Celebrations for Women's History Month

Brady Arts Centre - We Stand Together - photo -¬ Moyra Peralta

A portrait from the We Stand Together exhibition

Tower Hamlets Council will host a series of events including exhibitions, advice and information sessions, discussions, sport and more to celebrate International Women's Day, International Women's Week and Women's History Month this March.

Focusing on the theme of gender equality and the collective responsibility of individuals, organisations and communities to help to create a gender equal world, events will also celebrate women’s contributions to society and encourage everyone to make a difference.

In partnership with community organisation Alternative Arts, the council will hold a week of events from 7 - 14 March on the theme of Women and Power. Activities will look at women’s current position in 21st century society and how to bring about much needed change for the benefit of everyone.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “This month of celebrations help to highlight the many social, political, economic and cultural achievements of women in Tower Hamlets. They also remind us of our responsibility as individuals and a community to take action that fosters equality for all.”

Other events throughout March will take a fresh view of the world, looking at the courageous and creative women of the past to inspire us to make a difference using our power and influence now and into the future.

For the first time, an exhibition at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives will look at the perspectives of the women and girls involved in the Bethnal Green Tube disaster, including survivor Babs Clark. The Bethnal Green Tube Disaster saw the Second World War’s biggest single loss of civilian life in the UK.

On 3 March 1943, when the air-raid warnings sounded, residents headed to Bethnal Green underground station, their local air-raid shelter since 1940. But tragically that night, the entrance to the station became blocked and 173 people were crushed to death, including 84 women and 36 girls. The exhibition which runs until 4 April 2020, has been curated by the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust for Women’s History Month.

On Thursday 12 March, the Local History Library will welcome author Joyce Hampton. She will take visitors on a journey through the 20th century, exploring the impact on Bethnal Green of two world wars and how social changes affected local families and women in particular.

Councillor Sabina Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Culture and Arts, said: “We are delighted to partner with Alternative Arts and other organisations to host and support a wide range of events which highlight and celebrate the important contributions women make to our community, to our workplaces and to our future.

I encourage residents of all genders, ages and backgrounds to attend the events, take inspiration and act on the many conversations about empowering gender equality.”

As part of International Women’s Week, the council’s sports development team will host a programme of sport and physical activity for women and girls including basketball, swimming, trampolining, yoga, football and more across the borough.

Further event information:

  • The Bethnal Green Tube Disaster: A Women’s Perspective, Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, Monday 2 March - Saturday 4 April.
  • ‘We Stand Together’ – Women’s Photographs of Women 1970s – 2020, Monday 2 - Friday 28 March, The Brady Arts Centre, 192 - 196 Hanbury Street, E1 5HU. This exhibition brings together women photographers who have been photographing the lives of women in the East End from the 1970s to the present day as part of Women’s History Month.
  • Further information on International Women’s Week in partnership with Alternative Arts can be found on the Alternative Arts website
  • A Century of Life in Bethnal Green: Women and two World Wars, Thursday 12 March, 6pm - 7.45pm, Local History Library & Archives. Booking required. Please email localhistory@towerhamlets.gov.uk
  • In search of the matriarch of Russia Lane: An evening with Kate Thompson, Thursday 19 March, 6pm - 7.30pm, Local History Library & Archives. The ever-popular author Kate Thompson will join local resident Sarah Richards for an engaging discussion revealing the richness, power and complexity of the life of a Bethnal Green matriarch. Booking required. Please email localhistory@towerhamlets.gov.uk
Posted on Wednesday 26th February 2020