Forthcoming events at The Women’s Library (London, UK)

October to December 2011 Listings



All Work and Low Pay: The Story of Women and Work
28 October 2011 – 4 April 2012, Free

Most women have always worked, in paid jobs or in the home, but their work has consistently been unrecognised and undervalued. This exhibition shows the extraordinary range of jobs done by women over the past 150 years, from forging iron chains to assembling fine electrical components. It highlights the campaigns for equal pay and fair working conditions led by pioneering activists and supported by trade unions.


Archival Tales: Uncovering Inter-war Black Histories
6 October – , Free

The display explores the ways in which black individuals and histories either appear in or are absent from the records of various women’s rights organisations and individual campaigners. It presents and interrogates documents relating to or referencing Indian and African anti-colonial activism; empire, gender and race; racism against black dockworkers; and the nature of everyday and political interactions between black and white individuals.


South African Women’s Writing: Gillian Slovo and June Bam-Hutchison
Wednesday 12 October, 7pm (90 mins)£8 / £6 concessions

Renowned writer Gillian Slovo will talk about her books including ‘Every Secret Thing: My Family, My Country’ and ‘Red Dust’, giving insights into her childhood in South Africa and her relationship with her parents, the well known activists in the South African struggle. June Bam-Hutchison reads from her book ‘Peeping Through the Reeds’, based on real events, a fictional story narrated by a young girl Tumelo, growing up in apartheid era South Africa.

Dancing Girls of Bombay:The True Price of Women’s Rights in India
Wednesday 19th October, 6.30pm (90 mins)£5

What is life like for the bar dancers of Bombay? To their unwitting patrons, they are the ultimate symbol of female seduction and empowerment. To those who own them however, they are a form of currency and dark dealings. Journalist Sonia Faleiro journeyed into this dark and damaged world in 2005, and ‘Beautiful Thing’ is her vivid, intimate account of her five-year journey. At its heart is the story of dancer Leela: beautiful, sharp, yet completely devoid of self-pity. Sonia will be joined by Guardian journalist Anitha Sethi and Surina Narula, CSC President of The Consortium for Street Children, to discuss the wider issues of prostitution and the sex slave industry in Bombay.


FAWCETT LECTURE: Baroness Helene Hayman
Tuesday 1 November, 7pm (90 mins) £8

Baroness Hayman gives this year’s annual Fawcett Lecture. Baroness Hayman was the first female Speaker of the House of Lords and has been heavily involved with health issue campaigns. She was one of the founding members of the Maternity Alliance, the papers of which are held in the Women’s Library collections


Cut in all Ways: The Impact on Equality
Wednesday 9 November, 7pm (90 mins)£8 / £6 concessions

This discussion looks at those who are most affected by the impacts of the recession. Join the panel to find out why more needs to be done to ensure equality issues are not undermined in austere times. Guest speakers include Diane Abbott MP; Anna Bird, Acting Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society and Sarah Veale CBE, TUC Head of Equality and Employment Rights

FAMILY EVENT: Strike a Light!
Saturday 12 November, 12.30pm and 2pm, Free

Join this fun family day and take part in an interactive storytelling session. Find out what it was like to work as a match girl, what made them decide to strike, and what it was like for the employers at Bryant and May who had to deal with the striking girls. You will also get a chance to see how many matchboxes you can make!


The Politics of Recovery: Researching Black and Asian Histories
Wednesday 16 November, 7pm (90 mins) £8 / £6 concessions

This panel discussion will focus on histories relating to the Black and Asian diaspora and women’s history in modern Britain. Historians Caroline Bressey, and Rozina Visram, join exhibition curator Gemma Romain to discuss their experiences of researching in archives and share some of their research findings on the subject of black Britain in the early twentieth century.



Gertrude Tuckwell: ‘Lose not those things that we have wrought’
Wednesday 7 December, 7pm (80 mins) £8 / £6 concessions

To mark 150 years since the birth of Gertrude Tuckwell (1861-1951), join us to celebrate the life of this remarkable woman. Tuckwell led the Women’s Trade Union League from 1896- 1921 and campaigned for many issues including women’s political and employment rights, anti-sweating campaigns, equal pay, health and safety and union organisation. Join Catherine Hunt, Coventry University and Chris Coates, TUC Library Collections to celebrate her life.

Notes to Editors

These event are being held at: The Women’s Library, Old Castle Street, London E1 7NT

Press tours: Contact sophie.scott to arrange a special tour of the exhibition
Venue: The Women's Library, London Metropolitan University, Old Castle Street, London E1 7NT 
Nearest Tube: Aldgate/Aldgate East
Opening times: Monday to Friday 9.30am-5.30pm (Thursday until 8pm); Saturday 10am-4pm; closed Sunday. 


For PRESS information, quotes or images please contact sophie.scottl at

The Women’s Library, London Metropolitan University on 0207 320 2222 or via moreinfo (Details not for publication).

Established in 1926, The Women’s Library is an archive, museum and library housing one of the greatest collections of women’s history in the world. It is part of London Metropolitan University, one of the foremost providers of undergraduate, postgraduate, professional and vocational education and training in Britain.

Companies Act 2006 : 

Oct_Dec2011 Lisitngs.doc