Can you help us to raise awareness across Greater Manchester?

Becky Clarke and I are working on a piece of research into the views of women who are survivors of sexual violence and/or exploitation.  We want to know what kinds of support have made a difference.  If you can pass this message along to contacts in any of the boroughs, we would be really grateful.  Do please use social media too.

Thank you,

Kate and Becky

Dr Kate Cook,

Head of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre

‘Voices of Survivors’ is a Lloyds Bank Foundation funded partnership between three of Greater Manchester’s women’s charities: Manchester Action on Street Health (MASH), Manchester Rape Crisis and Trafford Rape Crisis. Dr Kate Cook and Becky Clarke from Manchester Metropolitan University are working on the research with us.  We are researching the needs of female survivors of sexual violence and exploitation. The aim is to ensure that the voices of the women are heard, and bring together a variety of frontline agencies to create a network of high quality support across Greater Manchester.  Although there are very few specialist services for women who have experienced sexual violence, we know that lots of agencies are offering fantastic support. We believe that by listening to the voices of survivors and coming together as organisations that work with women we can make a real difference to the support offered to female survivors.

We are inviting women across Greater Manchester to have their say through our online questionnaire which features on our website Please get in touch with us by emailing or calling 0161 273 4555 if you are unable to complete the online questionnaire for any reason, and we will do our best to help. For more information about the project please visit our website, please follow us @VOSGM





We are pleased to welcome Afroz Zain Algiers, who will be presenting her current PhD research at the next Sylvia meeting

​We are pleased to welcome Afroz Zain Algiers, a PhD student from Stanford University in California, to present her current PhD research at the next Sylvia meeting.

Afroz is based in the School of Engineering  at Stanford researching the governing of masculinities on collaborative construction projects; and is using an arts-based representational practice called ethnodrama to present her analysis.

We hope that her presentation will open up opportunities to discuss research that transcends disciplinary boundaries and the advantages and disadvantages of this.

If anyone would like to present their current research projects at future meetings please email me on:

Dr Sally Jones BA(Hons) MSc PGCE PhD FRSA

Reader in Entrepreneurship and Gender Studies

Dates for your diary – the next Sylvia meetings

The dates and times of the next Sylvia meetings will be:

  • Wednesday 1st November – 1.00-3.00pm (Room GM 224)
  • Monday 18th December – 1.00-3.00pm (Room SB 1.01)

On November 1st Prof. Julia Rouse will give a brief overview of the new research centre, where Sylvia will be based.

Dr Kate Cook will also present her current work – “Voices of Survivors” – researching the needs of female survivors of sexual violence and exploitation.

On December 1st we will have a presentation​ from Visiting Professor Helle Neergaard (Aarhus University). Details TBC nearer the date.

Please email me if you would like to attend ( )

Also, please let me know if you would like to present your current research, or share any projects or events that you are working on.

Dr Sally Jones

Reader in Entrepreneurship and Gender Studies


Women of Manchester invited to share their stories for Women’s Words 2018


2018 centenary of the vote for women

The Pankhurst Centre and Manchester City Council are set to create a living legacy for the women of Manchester that gathers their words, memories and experiences for all to share.

The Women’s Words project will be inviting women with any link to the city – whether through birth, work or home – to submit their written stories about living and working in Manchester, of up to 1,000 words.

The project launches on Thursday 24 August, and submissions can be sent until Friday 24 November.  Stories, poems, memories, thoughts will then be archived at Manchester Central Library.

All contributions from women of all ages and backgrounds – whether stories, poems, memories, lists, or reflections – are welcome, as long as they are in the author’s own words.

Women’s Words will be artist-led, with participants given the chance to explore traditional ‘making’ practices such as textiles, letterpress and cyanotype.  There will also be oral and collaborative storytelling sessions and an opportunity for those who feel they cannot write well in English to have their stories retold and written down by someone else.

A selection of the pieces submitted will feature in a reimagination of the original The Suffragette magazine, produced by the Women’s Social and Political Union to support their campaign.  This will be a beautiful, handcrafted limited edition art piece that will be edited and curated by artist Lucy May Schofield.  Copies will be available to buy from Central Library and local Manchester Libraries and the Pankhurst Centre Museum, with an e-book version made available through Manchester Libraries’ BorrowBox service.

Supported by Arts Council England, the project will commemorate the 2018 Centenary of the Vote for Women by asking Manchester’s women to make their voices heard and for their stories to become a 21st century narrative of those connected to the city.

Women’s Words 2018 will embrace the powerful force that saw Manchester’s most radical daughters turn their home into suffragette city and use this to inspire and encourage women of today.

