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.

 

Oxfam Social Innovation Boost

boostIn February I took part in a 2.5 day innovation process to help Oxfam come up with some great ideas for how to solve women’s poverty. It was amazing, exhausting and emotional. You can see me in my various states of dress in this video below.

Big up to the women from SkillsNet, Marginal Voices and City Gateway Women’s Project. Also look out for my GENIUS idea on a post-it “more bloody money”….

 

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Gender Equality Charter Launch

Gender-Equality-585x275-300x141Whoop! Pretty excited about the Gender Equality Charter being launched on 10 March 2016… It’s been a year of consulting and talking, learning, persuading but I think this is pretty cool. Here is the press release from LBBD or you can read more here.

An east London council has made history by becoming the first local authority in the country to adopt a Gender Equality Charter.

The Cabinet at Barking and Dagenham, where the actions of Ford machinists Rose Boland, Eillen Pullen, Vera Sime, Gwen Davis and Sheila Douglass changed labour relations, last night adopted a Gender Equality Charter and called on local partners to support the initiative.

The charter will support everyone in achieving their full potential and have more influence over decisions affecting their lives. It places a strong emphasis on making sure that all genders have the same chance of success.

It has been developed through consultation with the community and focuses on four themes; access to power and representation in public life; economic inequality and impact of caring responsibilities; culture including gender stereotyping; and, violence against women.

It reflects not only the national issues that impact on gender equality but, more importantly, prioritises the issues and challenges identified locally.

Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell, said: “I am proud to be the Leader of a council that is delivering ground breaking work on gender equality.

“Our borough has a proud history of promoting gender equality – from the 18th Century writer and philosopher, Mary Wollstonecraft, and the early suffragette movement, to the workers of Fords who helped secure the equal pay legislation we enjoy today.

“The charter will help make sure the council and its partners make a demonstrable difference to tackling gender inequality and support everyone to achieve their full potential regardless of their gender.  I believe this will inspire civic pride and help us to build one borough and one community.”

Councillor Afolasade Bright, the Council’s Equality Champion, added: “The council has a vision to tackle equality issues relating to each of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act, and is starting with gender equality – which affects everyone.

“In particular, tackling the issues faced by women, girls and the transgender community in the 21st Century needs the active support and participation of everyone, especially men and boys.

The Gender Equality Charter will be launched at an event on 10 March in Barking Town Hall, and will be the centrepiece of the council’s second annual, Women’s Empowerment Month.

Interviewing Sarah Lyall from the New Economics Foundation about the shorter working week

podcastSorry, this is about 7 months late! In the absence of the fabulous Kirsty Styles, I took over the Weekly Economics podcast to talk to economics guru and my buddy Sarah Lyall about why working a shorter working week would be good for the economy.  This weekly podcast about economics is a must listen, so tune in here.

Kirsty and James are away for the bank holiday, but the show must go on. Guest host Polly Trenow is joined by Sarah Lyall, NEF social policy researcher, to talk about how shorter, more flexible hours of work could be transformative for our economy and society.

 

Clore Social Leadership – Emsee Fairbairn Fellow for Gender Equality

I am absolutely2016CloreSocialFellows-20151104094413721 thrilled to be named one of two Gender Equality Fellows for the Clore Social Leadership programme.

The programme, develops people working in the social sector – charities and enterprises to become better leaders. It was established by the Clore Duffield Foundation to improve leadership in the not-for-profit sector.

This year’s intake includes new specialist fellowships in the fields of gender equality, youth social justice and migrant communities.

We will go through a 12-month personalised programme that will include residential courses, coaching and mentoring, and a secondment.

 

Feminist economics at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

I was delighted to be asked to come and discuss feminist economics at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in York. I did two sessions – the first was a general talk about the ways in which gender interacts with the economy, you can see that session captured in the video below. The second was a session for the policy staff who asked a lot of tough questions! We looked more specifically at some of the measures the Women’s Budget Group advocate for in order to create a more equal society.

Great to be up in York with you all!

Resist! Against a precarious future

I was really delighted to be part of this book. I’ve written an essay on how care work makes the world go round and it’s part of this collection. We’re crowd funding for the £2k publishing costs to get it out as a free e-book and although we have some of the costs covered by the publisher we still need a bit of money. Here is the blurb, please consider giving some money there are some awesome perks!:resist

Resist! is the third book in the Radical Future series: publications written and edited by young* activists, journalists and artists calling for radical alternatives to the status quo. We’re interested in social justice, liberation and collectivity, and the ways young people are organising to create change. If you think mainstream politics is a dismal failure and you still have hope we can do better, this book is for you.

The first book in the series, Radical Future: Politics for the next generation, was written before the 2010 election (remember back when things were bad, but we had no idea how much worse they were going to get?). The follow up, Regeneration, was published in 2012, and received over 50,000 downloads.

Resist! includes chapters about youth activist movements, re-envisioning work, feminist economics, direct action against the housing crisis, alternative media and organising after the London riots, from contributors like feminist campaigner Polly Trenow, activist Wail Qasim and openDemocracy journalist Adam Ramsay. It is edited by journalist and openDemocracy editor Ray Filar.

We’re really excited about this next book and can’t wait to get it published.

But to get there, we need your help.

Like the first two books in the series, we want to make Resist! as accessible as possible by also offering it as a free ebook (as well as a paperback version). But ironically, publishing a free ebook is expensive. The publisher, Lawrence & Wishart, is covering most of the costs, but we need help with the final £2000. And we need it sharpish to get it out before the general election. So that’s why we’re asking you to donate. Your money will go towards typesetting, copy editing, proofing, and promotion.

We’ve put together some amazing rewards. As well as beautiful merchandise designed by our talented cover artist Yoav Segal, we’re harnessing the talents, pub-debating skills and canal boats of our contributors. We’re offering prints that you can put on your wall, and tote bags with our cover art on. You’ll also find a great selection of workshops, excursions and experimental fun, all there to encourage you to part with your cash.

If we get more money than our target, we’ll divide it up to pay everyone who has given their time for free. Anything over that we’ll put towards the next book in theRadical Future series. You can read the first two books in the series right now. For free!

The full list of contributing authors to Resist! Against a Precarious Future are:

Sarah AllanCraig BerryMatthew CheesemanRhiannon ColvinSean FarmeloRay FilarRobbie GillettDeborah GraysonNoel HatchIzzy KoksalBen Little, Wail QasimAdam RamsayNiki Seth-SmithMike ShawPolly TrenowMatt Adam Williams.

*in some cases, at heart

 

More councillors being sexist!

polly guardian

The report I wrote for the Fawcett Society really took off. I had my first appearance on Woman’s Hour, which for a professional feminist is about as good as it gets.

It also appeared in the Sunday Times,The ArgusThe GuardianThe Yorkshire Post and The Belfast Telegraph and the Metro.

You can read a copy of the report here.