Nowadays everybody celebrates International Women’s Day including the banks!!! Help, this is not what socialist feminists Clara Zetkin and Louise Zeitz would want. They created the day to highlight the importance of women’s struggles for equality at home, at work and in making a better society to live in.
In 2014 we need this vision and hope for the future, but few of the events on offer reflect the reality of many women’s lives, particularly those women affected by the massive cuts in benefits, wages and public services. Sadly many of the IWD events are mere “celebrations” with no political agenda. Here are a few events that I think are in keeping with the real spirit of IWD.
Liverpool …one of the few demonstrations where women will get out on the streets to highlight the issues facing women locally and internationally see
Manchester….there are many events organised under the Wonder Women banner but few reflect the experience of working class women, here are some of my choices.
Learn about the life of suffragette Hannah Mitchell at this performance. it was written by leftwing playwright Eileen Murphy and encapsulates the harsh choices faced by working class women who wanted to challenge inequality in society and pursue their own creative lives.See
Read her brilliant biography which was never published during her lifetime. “The Hard Way Up”. You can buy it from
And if you want to learn more about some of the poorest workers today that is care workers in east Manchester and how the lives of working class women have declined…see
Discuss.. How does the History of Feminism Inspire Current Thinking in Manchester? at the Suffragette Legacy Conference…….an interesting mix of speakers, artists, films and discussions…..you can go for free (price is £25/15) by applying for a bursary.
Palestinian women.. it is one of the most vibrant campaigns locally and there are several events across the northwest organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign see
Watch…some films by our favourite local filmmaker John Crumpton. The Hat Block Maker I like wearing hats and I still buy them from a local hatmaker (see ) but this film records the history of hatmaking in the northwest and interviews some of the workers. John uses archive footage of Stockport market in 1910 to show why we had a hatmaking industry because in those days everyone wore one. In the film we meet Bert Gurden who was 14 when he became an apprentice hat block maker and was still working at 75! It is an incredible moving film, not just because of listening to Bert’s story and watching him create the hat blocks but the care and attention put into the making of the film, reminding us of the history of what was an important industry in this area.
And look at John’s documentary about painter Charlie Shiels…another northwest artist who should be better known..see
Join... an anti-fracking march…because it’s not just happening at Barton Moss.. on Sunday 9th March starting at 12 from Piccadilly to Cathedral gardens. The demo is called by Frack Free Greater Manchester. Further info see
Go to. Hidden written and performed by Laura Lindsay and Peter Carruthers, a comedy drama, it is the story of six people and their secrets. Past performances have got rave reviews and you can see it at the Kings Arms next week.