international women's day 2011

Archive for the ‘England’ Category

Time: 12.30pm – 3.00pm
Venue: Harold Road Centre, 170 Harold Road, Plaistow, E13 0SE

Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women

Speaker: Rita Chadha-Bolt (Director)
Refugee and migrants forum for east London (RAMFEL)

Activities: cultrual performance, poetry etc

Free food and drinks served.

For further information contact Sarjoh (Conflict and Change) on 020 8552 2050 or Prity (Newham Monitoring Project) on 020 8470 8333.


Other IWD events in April:
* ’42′ Women of Sierra Leone until 15 April 2012 – Liverpool
* Images of Black Women Film Festival 2011 – 8th to 10th April 2011 – Tricycle Cinema

In a special “A message to Emily” three part radio documentary journalists Linda Fairbrother and Boni Sones OBE criss-cross the State Rooms of Speaker’s House to record interviews with women parliamentarians across party and their guests while they celebrated together 100 years of International Women’s Day.

On 2nd April 1911 a lone suffragette, Emily Wilding Davison hid herself in the broom cupboard in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, in the crypt of St Stephen’s Hall, Westminster, on the night of the census so that she could give her address as the House of Commons.

100 years later there was no need to hide. The Speaker John Bercow opened the doors of his State Rooms to the women MPs from all parties with their friends and special guests from campaigning organisations to mark the Centenary of International Women’s Day.

Emily who died after pinning a sash to the King’s horse at the Epsom races would have been wide-eyed at being allowed into the State Rooms, Speaker’s House, House of Commons. The 16th March party was organised by three women MPs Mary Macleod MP, Kate Green MP and Jo Swinson MP from Conservative, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

If walls could have ears? No need – Women’s Parliamentary Radio journalists Linda Fairbrother and Boni Sones captured this sound portrait in this special three part documentary “A Message to Emily?

The Home Secretary and Minister for Women, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP told
· “Lynne Featherstone MP has taken on the responsibility as International Champion on violence against women, we have worked hard on violence against women and girls. I chair an inter-ministerial group on Violence Against Women and Girls, it brings all departments together, DFID and others, and we will be able to champion the need to deal with violence against women internationally which blights the lives of many.”
· “To those who say we haven’t done enough I would point to the work we have done. We have published a strategy against violence against women and girls, we have found a permanent solution to women fleeing domestic violence, we have been able to find extra money for rape crisis centres and produce sustainable funding for them the next three years. “
· “In the Home Office despite all the budget cuts we have been able to protect £28 million of expenditure over the next four years for dealing with violence against women and girls, I think we have made some very important steps. We are great supporters of the new UN Agency for Women, and we are looking for that agency to be able to promote the needs of women across the World.”
· “My message to Emily would be we are not complacent and we are still fighting.”
Yvette Cooper MP, the Labour Shadow Home Secretary said:
· “Domestically the issue is making sure we don’t turn the clock back on progress and that you don’t narrow women’s opportunities instead of expanding them. Internationally there are still huge issues in terms of violence against women, and their participation in the political process and debates about women’s lives as well”.
· “It is always right to have international debate and international solidarity about opportunities for women in every country in the World and we have to make sure that is part of British foreign policy it is not just something that is dismissed or ignored. It is also about listening to women’s experiences in other countries and hearing what they themselves are saying.”

Jo Swinson MP, the Liberal Democrat PPS to Vince Cable said:
· “On women’s representation we have moved this issue forward we have got more women elected. There are still barriers we need to address in terms of the way Parliament works and issues of how you juggle the demands of being an MP with family life, and the wider social issue about how men and women split caring responsibilities and the pay gap, standing for Parliament is not cost neutral.”
· “There are a lot of talented women out there who look at Parliament and say “why would I want to be part of that?” We have a job to do in selling the job. Women MPs love the job they do and they can make a difference in their communities and this is the bit that gets lost we need to say “this is why this is a great job to do!”
· Speaker Bercow said:
· “International Women’s Day reminds us that we have a duty in whatever our capacity to do something to make a difference for women internationally. These rooms are State Rooms and what better use than to use them to fight the cause for women and equality. We congratulate the trail blazers but there is still a great deal to do and we must get on to do it!”
· “We’re celebrating women in Parliament, but crucially for me is the fact that however many battles we think we have to fight here in the UK, there are women in the World with far more serious circumstances to deal with and we must never forget that.”

