Picbic and Bike Ride August 2010

The time has come again to dust off your pic-nic blankets, haul out the bunting, crank up the ghetto blaster and gather friends for the annual summer Shoreditch Sisters potluck picnic in the park.

Bring: food to share, pic-nic baskets, mini BBQ’S, drinks, cups, plates, blankets, mix tapes but most importantly friends – boyfriends, brothers, fathers, mothers everyone is invited!

Date: Sunday 22nd AUG 2010

Time: 1pm meet

Venue: The Glade, Victoria Park, E2

The Glade is situated on the Western side of Victoria Park and the nearest tube is Bethnal Green. Walk all the way up Approach Rd, cross over the canal and The Glade will be signposted on your right as you enter the park.

Busses – 8 – D6 – 106 – 254 – 388


This year we’ve even planned a cycle route so If you’re feeling adventurous why not get on yer bike and cycle down with us en-masse to meet at the pic-nic? Cycle route to follow……


Cake Club and Recipe Swap July 2010 Meeting

Shoreditch Sisters Take The Cake! @ the Cake Club and recipe swap TUESDAY 27TH JULY 2010.

This month the Shoreditch Sisters are inviting you to join them for a Cake Club party! That’s right, each member must bring down one home baked item to share amongst the group for cake chats and an informal bake-off competition – prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Also share and swap recipes – bring along at least one favourite recipe to share with members and to be included in the Shoreditch Sisters recipe zine to be distributed at the Summer pic-nic.

At Concrete, underneath Pizza East @ The Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St
From 8pm – 10pm

Tie-Dye Party Sponsored by DYLON Saturday 17th June 2010

Sponsored by DYLON Fabric Dye

Shoreditch Sisters in collaboration with
London 6os Week present…

Feeling groovy?  Well then bring down your whites and color your own threads at
the Shoreditch Sisters ‘Way Outta Sight’ Tie Dye happening. Learn how to bind
and tie your own far out designs to create your very own DIY creations.

Or come and have a blast with the Shoreditch Sisters Bunting Flash-Mob, who need your help to decorate London’s streets with oodles of hip handmade colorful bunting flags embellished with messages of peace and love.

Material and fabric donations much

sweet swinging 60s sounds.


FROM 12pm – 6pm




W1 B 5PW

Dress: psychedelic 60s hippy trippy dolly birds and boys.

June 2010 Meeting Zines, Bunting and More

This Tuesday 29th June will be packed to the rafters with with fun and creative things to make and do, including zine making, kit making, embroidery and bunting!

We will also be discussing our summer events and signing up volunteers to help out at WI run stalls and fetes throughout the year.


An idea. illustration, recipe etc for the Shoreditch Sisters zine.

* Also If any members are able to bring 1 X ball of wool ( or more than 1 if going spare!) to donate to a women’s craft cooperative in an Albanian mountain village, which will be used to make embroidered cushions to sell in order to bring women closer to financial independence and raise some funds for the Balkans Peace Park Project.

Concrete, Underneath Pizza East @ The Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St
Time: 8pm – 10pm


Non-members are allowed to visit one meeting for free before committing to join.

The cost of an annual suscription to the WI is £29.50 which can be paid in either cash or cheque on the night.

May 2010 Meeting – Resolutions and Creative Card-Making Workshop


Come and join us this Tuesday 25th May from 8pm -10pm at Concrete, Underneath Pizza East. @ The Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, E1 6JJ
From 8pm – 9pm there will be a discussion on WI resolutions.

Then from 9pm – 10pm join us for a creative card-making workshop with multi-talanted French fashion designer and illustrator, Blandine Bardeau.

Check her website for more information

With a focus on using recycled materials we are asking all those attending to please bring along with them a selection of items including……..

Fabric swatches
Used wrapping paper
Tissue paper
Old magazines
Junk mail
Bubble wrap
Embroidery threads and needles

Basically anything and everything goes so get creative and have a rummage round the house…

See you there!

