Coventry, photo Lenny Shail

Coventry, photo Lenny Shail   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Tessa Warrington, Socialist Party organiser in the East Midlands, gave a fantastic introduction speech to a meeting room filled with working class women involved in struggles and battles.

The tremendous Socialist Party public meeting to celebrate International Women’s Day in Coventry was chaired by National Education Union executive member and Coventry Trade Union Council president Jane Nellist.

Local activists from ‘Women Against State Pension Inequality’ updated the meeting on their campaign. Local Keep Our NHS Public organisers Julie and Vicky Horbury attended and spoke about the local campaign to defend the NHS – and the crucial role it plays in defending women’s rights.

Others spoke about the role working class women and socialists played in winning the right to vote, equal pay and maternity rights, and abortion rights. What was clear throughout was that the ruling class has never granted any rights without the struggle of ordinary people.

Coventry Socialist Party


Birmingham, photo Lenny Shail

Birmingham, photo Lenny Shail   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Birmingham Socialist Party, Socialist Students and Young Socialists held a joint public meeting for International Women’s Day on 7 March. 35 people attended, including students and young women in precarious work.

Socialist Students and Socialist Party member Hannah Davies chaired the meeting, with the first speaker being Mandy Buckley, Unison shop steward and striker from the Birmingham home care worker’s dispute.

Mandy told the meeting that home carers – low-paid and predominately women – were inspired to strike after the victory of the Birmingham bin workers against the council last year.

Becci Heagney, North West Socialist Party organiser, was another guest speaker. Becci spoke on the history of International Women’s Day and the suffragette movement, and how we can learn from the struggles of working class women throughout history.

There was lively discussion and a solidarity picture taken at the end for the care workers. We all took away an understanding of the strength of working class women when we get organised, and how working class women’s struggles today are continuing the thread of history.

Corinthia Ward, Birmingham Central Socialist Party