music and general lifestyle and opinion articles. Planet Nation works hard to give visibility and a platform to those in our community keeping it going, and often overlooked. It is proud to collaborate and contribute on a regular basis, and is always open to new suggestions of ways to further enhance our community. To find out more about Naomi and Planet Nation, or the #IWDExtravaganza space for Cis and Trans LBQ Women, go to: www.planet-nation.com
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Women’s Equality Party placards at the 2018 Women’s March
Women’s Equality Party This year’s centenary of partial suffrage has put the spotlight on the achievements of the women’s equality movement over the last 100 years. During the celebrations of these remarkable successes, a narrative has been prevalent: women’s rights have come a long way but there is still so much further to go before true equality is achieved.
Women’s Equality Party conference in Manchester 46 - WHM 2018
This is correct but limited. Too often it lacks an analysis of why women are still being held back, and how to address it. That is why the Women’s Equality Party exists: a political party that understands and prioritises the structural imbalances and the outright discrimination that affects half the population, that will challenge the political establishment’s consensus that equality is something that is just happening rather than something that needs to be fought for, and to work collaboratively to push forward the policies and ideas to make it a reality. Many inequalities are not hiding or nuanced. Consider the toll of domestic violence and sexual violence against women.
The criminal justice system is set up in a way that deters victims of violence from coming forward and fails to deliver justice for those who do. Conviction rates for rape remain shamefully low and victims are too often not believed. Yet the extremely rare (and often apocryphal) cases of false accusations are given huge prominence in both media coverage and political responses, rather than the failures in the justice system that let women down every day. Alongside the visible inequalities are the processes and assumptions that favour men over women – for example, the fact that our economic institutions do not recognise
“a political party that understands and prioritises the structural imbalances and the outright discrimination that affects half the population” the unpaid care and social care that is predominantly carried out by women. To see how structural and visible imbalances interact and disguise each other, look at the gender pay gap. Partial transparency, dragged unwillingly from the biggest companies in the country, has illuminated the economic penalties women face in every industry. The businesses insist that this is an outcome of wider societal shortcomings over which they have no control. Women want to do the worse-paid jobs, they say; it is their choice to take time off to care for children and to be paid less on their return until they retire. Companies usually agree that the gender pay gap is undesirable, and yet they are often oddly reticent in taking the steps that are within their control
WEP projection onto the Houses of Parliament to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act
to reduce it – such as more flexible working or pro-diversity hiring and promotion practices. They are also unwilling to lobby the government or opposition to adopt transformational policies on childcare or shared parental leave that would break down some of the barriers for women in the workplace. For example, the Women’s Equality Party would introduce nine months parental leave split between both parents on a ‘use-it-orlose-it’ basis, and universal childcare from the ages of nine months to when children start school. The history of the women’s rights movement shows that advances happen when women define for themselves what are the ‘acceptable’ terms and boundaries for challenge and protest.
In the last year, perhaps the most visible example has been women speaking out about their experiences of harassment and violence through the #MeToo movement. Women bypassed gatekeepers in workplaces and the media, setting aside personal and professional risks, to make their voices heard. The result was extraordinary: an avalanche of testimony, new forms of solidarity and commitments to change. It is with that spirit of unity and resolve that we must dismantle all barriers to equality. One hundred years since the first women got the vote, WE are putting our foot down. www.womensequality.org.uk
47 - WHM 2018
COME OUT FOR LGBT.
The fight for equality is far from over. Whatever you do and however you do it, it’s time to come out in support of LGBT. Join us. Search #ComeOutForLGBT.
Welcome to Talent Media's wHM Magazine 2018. This year, celebrating the centenary of the women's vote we pay tribute to the women of yestery...
Published on Mar 1, 2018
Welcome to Talent Media's wHM Magazine 2018. This year, celebrating the centenary of the women's vote we pay tribute to the women of yestery...