Boni Sones, Executive Producer of said: “ would like to thank all those who gave interviews to us to celebrate and record for the social history books our “Message to Emily? three part radio documentary to celebrate 100 years of International Women’s Day. Special thanks to the Speaker John Bercow MP, for allowing us into the State Rooms, and to the organisers Mary Macleod MP, Kate Green MP, Jo Swinson MP. It was as ever, great fun, to be with so many committed and passionate women in one room and hear their special messages to the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison. Women’s Political representation was an issue many told us needed to be put to the fore in our Parliament.”

In Part One Boni spoke to:

Caroline Adams from the women’s Parliamentary Labour Party and organiser, Barbara Gorna and Joan Lane film producer. Vicky Booth, Diversity Officer for the Liberal Democrats, Fiona Mactaggart MP and Lydia Simmons. Barbara Keeley MP, Fawcett acting CEO Anna Bird, Sharon Hodgson MP, Sue Tibballs of the Women’s Sports Foundation. Joan Ruddock MP and Councillor Joan Millbank. Maria Eagle MP and Yvette Cooper MP.

In Part Two Boni spoke to:

Baroness Elspeth Howe, Baroness Hussein-Ece. Cherie Blair and Sarina Russo. Lorley Burt MP and Helen Berresford, Kealey Hastick from Platform 51. Helen Grant MP and Martha Kearney BBC journalist. Harriet Harman MP, The speaker John Bercow MP and last but not least the most senior woman in the Cabinet, the Home Secretary and Minister for Women Theresa May MP.

In Part Three Linda spoke to:

Nan Sloane from the Centre for Women and Democracy, Margaret Beckett MP, Baroness Ramsay, Kate Green MP, Lesley Abdela from Shevolution, John Bercow MP, Caroline Spelman MP, and Lee Chalmers of the Downing Street Project, Liberal Democrat supporter Dinti Batstone, Jo Swinson MP.

Part of a longer press release at

You can listen to or download the podcast from the home page of the web site and then scrolling down to this section

You can download and read feedback on York International Women’s Week from

York International Women’s Week 5th—12th March 2011 – see original list at

for International Women’s Day the usual luvvies implore us to fight for oppressed womanhood all over the world.

They include Annie Lennox, activist, feminist and multi-millionaire; Emma Thompson, award-winning actress; Monica Ali, best-selling author, and Mariella Frostrup, glamorous telly and radio presenter, who told a recent interviewer: ‘I’m always tempted by money.’

They’re regularly off to Malawi or Liberia, Rwanda or Mozambique, photographed with groups of grateful villagers while looking suitably concerned in their eco-friendly bushwear.

Happy International Women’s Day! George Osborne has rapidly raised womens’ retirement age and Lord Sugar says bosses should be allowed to quiz employees about their plans for babies

Of course, the plight of millions of women in the third world is appalling — Aids, female circumcision, rape and poverty blight their existence. But would any of these high-profile female campaigners consider fighting for desperate women here in Blighty?

Many of us lead comfortable lives, but hundreds of thousands do not. Equality and opportunity are meaningless as far as they’re concerned. These celebrity feminists could try scheduling a visit to an NHS ward where every single day, thousands of ignored female pensioners lie quietly dying of starvation because there’s nobody to feed them. And with the NHS about to shed 50,000 jobs, the situation is unlikely to improve.

A recent report revealed the shocking statistic that two-thirds of elderly patients admitted to NHS hospitals do not receive adequate care, and many die completely unnecessarily after surgery.

These female campaigners could pass up a trip to South Africa and try a tour of care homes right here in England, where thousands of women with dementia sit for hour after hour in their own urine, many tied to their chairs in rooms with only the telly for company.

And what about the growing band of young women who left school with decent exam results in the past year and cannot get a job, forced to rely on benefits even though they’re desperate to work? Would any of these middle-class feminists consider employing one as an assistant?

The think-tank Demos calculates the number of jobless young people will grow to 1.2 million over the next five years, even if the economy recovers — double the rate of the Nineties. What kind of future is that? Is that equal opportunity for all?

