Press for progress: how Croydon celebrated Women’s History Month


By - Thursday 22nd March, 2018

Events brought together performers, speakers, musicians, and politicians


Lives Not Knives hosted its first International Women’s Day event.
Photo author’s own.

March is Women’s History Month. The theme for International Women’s Day, which fell on 8th March, was Press for Progress, as 2018 marks the 100-year anniversary since women first got the right to vote in the United Kingdom.

Croydon has hosted a range of events celebrating both Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day.

On 7th March, Croydon Council’s Women’s Staff Network presented #PressForProgress: International Women’s Day 2018 at BoxPark. Lives Not Knives hosted its first International Women’s Day event on 8th March.

‘To ask freedom for women is not a crime’

The room was decked out in celebration featuring balloons reading ‘Votes for Women’ and a display of hats alongside signs which among others read ‘To ask freedom for women is not a crime’.

The room was decked out in celebration of the event.
Photo author’s own.

Entertainment took to the stage at the beginning of the night. After the performances, multiple speakers including Esther Sutton and Jackie King spoke on various topics providing their ideas and advice regarding the theme.

“I think that [women are] stronger together”, Sutton said. She said that the main point of her speech was the idea that women should support each other. During her speech she added that “breaking barriers takes a lot of stubbornness, a lot of stamina”.

“We need kindness and love more than ever before”

King said as time moves forward, it’s important to remember that women only got the right to vote 100 years ago, and that they went through a lot to get a vote for only a small number of people.

“It wasn’t for every woman. It was for a very select number”, she said. “We shouldn’t become complacent about voting when women worked so hard to earn us the right to vote.”

The vibe of the evening was a combination of empowerment and togetherness

As the night came to an end, attendees got the chance to speak with the speakers and others in the room. Karen Stracey, Fundraising Coordinator for Lives Not Knives, said a lot of planning went into the evening.

“We contacted the speakers, all the women to come and celebrate with us tonight”, she said. She said that they wanted to celebrate the 100-year anniversary and powerful women in the community.

Holly Bernstein

Holly Bernstein

Holly Bernstein is a political reporter born and raised in Arizona. Back home she is a broadcast political reporter and presenter on Arizona PBS. She is in London chasing her dreams of covering politics around the world and believes in covering what matters anytime, anywhere.

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