We are really looking forward to celebrating International Women’s Day with other Labour women, friends and neighbours in Newham next Saturday. International Women’s Day will be commemorated at UN headquarters in New York on the 7 March, on the eve of the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which begins on 10 March. Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. It has become an annual rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the social, political and economic arenas.
Crucially, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. Newham itself has a strong and proud history of Labour women pushing for equality, progress and proportionality in leadership positions. It includes Susan Lawrence, the first Labour MP elected in 1923 for what was then known as East Ham North, and one of the first three female Labour MPs ever elected; and Daisy Parsons MBE, an ardent suffragette supporting the right for women to vote and who was elected the first female Mayor for West Ham in 1936.
The Women’s Wonderland will continue this legacy by celebrating the strong women in our community who are mothers, carers, leaders and providing that space for women to have their say on local political priorities and also discover some of the local volunteering opportunities in the community.
It’s completely free and you don’t have to be political. You can come for a facial or a massage and a cup of tea. You can also join our book club and find out more about the Labour Party. Most of all, this is just a chance to have some fun.There will be a kids corner with face-painting and free health advice from professionals from Queen Mary University. The health team will be raising awareness about various forms of cancer and how to spot early signs.
“There is no better place to celebrate International Women’s Day than West Ham”, said Labour MP, Lyn Brown. “We have women from all over the world here, and they bring a stunning array of skills which will be on offer on 8th March – whether its Indian Head Massage or cooking masterclasses. I’m also proud of how our West Ham women contribute to the community by running charities, acting as school governors and helping to make our borough a better place. This event is a celebration of them. ”
WH Labour Women’s Forum will also be taking the opportunity of the event to raise money for women affected by the Syrian crisis. Local Labour Party member, Veronica Oakeshott said “It is our way of showing solidarity with our sisters from Syria, many of whom are living in dire conditions in neighbouring countries, without their husbands and brothers. We hope a gift from West Ham’s women will be a reminder that they haven’t been forgotten.”
Women’s Wonderland will be held on 8th March from 1-4pm at Vicarage Lane Community Centre. No entrance ticket is needed.
Seyi Akiwowo, West Ham Labour Women’s Officer & Charlene McLean Chair of West Ham CLP