Pateman conference

Some exciting news for all of us researching in the fields of gender, care, ethics or contract.  Professor Joan Tronto (Ethics of Care) and Professor Carole Pateman (The Sexual Contract) are keynote speakers at a very special two-day conference at Cardiff University on 10th-11th May co-hosted with Feminist Legal Studies.

This highly interdisciplinary conference marks 30 years since the publication of The Sexual Contract. It is a unique opportunity to celebrate this feminist masterpiece, and engage with Professor Carole Pateman and Professor Joan Tronto.  There will be an international line-up of panel speakers presenting a diverse range of new scholarship from US, UK, Australian, EU and Canada inspired by The Sexual Contract.  

More information is available at

The conference fee is just £25 and this includes lunch and refreshments on both days and an evening meal on 10th May.  Book a place – tickets are limited 

Dr Kay Lalor

Pateman flyer and programme (2)

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Generations of Feminism/Generations of Activism, 1918- 1978- 2018

March 23rd 2018

 The Old Future

Collective, naughty voices

Angry, determined and honest

Sing with one voice

Towards another future

(From The Generations of Activism poem)

Over the last year a number of volunteers, including Ali Ronan, Lizzie Gent, Sylvia Koelling, Jo Boon and other women, have listed the material from the Feminist Webs paper archive and sorted it into 25+ boxes so it could be transferred to the archives at Peoples’ History Museum.

The archive is an integral part of Feminist Webs; it has been built up over the last 12 years with gifts from youth workers, Greenham Common protestors, feminist activists and academics. It has inspired projects, residentials, posters and books. Now it has also inspired the Generations of Activism event on 23rd March 2018.

As part of Wonder Women 2018, Generations of Activism was largely inspired by the Feminist Webs paper archive. The entire run of the 1980s influential Working with Girls newsletter, the ground breaking Our Bodies, Ourselves, early campaigning material about Violence Against Women, the Abasindi Collective and other campaigning ephemera were available to read and ‘handle‘ and this material inspired and informed both the workshops and the whole creative day.

The day was also partly a celebration about moving the 25 boxes of the archive to the People’s History Museum, where it will be more accessible and where it will be professionally catalogued, making it easier for activists, academics, young people and youth workers to use. We would like to give a big thank you to Julie Parry, one of the archivists at PHM, for her support, advice, help and her unwavering sense of humour.

This day emerged in the middle of conversations and movements as the archive of papers and objects from the Girls Work movement, that the Feminist Webs collective has been gradually assembling over the last ten years, moved from its home with the Youth and Community Work team at ManMet to The People’s History Museum. So, yes, we are officially part of the People’s History now!

No-one much wants to live in a museum as if it was a mausoleum, a place for dead objects. We wanted to recognise, once again, how ‘You can’t kill the spirit….’  Gabrielle Ivinson suggested we create ‘memory boxes’ with things from the archive to touch, respond and add to. We did, and the boxes travelled around Greater Manchester and will travel some more.  Kate Pahl suggested we incorporate a creative writing workshop. We made a collective poem. Extracts from it appear throughout this blog.

The Cause … which the women suffragists embodied, when ‘Votes for Women!’ moved from being a ludicrous and nonsensical demand to an idea whose time was overdue … which (for 1970s activists against violence against women) led to the formation of Women’s Refuges and Rape Crisis Centres as well as to Girls Work in Youth Work … this same Cause is still being fought for in a new wave of activism in which young women, including school students, are showing the way.  So we look to the past, not only to honour those who struggled for what we now take for granted, but to learn from methods of organising and protest that may yet make a difference.  The hunger strikers who claimed the vote are the forebears of the women on hunger strike today at the Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, as Dr Kate Cook (of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre at ManMet, who so generously supported the day) reminded us.

And so we gathered and joined in important inter-generational conversations on some 1970s feminist themes: Violence against Women; Black Women’s Activism with feedback from the Women of the Soil project and the Louise DaCacodia Trust ; Our Bodies Ourselves;  Girls Work in Youth Work and Equal Opportunities.  The day was interwoven with poetry … reading poems out loud, and writing together by sharing our words and worlds with one another … and with laughter. The youngest were still at college ; the oldest were Trade Unionists in their eighties.  We were of different ‘race’ and religions and sexualities and backgrounds and the day ended with a call by Steph Green to those of us who might be fooled by the stories of division between the ‘pro-feminist’ West and the barbaric patriarchal Other world of Islam not to allow these powerful narratives to divide us, but to keep on seeing the common ground we share with other women.

Generations of Feminism

Dr Kate Cook (1990) in the middle of a demonstration to have the funding of Manchester Rape Crisis restored … they were successful (photo by Julie Fletcher).

Gendered Inclusion in Contemporary Organisations Seminar Series 2015-19

On 27 March 2018, Prof Julia Rouse contributed to an ESRC funded seminar in the ‘Gendered Inclusion in Contemporary Organisations Seminar Series 2015-19’ hosted by Dr Patricia Lewis at the University of Kent. The theme was ‘Alternative Work Arrangements? Gendered Inclusion in the Field of Entrepreneurship’ and Julia presented a paper from her pregnancy and maternity in entrepreneurship research and campaigning entitled ‘Entrepreneur pregnancy and maternity: policy failure, individualised risks and self-exploitation practises’. Julia was delighted to be talking alongside leaders in the field of gender and entrepreneurship research – Professor Helen Ahl from Sweden and Professor Susan Marlow from the University of Nottingham, among others. The event finished with a frank – and touching – presentation by entrepreneur Sue Nelson on the reality of being a woman small business leader. Sue particularly focused on her lifetime’s experience of everyday sexism and sexual harassment and how this has ongoing overtones in business networks.

