1 October 2021Feature

An extract from a speech at the recent event 'Greenham 40th: Feminist Peace - opposing violence, militarism and war'

‘Greenham 40th: Feminist Peace – opposing violence, militarism and war’ was one of the many events organised by Greenham Women Everywhere this autumn to mark the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in 1981. These events included an online series of ‘Weaving the Web/inar’ meetings organised by Greenham campaigners.

The ‘feminist peace’ webinar included local and international speakers involved in Women in Black (WiB) in conversation about the…

28 September 2020Review

Granta, 2019; 192pp; £12.99

In the afterword to this, her latest collection of essays, Rebecca Solnit describes her book as ‘in a sense, transcripts of my side of some conversations with the society around me as it undergoes tumultuous changes, with the changemakers winning some remarkable battles against the forces trying to protect the most malevolent parts of the status quo as it crumbles away’. These include both ‘seismic activity in feminism, racial justice, climate action’ (among other movements) and ‘changing…

1 October 2019Review

Verso, 2019; 96pp; £7.99

This pocket-sized book, in matt rainbow covers, presents itself as a desirable object to read, Instagram and pass on. It also fulfils the serious promise of its subtitle, ‘a manifesto’, as it makes feminism generally applicable and available – and addresses the crisis of capitalism as a feminist issue.

It opens by contrasting two demands. The chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, has called for women to ‘lean in’ – to project confidence and seize opportunities in…

1 August 2019Review

Chatto & Windus, 2019; 432pp; £16.99

Caroline Criado Perez is the one who got a lot of stick for having the audacity to suggest it might be nice to have a famous woman on a UK banknote. Poor menfolk smelt the end of the patriarchy if they allowed this terrible idea to come to fruition, leading to her receiving a tsunami of abuse on social media, including threats of rape and murder.

But this book isn’t about banknotes. Rather, it’s about how the world is designed with men in mind (who knew?) and how women – even when…

1 April 2019Comment

Our columnist takes on the lack of abortion rights in Northern Ireland

Years ago, I would on occasion have this conversation with my mother. ‘I think British troops should not be in Northern Ireland, clearly the north of Ireland is part of the island of Ireland and it should be one country’.

She would answer: ‘Ah, but you see the UK are in Northern Ireland to protect the rights of the women there to obtain divorce and contraception.’ She honestly believed that, and I didn’t know enough about it to contradict her.

I remember thinking it wasn’t…

1 April 2019Letter

I’m a psychology student at Liverpool Hope University. I’ve created a survey looking at the relationship between body image and social media, objectification, empowerment and feminism. I’m trying to understand women’s opinions on their own body image.

This survey is only for women who are 18 and over and from the UK and Italy. It would be wonderful you could share it around:

1 April 2019Review

Pluto Press, 2018; 336pp; £19.99

Drawing on her own archives, interviews and experiences, Louise Toupin recounts, from a Canadian perspective, the beginnings (in 1972) of the now-famous global feminist movement, Wages for Housework. In ’70s Quebec, Toupin reports, women couldn’t serve on juries, rape was a crime only outside marriage, and contraception was difficult to obtain.

As Wages for Housework would frame it, the majority of women (60 percent in Canada, 72 percent in Italy) stayed at home, providing a…

1 April 2019News

Six million women join Spanish protests

Two major flashpoints on International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March came in Turkey and in Spain.

In contrast to previous years, the Turkish government announced beforehand that no IWD demonstration would be allowed on Istanbul’s central shopping street, Istiklal Avenue.

Thousands of women gathered in Taksim Square anyway and faced riot police firing tear gas and using dogs to break up the protest.

In Spain, the two largest unions, the CCOO and the UGT,…

1 February 2019Comment

‘But I dare, I want, can I? Yes, I dare, go and want!’

On 24 October 1975, 90 percent of Iceland’s female population participated in a full day strike. Paid and unpaid work was not done.

At the time, women who worked outside of the home earned less than 60 percent of what men earned.

Many industries shut down for the day as a result. There was no telephone service and newspapers were not printed since the typesetters were all women. Theatres shut down for the day as actresses refused to work.

The majority of teachers were…

16 August 2018Blog entry

Esme Needham reviews Tessa Boase's new book Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Feather

Tessa Boase
Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Feather: Fashion, Fury and Feminism – Women's Fight for Change
Aurum Press, 2018; 336pp; £20

If you asked someone who had never read or heard anything about the origins of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) who they thought might have founded it, the chances are they would guess something along the lines of ‘some well-meaning elderly man who was opposed to the…

1 August 2018News

Processions in Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff and London commemorate 100th anniversary of suffrage victory

Everywoman goes to Cardiff. Photo: Lynne Dickens

On 10 June, there were processions of women and girls in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London to commemorate the centenary of the Representation of the People Act that gave the first British women the right to vote.

Carried on these processions were 100 centenary banners, made by 100 women artists who had been invited to create them by working with communities across the UK.

As a textile artist, I make my own work for…

1 August 2018Comment

Why is the Trump administration praising women's activism in Iran?

It’s hard to believe that a man who openly bragged about sexually assaulting women cares much about women’s rights (it’s even harder to believe that such a man should be elected president but there we are). So it comes as a bit of a surprise to hear of the Trump administration praising a growing women’s movement in Iran.

Women in Tehran have been protesting against the compulsory wearing of the hijab by publicly removing their headscarves and standing in a public place. Now…

1 August 2018Review

Zed Books, 2018, rev ed; 268pp; £9.99

Empowering women is clearly one way in which we may be able to stop climate change: not because women are more nurturing or caring but because more people equals better ideas, and because your success is never sharper than when working with other humans of many different kinds.

As a general overview of what some women have achieved in the field, Why Women Will Save the Planet should be useful to activists and non-activists alike. While there are some inspiring examples of…

1 June 2018Comment

Claire Poyner responds to the backlash

Inevitably there’s been a bit of a backlash against the #MeToo movement, and sadly not just from the mainstream media, or from ‘Men’s Rights Activists’ either.

Some women who identify as feminist have declared that some of the ‘minor’ abuse women get shouldn’t be conflated with more serious charges such as rape. So some man had demanded a view of your more intimate regions of your body? Get over it! Grow up! That’s life! Don’t be a victim! Give him what for back! (Just a quick…

1 June 2018Review

Profile Books, 2017; 128pp; £7.99

After reading this book, at first I was confused about the title: there didn’t appear to be a manifesto in it at all. Then gradually it dawned on me – the entire book is a manifesto, and a powerful one.

Mary Beard makes so many deeply perceptive points throughout the book that I found myself memorising page numbers to refer back to in case I ever wanted to quote her on anything.

The book is divided into two sections, both of which are lectures she has given – the first…