In 1910, addressing a conference of Working Women, Clara Zetkin, a German politician, suggested the institution of an International Women’s Day – an opportunity for women to campaign against gender inequality. The first International Women’s Day was celebrated a year later, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
One hundred years on, the celebrations are still going strong.
Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North & Stoke Newington, said, “International Women’s Day gives us the ideal opportunity to stand up and celebrate the achievements of all women throughout history. Hackney itself has a proud tradition of iconic female figures, ranging from renowned feminist Mary Wollstonecraft to international superstar Leona Lewis.
“This is also the only London borough with two female MPs and a female London Assembly Member. Hackney is all about celebrating equality and diversity and that is precisely what this day is for.”
Her Parliamentary colleague Meg Hiller, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, said, “It is important on International Women’s Day that we remember the challenges women face around the world, particularly with education and child birth. There are still many inequalities abroad and in Hackney that need to be addressed.”
There are many opportunities for Hackney residents to get involved in the festivities.
The Exiled Writers Ink is hosting a poem and dinner event for hungry bodies and thirsty minds on Thursday 24th. Three exiled women authors Rahila Khalwa, Nigar Hasan-Zadeh and Mehrangiz Rassapar, will be reciting their poetry. The Railroad Café is in charge of food. If you fancy, bring poetry of your own for the open mic interludes.
Culture Kitchen: women, equality and the environment takes place on the 8th with food-based beauty and health tips.
As you know, local Women Institutes are enjoying a renaissance. The last couple of years in Hackney, several WIs have sprung up. Far from the original aim of the WI – promoting and educating women on food production during the First World War – the Dalston Darlings, Shoreditch Sisters and other new born WIs, are a new kind of social place for women to meet, share skills and have fun.
Models sized 8 to 16 and aged 18 to 65 participated in Caryn Fanlin and Debra Bourne’s film celebrating body differences in the fashion industry. All Walks Beyond the Catwalk is showing at the closing party of the W Project, an exhibition and series of events honouring the work of talented creative women, from the 8th to the 11th.
Film heads will be interested in a discussion why there are so few female directors on Thursday the 10th at the W Project.
A hundred years ago, women were campaigning for the right to vote and to be elected, for greater female participation in labour and for a spark of equality.
In the context of Women’s History Month, Hackney Museum is organising a tribute walk to the women who have played a major role in Hackney, from the early feminists to Hackney’s two female MPs.
On Saturday the 5th, a march in central London by ‘Million Women Rise’ is taking place and is “dedicated to the dignity of women and girls across the world” with women joining from all over the UK.
WHAT’S ON FOR WOMEN
‘Million Women Rise’ March
Saturday 5 March, 12 noon
Park Lane opposite Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner
The W Project
Exhibition 9 — 11 March 2011, 10.00 am – 6pm
The Russian Club Gallery
London E8 4DA
Exiled writers – Food for the Body and Mind
Railroad Café – Restaurant, 120 Morning Lane, E9 6LH
Thursday 24 March 7.30pm £4 entrance plus cost of food
Hackney Heroines History Walk
with the Hackney Museum
Meet outside Hackney Central Overground.
Saturday 12 March 2.30pm-4.30pm
Booking essential: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Culture Kitchen: Women, Equality and the Environment
Tuesday 8 March 10am-3pm
Free entry and lunch
St.Hilda’s East Community Centre
18 Club Row
London E2 7EY
Booking and information: email@example.com
Related: Heaven Can Wait/ 5 March, 2011