Happy International Women’s Day! We hope you have a good one.
When times have felt quite bleak for women’s rights over the last year, we’ve found inspiration in east London’s women, past and present. Here’s what’s kept us going, kept us motivated – we hope these stories inspire you, too.
1. The amazing activists of east London, past and present
Women have been fighting for justice and equality in east London for generations – and winning. Our day of activist history took us from Victorian teenage strike-leaders, to the unstoppable East End Sisters Uncut.
Take a look at the talks from our ‘East End Women Take Action’ day below:
2. Teenagers through history
We wanted to ask teenagers what they’d seen about people their own age in museums, so we trialled a new workshop with, you guessed it, teenagers. We introduced them to some teenagers from east London’s past, including boxer Annie Newton and dance sensation Josie Woods and they responded with wisdom and awesome comics:
3. Finding a Suffragette’s first name
When co-founder Sarah was researching her book on East London Suffragettes, the name of one of the movement’s most prominent activists was elusive. The activist and brush-seller who brought her brushes to Parliament, to show the Prime Minister was known on the record only by her husband’s name.
Through her family, we’ve since discovered that her name was Jane, or Jinny, Savoy. Sometimes it’s something as small as a first name that makes us feel closer to these women and their stories. We were honoured when Jane’s descendant, Michelle Ballard, added her story to our collection:
4. Marching at Cable Street
East End Women’s Museum started as a response to more recent events on Cable Street – so it was an honour to be invited to march to commemorate the anti-fascist demonstration which took place there in 1936.
Our small Women’s History bloc was inspired by the banners of suffragettes, protesters and trade unions. We made our own, to represent and to celebrate the role women have played in fighting racism in east London. Find out more about the women who fought the fascists on Cable Street, 80 years ago:
5. Your support!
We had to give our Crowdfunder an honourable mention – with your support, we were able to reach our target in just three days. It’s been a real boost to have our project met with such generosity and goodwill. You guys keep us going, especially when the paperwork gets extra-dense!
If you haven’t seen our campaign, yet, here’s a little video about why representation matters, when it comes to women in our museums:
But we’re not finished! The appeal stays open throughout Women’s History Month: please consider donating – every penny counts.
We couldn’t have got this far without you – and with your continued support, we’ll be back on this day next year to bring you even more women’s histories from east London.
- Still looking for things to do this Women’s History Month? Check out our Events Page