People have done it before…we can do it again.
This methodology isn’t new in the UK. It’s called community organising, and lots of women have done this before. Take the story of Lilian Bilocca:
In 1926, Lillian Bilocca was born in Hull and like a lot of local people, her life was intertwined with the local fishing industry. Her dad, husband and son all worked at sea on the Hull fishing trawlers and Lilian herself worked onshore, filleting the catch like her mother had done before her.
In early 1968, over the course of three weeks, Lilian's community was hit by the Hull triple trawler tragedy, resulting in 58 deaths. This wasn’t just sad, it was unjust, these tragediesThey were preventable if they had had certain safety equipment and enough people on board. After the second trawler was lost at sea, Lilian is said to have turned to her daughter and said ‘enough is enough!’.
Instead of feeling hopeless, Lilian turned her rage and pain into power…
A shortened timeline of some feminist change in the UK
Equal Pay Fight Begins
The first recorded fight for equal pay with men in women card setters in Yorkshire and Women Power Loom Weavers Association in Glasgow.
Custody of Infants Act
Before this act, men would often have automatic custody of their children when marriages broke down. Due to the campaigning of divorced mothers, this act allowed mothers to petition the courts for custody or access to their children.
The London Nine
Nine women were the first to face a ‘General Examination for Women’, giving women the ability to go to universit.
The Night Cleaners Strikes
An effort to unionise night cleaners, who were often left unrepresented and unprotected from their dangerous and low paid jobs. Two mass strikes were co-ordinated, and the cleaners won - their demands of better pay and conditions were met.
Brixton Black Women’s Group is Formed
BBWG focused on practical action, running campaigns that centred the experiences of Black women in the feminist movement.
Grunwick Factory Dispute
This multi year fight - led by women of South East Asian heritage, many of whom were immigrants from East Africa - against low pay and racist hiring practices at the Grunwick factory, and many of the leaders also went on to lead the campaign against the practice of virginity testing on immigrants (mainly Asian) women at Heathrow.