Women at both ends of the spectrum — the very old and the young — are having a rough time in the UK right now. We have a Cabinet packed with millionaires, and in spite of David Cameron’s weasel words, they’re not very female-friendly.

George Osborne speeded up the rate at which a women’s pension age will rise from 60 to 66. Labour planned to do this gradually, but the Chancellor has decreed that by 2020 everyone will have to be 66 to get a pension, which means a huge number of women will have to stay at work for far longer than they had planned.

Women born before April 6, 1953, will be able to retire at 62, but those born after will end up paying an extra £13 billion in income tax and national insurance — an average of £8,400 each.

As the Saga group said: ‘Women are bearing the brunt of the changes. Pension policy always seems to be made by men, for men.’

When it comes to government, paradoxically, in some African countries, there are more women in power than in the UK. In Rwanda, in 2009, women won 56 per cent of the seats in the lower chamber and 35 per cent in the Upper House. In both Mozambique and Angola, women won 39 per cent of the seats in the lower house.

Many African states have women in high office. Here, just 22 per cent of seats in the Commons are held by women, and the Home Secretary has to combine her demanding job with that of Minister for Women and Equalities. That’s how seriously David Cameron takes women’s rights.

Finally, let’s celebrate International Women’s Day by reflecting on the wisdom of Lord (Alan) Sugar, who told the House of Lords last week he thought bosses should be able to grill female candidates about their plans for babies.

This is the bloke who said the best way to get round the laws protecting women in the workplace was by not employing them. Let’s all write to Lord Sugar and tell him when we plan to reproduce, when we’re going to take the Pill, and when we might have a spot of PMT.

Come to that, why don’t we email or Twitter him the dates of our menstrual cycle, if he’s that interested in gynaecology?

Edited from a longer article at

International Slavery Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4AQ

An exhibition of 42 portraits of the women of Sierra Leone, by British photojournalist and writer Lee Karen Stow.

“When I turned 42 in 2008 life expectancy in Sierra Leone was around 42. I realised that I had double the chance of living a long and healthy life in the UK, where life expectancy for women is around 83. I became angry at what is a violation of human rights.

42 aims to show the beauty, spirit, hope and the value to society of women not just in Sierra Leone, but women everywhere, who wake each morning with the belief that one day, life really will get better.” Lee Karen Stow

The exhibition includes photographs taken in summer 2010, which have not been shown before.

Find out more about ’42’ Women of Sierra Leone at

An interview with photojournalist Lee Karen Stow about the exhibition ’42’ Women of Sierra Leone and the women in Sierra Leone who inspired it. Watch video at

The exhibition is at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool from 4 March 2011 to 15 April 2012. More at

Open daily 10am-5pm.
FREE ADMISSION to the museum and all exhibitions and events.

Map showing location of the International Slavery Museum

See also

UK Premiere: I Will Follow
USA/2010/81 mins/ Dir. Ava DuVernay
Cast inc: Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Omari Hardwick, Blair Underwood, Beverly Todd and Michole Briana White

Maye (Richardson-Whitfield) is a success. Hot career. Hot boyfriend. But when her world is turned upside down by tragedy, she must struggle to keep her balance. I Will Follow chronicles a day in the life of a woman at a crossroads, and the twelve people who help her move forward into a brave new world.

Ava DuVernay, a 2011 NAACP Image Award nominee, wrote and directed I WILL FOLLOW, which is her narrative feature debut awarded with Best First Feature Film at the Pan African Film Festival. The film was recently released in the US by AFFRM (African American Film Festival Releasing Movement) a New theatrical distribution collective of black film festival organisations theatrically releasing quality independent African- American films.

Plus panel discussion on the relevance of a UK black film exhibitor collective following AFFRM example.

For Coloured Girls
2010/USA/ 133 mins/ Dir. Tyler Perry

Inspired by Ntozake Shange’s poem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf an award-winning stage performance that combines poetry, dance and music, and most significantly, places the black female experience center stage. Thirty six years later, with a cast of stars including Loretta Devine, Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton and Whoopie Goldberg; filmmaker Tyler Perry adapts this landmark work for the big screen, integrating the vivid language of Shange’s poems into a contemporary narrative following different women dealing with intense issues that impact women in general and women of colour in particular.