You’re invited to: Women Educating Cheshire in the 20th Century – a public lecture TUES, 17 APRIL 2018

Delaney Lecture Theatre, MMU Cheshire Campus, Crewe


The Cheshire County Training College, Crewe opened its doors on the present site on 4th July 1912, although it had been founded some 4 years earlier.  This public lecture by Sarah Webb (Cheshire Campus Library) and Margaret Roberts (Sport and Leisure History Research Team) uses material from the college archive to illustrate the history of the campus from its inception to the amalgamation with Alsager Training college in 1974, with many original artefacts on display. Through the lens of its female staff and students, the college, its buildings and the academic achievements, sporting interests, drama performances, political activities and global travel of the women that taught and studied here in Crewe are celebrated. We hear from students such as young Sybil Booth, hurrying home after her day at college in 1911, long skirts swishing around her ankles to the victory gained by the women in the 1960s, when men were allowed into the all-female halls of residence. Margaret and Sarah would be interested to hear from anyone who wishes to share their own memories of the campus. If you have any photographs or ephemera, we would be happy to speak to you during the evening.

Refreshments will be available upon arrival.

To register your FREE place please use the following link:

Cheshire 2

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Maddy Baccelliere
Enterprise Administrator

Tel.  +44(0)161 247 5093

Family Law Conference write up

Kay Lalor 1

On the 9th March 2018, Manchester Met hosted its Second Annual Law Conference.  The conference was attended by a mix of delegates, including a number of Manchester Metropolitan University students.  Below, two student delegates share their impressions of the day.

Lauren Pastor is an LLB student at Manchester Law School. 

On the 9th March, I attended the second Annual Family Conference. As a first-time attendee, I was excited to hear from different professionals and their opinions on diverse areas of family law. It is undeniable that the main draw to the conference was the main speaker Lady Hale, the president of the Supreme Court.

Lady Hale offered an insightful view as to where she believed the bench was moving to in the future and gave a well-balanced opinion on current issues. She was knowledgeable but witty at the same time, which enabled the listener to be continually engaged with what she was saying. She gave a comprehensive view on The Times, Family Matters Campaign, and how she feels it would be best to implement some of the proposals but disregard others.

In addition to Lady Hale, we also heard from Lucy Crompton, a family law lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University who gave us an overview of a paper she has been working on based on whether the idea that compensation is dead is actually true.  This gave an insightful view on how compensation can create almost a middle ground between needs and sharing cases. The question was raised as to whether compensation is actually the correct term to use and it was open to the group to think of some possible alternatives. Additionally, the question was raised to the practitioner within the group as to whether they might have a potential case that could be used to address this issue through the court system.

The next speaker was Dr. Francis Burton. A well-known and accredited senior lecturer at Aston University. She raised the question of where the law is heading since the severe cuts to family legal aid and the proposed ideas of an automated scheme. She proposed the question of how to find the balance of making the scheme successful without creating so many layers of unfamiliarity.

The final speaker was Nigel Shepard. Nigel is an experienced solicitor and the head of family law at Mills & Reeves. Nigel gave a perceptive and informative view of how the case of Owens v Owens will affect family law and the potential repercussions of the decision when the case is heard on the 17th May 2018. He is an avid supporter of ‘no fault divorce’ and this keen interest in the topic was very much apparent through the course of his speech.

In all it was a very enjoyable day, you can tell the hard work that has been put in by Lucy Crompton and the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre.

Mohanad Metwally is an LPC student at Manchester Law School, Manchester Metropolitan University.

As this was my first real professional conference, I was unsure what to expect, though I can happily say the day turned out as a great success. While all the talks were unique and tackled topical issues in family law, two talks from the high-profile speakers stood out.

Baroness Hale first provided a unique view from the court’s perspective, whilst simultaneously proposing a very down to earth and realistic approach to an inherently personal and emotional area. The opportunity to ask the President of the Supreme Court questions directly regarding thoughts on the future of the area, as well as opinions of recent judgments by other judges, was certainly the highlight of the event.

The day ended on a light-hearted but effective talk by Nigel Shepherd, Chair of Resolution, putting forward a strong and coherent case for ‘no fault divorce’, as well as previous attempts at reform, and a comparison of other jurisdictions.

Overall, the event provided a good opportunity for review and proposals on the area of family law based on the changing views of society, as well as an excellent chance for practitioners, academics, and students to all give multiple perspectives on the subject, and network with each other. The conference is sure to only grow year after year.

Are we there yet? Continuing discussions on (in)equality

On May 2nd, at 5-7pm, Jenna Ashton, Sarah May and Kate Cook will come together to discuss their ideas on curation as activism within the struggle for equal treatment.  

Jenna Ashton has edited a two-volume collection on Feminism and Museums and Sarah May and Kate Cook have contributed to the second volume.  Their chapter discusses an exhibit shown in ManMet’s Special Collections during 2015.  This free round-table discussion will invite contributions form the audience.  Refreshments provided.

 Dr Kate Cook,

Head of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre,

 For news on our Centenary Programme please visit:

IWD at BNY Mellon – Advancing Potential: Making Yourself Heard”

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The Sylvia team love getting out and about with businesses and Prof Julia Rouse was delighted to join a lively event – attended by many men as well as women – at Bank of New York Mellon on International Women’s Day. The theme was ‘Advancing Potential: Making Yourself Heard’ and conversation ranged across actions organisations, that individual men and women can take to enable women to be heard – and have power – at work.

Speakers also included:

  • Neil Atkinson (Male Ally & Managing Director, Depositary Receipts at BNY Mellon)
  • Lucinda Wakefield (Co-Chair of WIN EMEA & Principal Admin & Planning at BNY Mellon)
  • Jane Woods (Head of Income and Tax at BNY Mellon)
  • Jane Dalton of Groundswell Innovation representing Northern Power Women