Although they marched to the call of Deeds not Words, the legacy of the suffragettes’ campaign is one full of inspiring and emotive words that drew people to their vision for equality then and now.

Gail Heath, Chief Executive of The Pankhurst Trust (Incorporating Manchester Women’s Aid), says, “The women of Manchester have always had a compelling and thought-provoking story to tell.  Through this project we are bridging the worlds of the those who fought to be heard over 100 years ago and the lives of women today who we want to use their voices to tell and share their stories.

“In doing so we’ll be reaching out to all women in all situations; actively encouraging those experiencing domestic violence, abuse, homelessness and asylum, arguably the voiceless in 21st century Britain.  This an ongoing story, and we hope to capture a contemporary reflection of women’s lives in current times.”

Councillor Sarah Judge, Lead Member for Women at Manchester City Council, says, “The Women’s Words project will support and encourage Manchester women to develop essential skills and the confidence to share their experiences of life in our city.

“Historically, women’s writing has not always had the attention it deserved.  This new archive will help us to preserve, celebrate and learn from the fascinating stories that Manchester’s amazing women have to tell.”

The project will culminate with two public events, an exhibition and a gala event on 5 February at Manchester’s Central Library.

Women’s Words will be shared online at and through social media via Facebook – Twitter – @WomensWordsMcr Instrgram –

For further information, images or to arrange interviews please contact Laura Sullivan or Clare Short at Fido PR on 0161 832 3588 or email /

Notes to editors

The Pankhurst Centre

In 1974, the significance of the Pankhursts’ former home was recognised when the building received listed status.  The house had faced the prospect of demolition, when a campaign to save it successfully halted this and led to its grade II listing, and recognition of its significance to the nation. In 1987 62 Nelson Street was opened as a small museum dedicated to the Pankhurst family and the women’s suffrage movement, with the parlour restored to how it would have been when Emmeline held her first meeting about suffrage in 1903. The adjoining property 60 Nelson Street is a women’s centre.

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858 – 1928)

Emmeline Pankhurst was born on 15 July 1858 in Moss Side, Manchester.

Her barrister husband, Richard Pankhurst, was a strong supporter of women’s suffrage and a member himself of Manchester’s Independent Labour Party (ILP), and encouraged Emmeline’s early interest in politics.

In 1898 Richard died, leaving Emmeline on a much-reduced income, which led her to move with her children to 62 Nelson Street.  Emmeline, involved in ILP campaigns, was elected as a candidate to Manchester School Board.

On 10 October 1903 she invited a small group of women to meet in her parlour at 62 Nelson Street. From this meeting the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) was founded, with the motto Deeds not Words.

 Like many other suffragettes, her fight for equality would see Emmeline arrested many times and go on hunger strike in pursuit of equality for women.

 In 1918 the Representation of the People Act granted the vote to women with a property qualification.

Emmeline died on 14 June 1928 only weeks before the Representation of the People Act was brought in on 2 July 1928, extending the vote to all women.

 Sylvia (1882-1960) and Christabel Pankhurst (1880-1958)

Emmeline’s daughters, Sylvia and Christabel, were central to the work of the WSPU.

Christabel had a law degree (from the University of Manchester) and used her legal background to defend the suffragettes. She was also behind the strategies adopted by the movement, including its militancy.

As an artist, Sylvia was responsible for some of the strong visual materials that were used by the WSPU; one of the first campaigning bodies ever to use design and colour to create a corporate identity.  Sylvia was expelled from the WSPU because she was interested in promoting broader suffrage (for working class women and men), disagreed with the increasingly autocratic leadership of her mother and sister and their increasing militancy. The outbreak of the First World War further divided the Pankhurst family, with Emmeline and Christabel supporting the war effort and Sylvia being a pacifist.

Helen Pankhurst is Sylvia’s grand-daughter, she works for CARE International on women’s rights issues and lives part of the time in Ethiopia, where Sylvia went to live and where she is buried.


The term suffragettes emerged in 1905, when the campaign was really brought to the attention of the nation.  Sir Edward Grey, a leading member of the Liberal Party was speaking at a rally at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester (now the Radisson Hotel) ahead of the general election. Having raised a ‘Votes for Women’ banner, Christabel Pankhurst pushed Annie Kenney forward to say, “Will the Liberal government give women the vote?”  They were subsequently arrested for addressing the crowd, and it was upon reporting about the incident that the Daily Mail used the term suffragettes.

 The infamy of the suffragettes grew from this point, with members smashing windows, assaulting police officers that led to imprisonment, with some staging hunger strikes.

Manchester Women’s Aid

In June 2014 the Pankhurst Trust merged with Manchester Women’s Aid, an independent charity providing a range of services for women and children affected by domestic violence and abuse.