Women from Sheffield share their stories of activism as part of new exhibition

Women from Sheffield have shared their memories of protest as part of an exhibition celebrating 100 years of women’s activism.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 7:00 am
Womens March Sheffield 2018 (c) Tim Dennell
Womens March Sheffield 2018 (c) Tim Dennell

One of those women, Sioned-Mair spoke about dressing the Women of Steel statue in the city centre in bishop’s clothes in 2017 as a protest against the nomination of a man to the post who opposed the ordination of women as priests.

She said: “A few days later in the Sheffield Star, there was a letter from one of the Women of Steel saying, ‘Well I thought it was brilliant. I always hoped our statues would be used for other campaigns and this is a really good one, and look, that bishop isn’t coming any more so well done’.”

Celia also shares her memories of the Sheffield trees campaign and how it has felt to be a part of it, while Christine spoke about her her life as a feminist and work against sexual harassment with the Women’s Equality Party.

Anit nuclear demonstation on Shude Hill car park Sheffield, December 18, 1981 Women protest

Dr Sarah Marsden, a lecturer in Protest in a Digital Age who helped to lead the exhibition, called ‘Empowering Women, Empower Women’, said: “The exhibition highlights individual movements and amazing examples of women activists.

“It takes a broader view on the impact of women’s campaigning by looking at how the process of protesting has challenged expectations about women’s role in politics.

“There is a rich history of women’s activism in the north of England which, although often overlooked, demands to be remembered and celebrated.”

The exhibition will feature objects loaned directly from activist groups and a selection of 100 oral histories from women who have been involved in protest. This free exhibition takes place in Millennium Gallery, city centre from October 12 to 20.

Health workers protest march down Spital Hill, Sheffield - 14th March 1988
Members of Barnsley Miners Wives Action Group selling aprons made and designed by them to raise money for jailed and sacked miners, 1980s. Photograph by Raissa Page. Copyright: Adrianne Jones, courtesy of The Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University.
Library protest during visit of Patrick Jenkin in September 1984 demonstration
WAPC Rally marching through Houghton, 1993. Courtesy of Sheffield WAPC (Women Against Pit Closures)