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Striking a Light: celebrating women in trade unions

Submitted by on February 21, 2011 – 9:54 amNo Comment

The Working Class Movement Library is holding an event to mark the centenary of International Women’s Day on Saturday 5 March 2011, at 2pm. Admission is free and the full address of the library is 51 Crescent, Salford, M5 4WX.

Speakers will be Louise Raw and Lynn Collins and the event will be chaired by Bernadette Hyland.

Louise will speak about the Matchwomen’s Strike of 1888. Lynn will speak about women in trade unions today.

In the summer of 1888, 1,400 matchwomen walked out of the Bryant & May’s factory and into history The story of this unexpectedly successful strike is well-known; yet the matchwomen themselves are curiously silent in it.

Louise’s own experience as a trade union activist led her to question this version of events. In a ten-year search for the women behind the myths, she met and interviewed people who had known them and wrote a book, Striking a Light, published in 2009.

Lynn Collins is Regional Official (FE) for the University and College Union in the North West. She has been a trade union activist all her working life and has previously served on the TUC Women’s Committee and represented the TUC in Europe and on the Government’s soon to be abolished Women’s National Commission. She lives in Liverpool with her two children.

The event will be chaired by Bernadette Hyland who is a political activist and shop steward for UNITE.

International Women’s Day was first celebrated on 19 March 1911 following a resolution proposed by two German Socialists, Luise Zietz and Clara Zetkin, at the Socialist Women’s conference in Copenhagen the previous year. In the years since it has developed into a major celebration in many parts of the world and was given new life by the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1970s.

Every year on International Women’s Day the Working Class Movement Library celebrates the work and achievements of women in the labour, socialist and feminist movements of the past 200 years.

More information at www.wcml.org.uk
Email: enquiries@wcml.org.uk
Telephone: 0161 7363601

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