Make it Happen: International Woman’s Day, politics and democracy
On Monday 9 March Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council hosted a morning for women aged 14 to 19 to explore the theme ‘Make it Happen: women in politics and democracy’ through workshops and talks. The event was part of the wider celebration of International Woman’s Day.
Approximately 50 local young women attended along with female councillors and senior officers. The highlight of the morning was a keynote speech from Eleanor Mills, Chair of Women in Journalism and editorial director and columnist of the Sunday Times. Eleanor talked about the importance of young people voting and reminded them what the suffragettes went through to get the vote for women.
The workshops included ‘Women in politics, suffrage, bite the ballot’ which was run by Polly Trenow, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer, Fawcett Society, a campaigning workshop run by Barbara Ntumy, Women’s Officer, National Union of Students and a special talk about women and girls’ participation in sport from Julie Edwards, Relationship Manager, Community Sport at UK Sport.
“International Woman’s Day is an important opportunity to take stock of the role of all women, in every aspect of society.
“This year we explored the theme of women in politics and democracy, a subject that is very close to my heart. The event included debates and workshops useful to the young adults who attended, and hopefully gave them an opportunity to have their diverse voices and viewpoints heard, and inspire them with the confidence to get involved in politics and democracy themselves locally in Camden, regionally and nationally.
“I would especially like to thank Eleanor Mills for taking the time to come along and speak. Her insight into the role of women in politics has proven to be one of the highlights of the day and a great way to get everyone thinking and contributing to the event.”
Eleanor Mills said: “It saddens me that so many young women do not think politics is for them. We need more young women to vote. Women that came before you have fought hard for the freedoms and rights you have today. You must not think that all those battles are won – it is a journey and it is up to your generation to keep on fighting for equality between men and women, otherwise we will start to go backwards.”
Yasmin Abdel from Maria Fidelis School said: “I found the event inspiring today. I especially liked the Fawcett Society workshop on spending the Government’s budget, it taught me where my money goes and helped me understand how important it is to vote and that one vote really does make a difference.”