What Women Want Debate


Dear All,
On Tuesday 27 April I attended the ‘What About Women?’ lecture at LSE, hosted by the Fawcett Society http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/ .
Female representatives of the three main parties; Labour, Liberal Democratics and Conservatives were invited to answer pre-submitted questions from a predominately female audience, addressing what their party would do for women if they were to get into power.
Present were:
·       Ceri Goddard- CEO of Fawcett Society (I loved her, think we should get her along for a talk)
·       Harriet Harman (Labour)
·       Theresa May (Conservative)
·       Lynne Featherstone (Liberal Democrats)
For those on twitter look out for the following hash tags sent live during the debate:
Before the questions were asked each representative was asked to give a short pitch for her party.
Lynne Featherstone (LF)
o      Key pledge- Fair taxes, party promises to not tax those who earn £10,000 or less.
o      Aim to change portrayal of women in the media
o      To protect vulnerable women
o      Believes inequality boils down to money
Theresa May (TM)
o      Changed the selection process for the Conservative party to allow more women in. If got voted in would have 55 female MPS in their party.
o      Is involved with Fawcett society (but I am not sure how)
o      Pledges to improve career advice for girls and to administer pay audits on companies of over 250 employees found guilty of underpaying female, compared to male employees.
o      Will create flexible working for parents with kids up to 18 years.
o      Policy against violence- will fund up to 15 new rape crisis centres, will implement ‘drop ins’ by police officers on households where domestic violence has taken place.
o      Will implement work programmes to help female run businesses.
o      Increase NHS funding
o      Give more aid abroad
o      Give women more choice
Harriet Harman (HH)
o      Work and Family- flexible childcare and working hours, longer maternity leave, implement paternity leave.
o      Positive discrimination in pay; make businesses publish what they pay women, to encourage more women to join
o      Continue to work on improving facilities for violence against women
o      International- create a women’s UN agency to back up female foreign ministers etc
o      Gender duty- all public authorities to consider how they will narrow the gender divide 
Below are brief notes on the answers each woman gave to the submitted questions. I have tried to report as neutrally as possible. My apologies to those more politically literate than I.
Which is the best way to progress women’s equality; the ‘big state’ or the ‘big society’?
HH- Believes in the ‘Big state’ helping people, more help to be given form the government 
LF- Believes in the ‘Big state’ helping people, more help to be given form the government. Society needs support from government in order to function at its best. Does not believe the government has all the answers.
TM- Believes in ‘big society’; believes government failed us; responsibility lies with communities working together to solve problems of society.
Who should pay the greatest cost for the financial deficit; women or the bankers (that caused it)?
LF- Bankers should pay. We should protect the vulnerable even when tackling the deficit.
TM- Deficit should be dealt with by taxing the public. Against Labour job tax (those earning £20,000+ to pay more tax). Businesses are against an increase in National Insurance as it would cost them more.  Believes there should be a pay freeze and we should give the professionals back the power to make decisions.
HH-continue economic growth, fair taxes and public spending carefully monitored. We need tax in order to raise the money to pay the deficit.
What issues would you raise with the Pope on his imminent visit?
TM- Would ask, has the Catholic Church done all it can to deal with the alleged child abuse.
HH- Outright avoided the question saying she thought the Catholic Church would have more to ask than her.
LF- would questions the alleged abuses against children.
How should the government use money to promote one kind of lifestyle?– Basically a question about proposed marriage tax.
HH-   Believes marriage tax is wrong as it allows men to marry, walk away from family, and remarry and get tax break each time, but leaving women (possibly with kids) without tax break, in fact it is then removed. Says this system would promote an attitude that to be married is best, to not be means there is something wrong with you; which would impact negatively on children’s view of themselves and their family. Believes this is an old fashioned and dictatorial system. Argued to TM that you can lose money if you divorce or if the woman goes out to work as her tax allowance would then go to him. This would encourage women to not go out to work as it would not be financially viable.
LF- Believes the marriage tax break is unfair and unjust for those not married, or separated/divorced. Wonders if this system incentivizes men to philander.