This screening will be followed by discussion about Ntozake Shange’s original work followed by a Poem/Spoken Word performance.

Chico & Rita
2010/Spain & UK/ 93mins/ Dir. Javier Mariscal & Fernando Trueba
Cast: Mario Guerra, Lenny Mandel, Limara Meneses, Eman Xor Oña

Oscar®-winner Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque) and famed artist Javier Mariscal collaborated on this beautiful animated love story that follows the 60-year musical and romantic partnership between jazz pianist Chico and singer Rita.

The screening will be followed by a live cuban singing performance.

Cuba, 1948. Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unites them, but their journey – in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero – brings heartache and torment. From Havana to New York, Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas, two passionate individuals battle impossible odds to unite in music and love.

Filmmakers’ Forum

Miles of Styles presents a selection of four short-films with a focus on Destiny Ekaragha, an upcoming filmmaker.

The short films will be followed by a panel discussion with film professionals on how 21st century women are influencing their own representation in the media following recent high profile sexism & ageism rows and the tragic death of a young woman who died trying to enhance her figure for a music video career.

Shorts include:

    Tight Jeans
    Dir, Destiny Ekaragha
    Dur: 9min Drama/UK/ 2009
    Three black teenagers are becoming frustrated while waiting for their friend. A young white lad walks past wearing super tight jeans. The boys look on until one of them asks the pivotal question, “How can a man wear jeans that tight?” This parks a debate about race and culture.
    The Park
    Dir. Destiny Ekaragha
    Dur: 16min Drama/UK/ 2010
    The Park is a coming of age tale about teenage friendships. The stories they tell are nothing compared to the secrets they keep.
    Future Wags of Great Britain
    Dir. Destiny Ekaragha
    Dur: 23min Doc/UK/2011
    Missy and Kim, two very different sisters. Missy is a regular clubber, while Kim is a studious high achiever, but when times get tough they unite in a plan to gamble their way to success disguised as a WAG.
    Chantell Town
    Dir.Paulette James
    Dur: 15min Drama/UK/2006
    A Black hair story set in Brixton, with a splash of 70’s Blaxploitation. Shantell must step up and find her feet on the street, in the battle to find out who’s “Super Babe”.

Animation Forum
Part of the Images of Black Women Film Festival 2011

Black History Walks presents a series of short African animations from around the world for 6-60 year olds.

Films including:

    Mike Johnson
    Dur: 20min USA/ 2010 English
    Kofi is a young American boy who has been chosen by Ancient Egyptians to fight evil in the 21st century. He is not sure how to handle his responsibility and turns to his ancestors Malcolm X and Kwame Nkrumah for inspiration.
    African Tales
    Binna Oweekwe
    Dur: 30min Nigeira/ 2009/ English/Ibo
    An animated series written and directed by Obinna Owuekwe that follows the challenges of a young girl, Azuka, born with a peculiar birthmark she is chased from her village where she meets some spiritual warriors who believe she has special Powers and a great destiny.
    Rémi Gamiette
    France /2008/ 15 min/English
    A fantastic action animation about a village woman who becomes a space soldier when her three children are kidnapped and taken to an alien planet.

The short films will be followed by a Q&A with Tony Warner, organiser of African Superheroes Day, on the future of animated African images.

Festival prices:
– I Will Follow…………………… £9.50
– Filmmakers Forum………….. £7 – £5.50 cons
– For Coloured Girls…………… £9.50
– Animation Forum……………. £7 – £5.50 cons & under 16
– Chico & Rita………………….. £9.50
– Festival Pass…………………. £30

The Tricycle Theatre 269 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 7JR
Box office 020 7328 1000 | tel: 020 7372 6611 |
Nearest tube: Kilburn (Jubilee Line) 20 mins from Bond Street |

To book tickets etc, go to

Also posted on womensgrid at

See also 7th Images of Black Women Film Festival

This year marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day – high time to take inventory of how women are represented within British newspaper journalism.

Below are some key findings when looking at Cision’s UK media data*:

    * Over two-thirds (74%) of journalists in the newspaper sector are male;
    * One third (30%) of female journalists are covering business and politics;
    * 3% of sports journalists are women;
    * 49% of lifestyle journalists and 70% of arts journalists are male;
    * Altogether 30% of UK newspaper staff are female.

