VISIBLEWomen

In August 2018, when Evie and I kick-started our campaign for a statue of Mary, we didn't have a clue how to do that. There were no books or blueprints to follow. So we started to do some internet searches to see if there were any other organisations out there that were running similar campaigns.

We were delighted to find that we were not the only ones who wanted to remember and celebrate our forgotten women of history. Sheroes like Mary, that had been left out of our history books because of gender and the patriarchy, were being championed by three other groups in the UK.

Emmeline Pankhurst in Manchester, Mary Wollstonecraft in London and Nancy Astor in Plymouth. All three leaders of these campaigns went on to give us brilliant advice and helped mould our own campaign.

It's not surprising then that others reached out to us once Mary Anning Rocks was born for advice and support. It wasn't long till there were over 12 groups and counting, and that's when we all got together, and VISIBLEWomen was born. 

Here are just two of the many amazing campaigns Evie and I would love you to check out.

A is for Aphra

Aphra Behn was born in 1640 in relative obscurity to a barber, and a wet nurse in Canterbury yet became the first-ever woman to earn her living by writing in the English language. She was the most prolific playwright in England during the last eighteen years of her life. She was a poet. She was one of the first-ever novelists, writing Oroonoko, which exposed slavery in all its horrors, and she was a spy for Charles II. Come on, what's not to love about this forgotten Sheroe? 

The Match Girls Memorial

Long before the Bryant & May match factory opened in Bow, East London, Charles Dickens wrote, in 1852, about the risks of 'Phossy Jaw' in matchmaking factories. Yet, when the factory opened in 1861, they proceeded to use the dangerous white phosphorus that caused the disease. By the time of the Strike in 1888, conditions at the factory were appalling. There were workers as young as six years old, and many of the workforce were young teenage girls. On 5th July 1888, 1400 girls and women walked out on Strike and changed our labour laws for good. The Matchgirls' success was the beginning of New Unionism and pathed the way for radical changes for all working women and men. 

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