TM- Says tax break is not dictating a particular lifestyle; it is a financial recognition of marriage and civil partnerships by the government because it has been proven that commitment is good for children.  Reiterated party policy to create flexible parental leave which is regardless of whether married or not; therefore meaning no money is taken away.
There are only 2 women MPs for every 8 men. What reforms could be done to make this 50/50?
LF- Electoral reform (one of their manifesto points); a single, transferable vote. Believes biggest barrier in not having more female MPS is women do not put themselves forward as the political world is aggressively male and anti-social.
TM- Proportional representation does not mean more women in cabinet, but we need more women candidates. We need to change the selection process. Would implement ‘Women to Win’ scheme. Believes cost of being a candidate puts women off as it is very expensive and women may be reluctant to use family/children money ‘on herself’.
HH- If we only have men in the cabinet this is not democratic; issues such as domestic violence, women abroad are not addressed. Labour has an all women shortlists scheme.
Crime- What new actions and resources would your party provide for prevention, provision and protection?
TM- Improving Sex education- teaching of consent, re-educate girls and boys about relationships, what is acceptable behavior.  Rape centre funding, reassessment of what is violence against women, look into how funding is distributed.
HH- Cross party support on some issues. Having DNA kept n file to help prevent and bring to justice sex offences. Make prison sentences for men who commit violence against women no less than 6 months.
LF- Funding for 15 new rape centres; 10 sex offenders centres. Trafficking- to insist all massage parlors etc have the details about what goes on their written in many different languages. Investigation into forced marriages and ‘honour’ killings.
Equal pay- Would you make it a legal obligation to check? Currently women are paid an average 16% less than men for full time work and 30% for part time work.
LF-Would make it mandatory to publish pay figures for companies of over 100 employees.
TM- Those found guilty of inequality to do a pay audit.
HH- Business of 250+ employers to do a mandatory pay audit. Will be a phased programme. Transparency is essential. Will work with Trade Union equality reps.
Unless men take on more care roles in the family women cannot continue to thrive in the workplace. How do you propose to get men /enable men to take on a more caring role?
HH- Believes attitudes have changed and we now see unequal pay hinders families plans to implement equal care even if they desire it because it makes sense for the lower paid i.e woman to stay at home. Would implement flexible working hours for men and women.
LF- In manifesto states there would be 19months parental leave, shared as desired.
TM- Would create more flexible maternity and parental leave. First 14 weeks off by mother only, then next 25 (paid) and 13 (unpaid) weeks can be shared and be off together. This will positively change employer attitudes as at interview when presented with woman of child bearing age will not know whether she or man will take time off.
Sun newspaper ran a story on children’s padded bikini being sold in Primark, and how it sexualized children but it still has Page 3, what is to be done about this?
LF- Liberal Democrats have no press links so potentially they could look into removing page 3.
HH- Party has political involvement with The Sun; however, worried about ads for cosmetic surgery in back of women’s mags. We are against FGM and yet we live in a  culture accepting of [other] forms of ‘cosmetic’ surgery.
TM- In fight against sexualisation of children would ban peer to peer marketing, e.g children selling products to children. Would place government ban on advertisers breaking those rules that they could not advertise for three years.
This question seem to cause the most outrage and stir amongst the audience with one girl shouting ‘‘Let’s ban page 3; come on, we can do it!’’
For more accurate answers to the questions please visit the Fawcett website where all the questions and answers are: http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=1064
I feel that this was a very worthwhile debate to go to as I personally find politics hard to engage with and despite not necessarily understanding all the technical terms, I found myself more engaged and thinking more realistically about how politics might affect my future. In particular I was very interested to hear the different parties speak about childcare as this may not affect me, or many of us right now, but it may do in the future.
I was particularly pleased to see that all parties had similar and quite strong ideas about how to deal with violence against women.
Aside from the politics, it was really inspiring to see so many women (and men) of all ages coming together to show they really care about the future of women’s lives and I really think it would be great to be more involved with Fawcett society.
If you have any questions give me a shout.
Sian xx