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Women’s Voice members with their seafront posters

50 years – and still waiting

If you’re out for a stroll along Hastings seafront, keep an eye open for a series of posters running the length of the seafront from the town centre to just beyond London Road. The posters, which were commissioned by Women’s Voice, mark the 50th anniversary of the first national Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM) Conference, which was held at Ruskin College, Oxford, in 1970. Ann Kramer,  chair of Women’s Voice, explains.

“That first Women’s Liberation Movement conference was a key landmark in women’s fights for their rights. It kick-started the arrival of second-wave feminism and the highly influential British women’s liberation movement and Women’s Voice felt we really need to mark the 50th anniversary.

“Out of that conference came four key demands: equal pay for equal work; equal education and opportunities; free childcare; and free contraception and abortion on demand. Each of the demands is visualised on the posters.

“Significantly, however, although women have achieved a great deal since then, the fact is that 50 years on we are still waiting for those demands to be fully realised. There is still a huge gender pay gap; women do not have the same educational and social opportunities as men; there is no national system of universal free child care, and austerity cuts have seriously impacted access to free contraception and abortion on demand.

“The reality is that women, particularly BAME women, remain profoundly disadvantaged in our society and there is still a great deal to fight for.”

The posters, designed and created by local artist Jen Painter, will be displayed along the seafront for about another week. Copies are available if anyone would like to make a donation to the cost of their production and display. To make a donation and receive a copy of the poster, please contact Women’s Voice on hastingswomensvoice@yahoo.com

The arrival of the posters also marks the launch of Women’s Voice’s revamped and updated website. Ann explains: “Naturally with Covid restrictions in place and with concern for public health, Women’s Voice is not organising public events at the moment.

“However we are very much still here and still campaigning for local women. We meet regularly via Zoom and have been concentrating on using our website and forms of social media to highlight issues of importance to women, such as providing links to help for women experiencing or at risk of domestic violence.”

Any women wishing to contact Women’s Voice can do so via the Women’s Voice Facebook page or email: hastingswomensvoice@yahoo.com

Posted 18:50 Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 In: Campaigns

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