1 April 2024Feature

The hidden history of the Welsh Women's Peace Petition

Imagine setting out today, in 2024, to launch a petition, inviting all women over the age of 18 living in Wales to sign. Then, imagine succeeding in gathering 390,296 signatures. Then, imagine a war-less world and a world free from the trafficking of women and children, drugs and weapons. 

All wonders difficult to imagine. But without the imagining, such ideals can never be realised. This is the kind of imagining that comes from hope – if we understand hope, not as sitting back,…

1 February 2024Review

Pluto Press, 2023; 248pp; £16.99

From Che Guevara to Gandhi and Lenin, revolutionaries and historians of revolutions have tended to focus on so-called ‘Great Men’.

She Who Struggles is an admirable attempt to correct this imbalance, an edited collection highlighting women who played key roles in revolutionary, anti-colonial and socialist struggles during the twentieth century, including in Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Kurdistan, Mali and Palestine.

‘Within these movements, women’s liberation was often placed as…

1 February 2024Review

Alona Pardo, Re/Sisters: A Lens on Gender and Ecology: Prestel, 2023, 320pp; £45 Women in Revolt!: Art and Activism in the UK 1970 – 90: Tate Britain; until 7 April; £17/£5; www.tate.org.uk Linsey Youngl, Women in Revolt!: Art and Activism in the UK 1970 – 90: Tate Publishing, 2023; 304pp; £35

When I was 14, in the winter of 1978, I travelled down to London from the north-west with my mum to see the Dada and Surrealism Reviewed exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. It remains my number one gallery experience.

45 years later, not one but two seminal feminist exhibitions in London have elbowed their way into my all-time gallery Top 10.

The last edition of PN profiled the remarkable Re/Sisters exhibition at the Barbican, which closed on 14…

1 December 2023Feature

A sneak-peak of a new exhibition at The Barbican

Erica Smith writes: In the book which accompanies Re/Sisters, Anna Feigenbaum defines three categories of eco-feminist: web weavers, tree huggers and water defenders. Feigenbaum suggests that the term ‘tree hugger’ dates back to 1730 when villagers in Bishoi, Kherjarli in northern India sacrificed their lives to save trees being cut down to build a new palace for the maharaja of Jodhpur. 250 years later, in the early 1970s, women from villages in the Garhwal Himalayas, northern…

1 August 2022Comment

'The clocks are turning back now, and everyone must add their voice to the chorus'

Just as the election of Trump caused ripples of increased racism and misogyny the whole world over, so the overturning of Roe v Wade by the US supreme court on 24 June has empowered those who seek to restrict women’s access to reproductive healthcare far beyond the borders of the USA.

In Scotland, there has been a sharp and necessary increase in campaigning to introduce buffer zones around reproductive health centres so that women do not have to face harassment when accessing…

1 December 2019Blog

Esme Needham reviews the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition about the women who helped to create the Pre-Raphaelite style

There were seven of them, to begin with. Seven expensively-educated young men from wealthy families, whose decision to pioneer a new art style sparked an artistic craze which continued for decades. Whatever you know of Pre-Raphaelite art, the chances are that you have images you associate with it: Dante Gabriel Rossetti's baleful “Proserpine”, perhaps, or John Everett Millais's “Ophelia”, covered in flowers and staring helplessly at the sky. Images of women were always at the heart of the…

1 June 2019Review

Lawrence & Wishart, 2018; 226pp; £18

In August 1976, women employed at the Grunwick photo processing plant in north west London walked out on strike. 30 years later, in 2006, women employees at Gate Gourmet, a factory that prepared in-flight meals for British Airways, also walked out.

This book describes how these two groups of women were led to take industrial action – and their subsequent betrayal by the trade unions. Their stories are set against an academic account of migrant settlement, work and family life in the…

1 June 2017News in Brief

On 27 April, US radical website AlterNet listed ‘The Top 10 Resistance Victories in Trump’s First 100 Days’ (written by John Cavanagh, Sarah Anderson and Domenica Ghanem).

Among other things, AlterNet pointed out that the massive Women’s March in January ‘changed everything’.

Newly-elected Democratic Congress member Jamie Raskin told them: ‘When we first got sworn in on 3 January, a lot of the Democrats were saying that we had to give Trump’s agenda a chance and confessed to…

13 March 2017Blog

Ian Sinclair interviews activist and author Robert Jensen about his latest book The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men (Spinifex Press, 2017)

Ian Sinclair: How does radical feminism differ from other forms of feminism?

Robert Jensen: First, by radical feminism I mean the understanding that men’s subordination of women is a product of patriarchy and that the ultimate goal of feminism is the end of patriarchy’s gender system, not merely liberal accommodation with the system. Second, radical feminism is central to the larger problem of hierarchy and the domination/subordination dynamics in other arenas of human life;…

1 February 2017News

Over 5 million march on seven continents

London, 21 Jan. Photo: Gabrielle Lewry

Women’s marches on 21 January took place on seven continents and involved over five million marchers, according to the organisers of the Women’s March on Washington, to show that ‘women’s rights are human rights’ and more: ‘We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.’

There were marches in Antarctica, Belarus, Botswana, the Congo, Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Macau,…

1 February 2017Review

MFBooks Joburg, 2015; 192pp; South African R220

South African professor Pumla Dineo Gqola’s latest book comes without any trigger warnings. Frank and affecting, it demands more attention be given to reducing the frequency of gender-based assaults and eventually the eradication of such violence altogether. In contrast to publications such as Nina Burrowes’ The Courage To Be Me, which may offer comfort and support for victims/survivors, this book instead challenges the behavioural patterns and ideologies in our societies that…

28 September 2014Review

Jonathan Cape, 2014; 192pp; £16.99


Most people in Britain, I suspect, know little or nothing about women’s struggle for the vote here. For those who know a little, I would guess that the suffragettes would be top of the list of recognised names, followed by Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Wilding-Davidson.

They might also recognise the name of the non-militant suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett, but that’s probably about it. Sally Heathcote Suffragette…

28 September 2014Feature

Another story-poster from PN's 'The World is My Country' project

The Women's Peace Crusade, 1916-1918
by Emily Johns

The Women’s Peace Crusade was '[t]he first truly popular campaign [in Britain], linking feminism and anti-militarism’ (Jill Liddington).

3 April 2014Comment

The Women's Peace Congress

Some of the best-known images of women during the First World War show them engaged in work previously done mainly by men: driving buses, delivering post, toiling on the land and working long hours in the munitions factories and shipyards. The images reflect the reality, namely that thousands of women, despite not having the vote, felt it was their duty to help a nation at war.

However, these images do not tell the whole story. Not so well recorded is the fact that considerable…

3 April 2014News

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day in Aberystwyth. Photo: Jaci Taylor

International Women’s Day Eve, 7 March 2014: an ominous crowd, women dressed overwhelmingly in black, gathers behind the Old College of Aberystwyth overlooking the sea and the setting sun. Such a gathering has never taken place here before: these women plan to Reclaim the Night.

Reclaim the Night marches are a tried-and-tested way of building solidarity and sisterhood. There is something oddly exhilarating about loudly…