Celebrate Women's History Month

Sarah Chapman

Sarah Chapman

A diverse range of events including talks, documentaries, exhibitions and health and wellbeing days will celebrate women’s contributions to society and focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment as the council joins community groups to mark International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month 2019.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2019 on 8 March is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”.

Across Tower Hamlets, the council will run a week of events and activities from 4-10 March in partnership with community arts group Alternative Arts, following the theme of ‘gender equality.

International Women’s Day will also mark the launch and preview of the exhibition Sarah Chapman, Match Girl – the story of a strike leader.

Hosted at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, until March 29, the exhibition illustrates the life of this lesser-known political leader who was among factory workers who met with the directors of Bryant & May and courageously argued for better terms and working conditions.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “We are delighted to be hosting and supporting a wide range of events which highlight and celebrate the social, economic, political and cultural achievements of women in Tower Hamlets.

This year’s theme reminds us that we need to continue to make every effort to attain gender equality in every aspect of our community and society.” 

From 4 -10 March, leisure centres in Tower Hamlets will run special sessions for women and girls, many of which are free and discounted. Activities include netball, badminton, basketball competition, short tennis, football, aerobics, body conditioning, taster swimming lessons, circuits, massage, and hair and beauty sessions.

Other highlights this March include an evening with Cate Tuitt, who became the first female black councillor in Tower Hamlets in 1996. Ms Tuitt started out as an activist in the 1980s, campaigning to investigate racial discrimination and deaths in police custody.

Join us at the Local History Library on Thursday 14 March from 6.30pm-7.30pm for what promises to be a fantastic discussion of reflection and insight.

Councillor Amina Ali, Cabinet Member for Culture, Arts and Brexit said: ”Women in Tower Hamlets make important contributions to our community, to our workplaces and to our future. I encourage residents to come along to Women’s History Month events and join in the many conversations about gender equality.”

Other events throughout the month include:

Celebration of Women

An exhibition by local art group Art 4u2, a collective of artists from beginners to advanced who meet regularly to draw and paint. The exhibition shows different aspects that the group has looked at whilst studying portraits of women, the moods, trials and tribulations of being a woman, plus myth and legends and the women we look up to. 

Mon 4 Mar 19 - Fri 29 Mar 19.

Brady Arts and Community Centre, 192-196 Hanbury Street, London, E1 5HU

International Older Women in Art Celebration

Three Tower Hamlets based artists, all women over the age of 45, will be running workshops in art, photography and digital art at an event supported by the Council with a small grant from our Event Fund. 

Residents who have experienced loneliness, abuse and isolation will be able to join these workshops, learning how to use art to cope with stress. 
Fri 8 Mar 19, 1-3pm.

Tredegar Centre, 333 Morville Street, London E3 2DZ and Idea Store Bow, 1 Gladstone Place, E3


Women:  A success story – a liberating tale for a new generation.

A documentary film showing with a Q&A session with director Ceri Dingle.

The film documents the great advances made by women over the past 100 years. Forged as a timeline, interwoven with archive, 40 women give their perspective from across the generations.

Tues 19 March 6.30pm

Idea Store Whitechapel


Talk: Discovering Sarah Chapman by Sam Johnson and Anna Robinson

Thursday 21 March 6.30-7.45

Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, 277 Bancroft Rd, E1 4DQ


Have women achieved equality in the workplace?

Angelina Leatherbarrow a business development manager, and Hasina Zaman who became one of the first young women of Bangladeshi heritage to work for Tower Hamlets Council as a youth and community worker, sports leader and later on as a welfare advisor in the early 1980’s, will explore how far gender roles have changed and the impact the Women’s Lives Matters campaign has had on equality.

Thurs 21 March 6.30 - 8pm

Idea Store Watney Market

See the full programme of Women’s History Month events including Local History Library and Idea Store listings here

View the council’s week-long programme of free sport and leisure activities or call 07956 456 743 / 07956 241 789 for more information.


Posted on Tuesday 26th February 2019