Visitor views and All Work and Low Pay extension

26 Jan

Hello! Sorry it’s been a bit quiet on here of late. We’ve been busy getting the Spring/Summer events sorted. And we’ve got some great news. All Work and Low Pay has now been extended until 25 August 2012. So if you’ve not had chance to visit the exhibition, you’ve got chance to make the trip this summer.

We’re continuing to receive loads of fantastic anecdotes from visitors in response to questions we’ve posed in the exhibition. Here’s just a selection:

‘I worked in a creative agency based in Hoxton for seven months. I was on minimal pay and as one of the only girls was constantly made to feel like my opinions were useless. They just wanted me to do what I was told – no questions asked. When another assistant position became available, one of my colleagues told the boy who applied that they really wanted a girl for the job as it was “a glorified housewife” position. ie shut up, don’t think  don’t talk back. This was in 2011!’

‘My mother – now in her 60s – tried to teach me that women’s jobs were always less important than men’s. Women’s unemployment was high in the 1980s, she told me that there would be no problem with unemployment if women did not “take” jobs from men. Her advice had a galvanising effect on me, and I was determined that I would always earn my own living. My mother still talks about “lady doctors!”‘

‘I *had* my ideal work situation – self employed, freelancer and developing my creative side. Now – no paid work, only voluntary work – women are suffering in the cuts!’

‘A few years ago a friend of mine was at The London School of Fashion. After qualification she went for interview at Savile Row. Was taken as an apprentice though was told “we would rather have had a lad!” She’s a qualified master tailor now.’

‘My mother is the eldest of 12, and grew up in the 1950s in South Vietnam. She left school early to stay at home, help looking after her younger siblings and help her mother in the market selling fish. She married early and came to England in 1975 as a refugee during the Vietnam War. An intelligent woman, denied a formal education, she always supported my sister and I in our studies and careers. She encouraged us “not to marry early.”‘

‘My mum was taken out of school before O Levels by her mother, told “women have babies not careers”, she did various retail/cleaning work whilst doing adult education whilst we were small and graduated as a teacher at 40 with three very proud children. My situation couldn’t be more different, 24 and doing a PhD, I do wonder what work will be around by the time I finish though. All I know is she battled and worked incredibly hard to get anywhere due to class and gender.’

‘I am 21. A university student, I aspire to be a writer of columns, essays, stories, whatever. As long as I have a voice to tell others’ stories and my own, I will. I do want a family and a career. I believe I can have both, but we will see. Only time will tell!’

 

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2 Responses to “Visitor views and All Work and Low Pay extension”

  1. ammie February 24, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Well women work as unpaid in the home and paid usually lower outside the home but this doesn’t mean it has more value. I am now in my late 40s and reclaimed and claimed my education as I got older, even as a parent. Women have many facets and can choose to do more of what they want although I think it is not easy to balance work, education or careers especially as parents. Women are facing more difficulties financially because of cuts to the public sector; the plug is being pulled draining away vital services that support family life and women are being left in a situation which may make them become even more reliant on their partners or the State for help. This may increase their sense of vulnerability where there is a situation of economic control or abuse for example, domestic violence. Womem are empowered and can petition the government about these economic concerns and I will be matching next Sat. 3 March (Million Women Rise) from Selfishes to protect about how women are treated in the 21 century.

    • ammie February 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

      Dear Womens Library please make corrections to the words Womem should be women, Selfishes should be Selfridges, matching should be marching and protect should be protest.

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