In addition, Cision opened its database to “Women in Journalism” (WIJ), an organisation supporting female journalists, resulting in a report demonstrating that women are underrepresented within UK newspaper journalism.

“Female Journalists are less likely to work in editorial positions and less likely to write about hard news, politics and current affairs. Even traditional areas such as lifestyle and features are dominated by our male counterparts, “ says Gabriella Jozwiak, freelance Journalist and WIJ member, co-leading the research based on Cision’s database.

She says that women are present, but underrepresented in public life and traditional role patterns are still a barrier for women’s careers. “I think the findings speak for themselves. It is a general issue that females are not always on the top. The problem in the national media is that we’re trying to reflect society and the unbalance can be seen very clearly.”

Eight out of the top ten newspapers have twice the amount of male editors than female. The Guardian was the only newspaper within Cision’s data with more female editors in senior positions (60%) than male editors.

The Independent had the lowest proportion of female staff with 25% women, followed by the Sun (26%) and the Daily Telegraph (26%). In contrast, the Daily Mail had the highest proportion of female staff of any newspaper with 36% women, followed by the Observer (36%) and the Daily Express (35%). The research also reveals that journalistic roles were most likely to be held by women at the Sunday Times (40%), the Times (39%) and the Guardian (37%) and were least likely to be held at the Daily Mirror (21%) and the Sun (24%).

However, there is a support network out there ready to be accessed by female journalists from institutions such as the National Union of Journalists or Women in Journalism. “Many women might actually be uncomfortable with the idea that they need support from an organisation, but especially in journalism it is a great way for networking and receiving training,” says Jozwiak. “On a practical level, WIJ is a great forum to meet really successful journalists and learn from them. I’ve picked up plenty of tips from events and had a few commissions through contacts I’ve made.”

The history of the International Women’s Day dates back to the 19th March 1911, where it was first celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In a blog entry later this week, Cision will go on a short European trip and have a closer look at how women are represented in German and Swedish Journalism.

* Reflective as of October 2010

To mark the occasion of IWD, the Commission has developed a special web page to collate the work we have done to promote gender equality for women and includes a centenary message from our Commissioner, Kay Carberry, as well as special messages of support from the Home Secretary Theresa May and Shadow Minister for Equality, Yvette Cooper.

However if IWD is about celebration, it is not about complacency.

As the Commission’s triennial review report How Fair is Britain? and our forthcoming update to our Sex and Power publication show, we are still a long way from achieving equality. On too many issues, unacceptable inequalities remain: violence against women and girls, marked labour market segregation, the unequal division of care and multiple discrimination to name a few.’

To read her full statement and access messages of support from both the Home Secretary, Theresa May and Shadow Minister for Equality, Yvette Cooper, please visit our website at:

Friday 25th March 2011 from 11.00am – 4.00pm
Thurlow Lodge Community Hall, 1Thurlow Street SE 17 2US

We would like to invite all female residents and their families of the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark and surrounding areas to take part in an event organised by Aylesbury EveryWomen’s Centre for this year ‘International Women’s Week’. Our theme this year is a celebration of 100 years of International Women’s Day.

We will provide the following activities:
· Healthy Living workshops
· Discussions/Presentations on the changes of women’s rights over 100 years
· Workshops from domestic violence groups in Southwark
· Entertainment from different cultures
· Stalls for local projects
· Face Painting
· Food and Refreshment

For more information contact Zahra Abdalla, and Ola Smith
Tel: 020 77014141 Ext 229 Mob: 07983747243, – 07811224327

If you have a story whether it is sad or happy that you would love to present please get in contact with Zahra on the above details. Don’t be shy, it’s our day!


Spitalfields Market, Saturday 12th March, International Women’s Fair

Electric Landladies with Laka Daisical, Sarah Pritchard, Deirdre Cartwright, Diane McLoughlin, Alison Rayner and Ann Day
In the middle of the historic Spitalfields Market and surrounded by stalls with artists, books, craftswomen, fashion designers, pop up poets, participatory workshops and women’s organisations.

The two free sessions from the Electric Landladies will be at 12 – 1 and 2 – 3pm.

See full details about the event at

red women's symbold with continents superimposed repeatd 5 times

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