Why Economics is a Feminist Issue – Women’s Voices Women’s Votes

I was so excited to be running a workshop at the Women’s Voice Women’s Votes Festival for women at the University of Suffolk. I didn’t know what to expect before I arrived, but WOW it was something else.

Feminist conferences have a terrible and often deserved reputation of being full of white middle class women, just like me. But this was completely different, such a huge age range and diversity, children and even a fe men. They had an amazing programme lined up which was all about celebrating women as well recognising the challenges still facing women today. There was music, drama and art, workshops on singing, law, economics and everything in between. What a HUGE achievement for the coordinating group, I was so proud to be part of it. Thank you so much.

photo credit to @wollyvix

Gender Budgeting and Campaigning for Change at LSE

It was great to be back at the London School of Economics and Politics again running a day-long workshop for Masters students on Gender Budgeting for Change and Campaigning for Change. They are such a fantastic group of people to work with – challenging and enthusiastic, my favourite type of participant!

Millicent Fawcett – The Quiet Achiever – an article for Suffolk life Magazine

Delighted to my article published in the April edition of Suffolk Life magazine. It is an in-depth look at the life of Millicent Fawcett – leader of the fight for women’s suffrage, the first woman to have her statue in parliament and who was voted “most influential woman of the last 100 years” by Radio 4 listeners. You can read the full article here.

100 years of the Representation of People Act – media appearances

100 years ago some women in the UK first got the right to vote. I have been delighted to talk about this subject on a variety of media including BBC East Politics, BBC Radio Suffolk and have three articles appearing across the year in Suffolk Life magazine.  Here I am standing outside Millicent Fawcett’s house in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, very early in the morning!polly @ uplands

Women, Aldeburgh and the Vote – a workshop with the Britten Pears Foundation

What better place to celebrate 100 years since some women first gained the vote than by running a workshop in Aldeburgh, the home of Millicent Fawcett who was instrumental to this hard-won right. Delighted as ever to be running workshops – polly wordcloud women's votesmy favourite kind of work – I teamed up with the Britten Pears Foundation and author and historian Viv Newman to discuss women’s rights past and present.

Viv gave an absolutely fascinating talk about the what the suffragettes and suffragists did in WWI, I was enthralled and immediately preordered her book on the subject.  I then spoke about what has happened to women’s rights since 1918 – lots of good news of course. Things have improved dramatically!  But there is also still some way for us to go before we have true equality. There was a lively discussion afterwards with a focus on what we can do to change the status quo.

Here is a word cloud of phrases that came out during my talk. The largest words are the words mentioned most often.

100 years of women’s votes

fawcett annual conference workshop2018 brings another celebration – 100 years since the Representation of People Act which gave women over 30 the right to vote on equal terms as men.

In November 2017 I ran a workshop at the Fawcett Society annual conference looking at how we could commemorate 100 years since this important event locally. We looked at engaging the unusual suspects, working regionally and heard about some fantastic ideas that are already planned! Fawcett have created some fantastic resources on suffrage have a look at them here.

Celebrating Britain’s first woman doctor – Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

 

ega-with-text-smallerI was delighted to be on the committee for helping to celebrate this remarkable woman. We held a series of events across the year including:

  • ‘The Garrett family on Aldeburgh Council’ by Richard Marson.
  • ‘Shake the Chains’ concert at Snape Maltings
  • ‘Millicent Garrett-Fawcett; the sexual politics of a suffragist’ by Janet Howarth*.
  • Exhibitions at the The Long shop Museum, Leiston, Aldeburgh Moot Hall Museum
  • ‘The Life of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson’ by Diana Quick
  • ‘Make More Noise’ – An 80 minute BFI compilation of silent films about the contemporary portrayal of suffragettes
  • Promenade play: ‘A Woman of Purpose’

To find out more about Elizabeth Garrettand the events we held in 2017 click here.

I was delighted to appear on a BBC Radio Suffolk documentary about it as well for a Look East Politics Programme.

Does Local Government Work for Women?

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 22.47.17It was fantastic to be involved in the project during my time at Fawcett and I am so pleased to see it published. It is an incredible in depth report looking at women in local government from councillors to staff. It is such an in depth piece of work.

Click here to read the the results of a year-long study led by the Fawcett Society in partnership with the Local Government Information Unit, which asked ‘Does Local Government Work for Women?’ and contains recommendations to help solve the issues faced by women in town halls.