The fight for women’s equality is a thread that flows through People’s History Museum (PHM) so, because the museum won’t be able to open its doors for people to seek out these stories on International Women’s Day (Monday 8 March 2021), the team has put together a host of inspiring ways to explore them from home.
Jenny Mabbott, Head of Collections & Engagement at People’s History Museum, says, “Women have been marching through history helping to create a fairer and more equal world, but not all get the recognition that they deserve. This International Women’s Day, and throughout the month of March when Women’s History Month is marked, we are sharing some of these stories in lots of different and easily accessible ways to fire the imagination of the change makers of the future.”
Two of PHM’s Community Programme Team, Muliana Adjamian and Agnes Fough (pictured) have created an International Women’s Day tour of the museum’s galleries that looks beyond some of history’s well known female political figures to tell some of the lesser known accounts of radical women who have contributed to the battle for the ballot and the fight for equality and rights. These are women who migrated to the UK and their stories are being highlighted by women who themselves have experienced migration. The highlights will be shared on PHM’s Instagram on International Women’s Day (Monday 8 March 2021).
Those featured on the tour include Jayaben Desai, an Asian migrant from east Africa who led a strike for almost two years that sought union recognition at the Grunwick film processing factory in London in the 1970s. Lockdown essential reading can be done on Jayaben’s legacy in this very personal blog by PHM Co-Chair of Trustees Lord Steve Bassam here.
Taking a walk and listening to a podcast have become two lockdown companions and the perfect listen along during the month of March is PHM’s Represent! Voices 100 Years On podcast series. Each of the six episodes, all of which are presented by suffrage expert Helen Antrobus, covers a different aspect of the votes for women campaign and the ongoing quest for women to achieve representation, by focusing on the exhibits that featured in PHM’s award winning 2018 exhibition, Represent! Voices 100 Years On. Listen here.
One of PHM’s treasures, the Manchester suffragette banner, is something to seek International Women’s Day inspiration from. Part of the museum’s collection since 2017, it is one of the world’s most iconic suffragette banners. PHM’s Head of Collections & Engagement shares a behind the scenes insight into this special object here. And for recommended watching you can see the banner with Professor Alice Roberts on Channel 4’s Britain’s Most Historic Towns here.
Young change makers are encouraged to step away from their computer screens and let their creativity flow in their own Doodle Den. Step one is to build your den, with a table, sheets and cushions a good start for an indoor creation, then with your drawing materials to hand its time to pick a resource. Equal Pay and Votes for All are perfect for those looking for themes that focus on radical women. The full collection of resources, which are designed for anyone over 5, are available to download. here.
Online orders can be made from PHM shop, which is full of products influenced by People’s History Museum’s collections. Amongst the gifts, books, posters, children’s range, artwork and T-shirts available are products inspired by the women’s equality movement.
The doors of PHM might be closed at present due to the national lockdown, but there are still lots of ways to be a part of the world of the national museum of democracy, including Ideas Worth Exploring. Many of the events are free and some have a small charge, but are designed to be fully accessible to all with lower price tickets for those on low incomes and free tickets to those who are unwaged or seeking asylum. You can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to receive PHM’s e-newsletter, subscribing to the blog, or following the museum on social media on Twitter @PHMMcr, Facebook @PHMMcr, and Instagram @phmmcr.