The women’s liberation movement in Britain today is diverse and strong. There are myriad voices in conversation – and sometimes disagreement – with each other.
Our movement is the stronger for it.
But grassroots organising is hard. Pushing for change on top of jobs, caring and other responsibilities is exhausting. For women to do this in our spare time and on shoestring budgets takes huge commitment and ingenuity. It also takes courage because speaking out results in abuse and threats; in loss and slander. Our reputations, our motivations, our jobs have all come under attack.
We do it because our collective knowledge, experience and resolve makes us strong.
Both organisations relentlessly centre women and amplify our voices. Both have created strong networks and powerful advocates. Both have overcome enormous obstacles. This month, both held hugely significant and inspiring events.
The two successful meetings organised by LWD at the Labour Party Conference were packed, and platformed several high-profile Labour women, including the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Shabana Mahmood MP. Given that Labour are likely to form the next government, this demonstrates the significant impact Labour Women’s Declaration has had in this arena.
More recently, FiLiA successfully fought a cynical attempt to shut down their conference of 1400 women from around the globe, just days before it opened. They should not have had to resort to legal action and the first day was marred by an aggressive and abusive protest. But by the second day the mob had vanished and women enjoyed a weekend of powerful sisterhood.
There is a long way to go until women’s rights are won but we have a promising blueprint for how we make that happen.
Women must be at the front and centre of any campaign for our rights.
But as LWD and FiLiA have shown, if the opposition is counting on silence and fear, they have seriously underestimated the power of women’s collective action.
WPUK October 2023
We believe that it is important to share a range of viewpoints on women’s rights and advancement from different perspectives. WPUK does not necessarily agree or endorse all the views that we share.