Feminists celebrate all the changes Women’s Lib brought to our city

The Seminar of Women's Liberation in Portsmouth 1968 - 1990 hosted at John Pounds Centre, Portsmouth Picture: Allan Hutchings (151129-836)
The Seminar of Women's Liberation in Portsmouth 1968 - 1990 hosted at John Pounds Centre, Portsmouth Picture: Allan Hutchings (151129-836)
Protest organiser Rachel Follett (centre front) with fellow local residents 

Pictures: Duncan Shepherd (171649_010)

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FEMINISTS of all ages were given the chance to meet each other to celebrate the Women’s Liberation Movement in the city.

The seminar entitled Women’s Liberation in Portsmouth 1968-1990 was held at the John Pounds Centre, Portsmouth, on Saturday and gave women the opportunity to share ideas, discuss topics and campaigns.

Organised by University of Portsmouth lecturer Dr Sue Bruley, it was hoped that the event would give the older generation the platform to learn from younger women.

She said: ‘This is a day for feminists to talk about what women’s liberation was like in Portsmouth in the 1970s and 80s and what is happening now.’

Throughout the informal event people spoke about their role in the movement to explore the progression and influence it has had on the lives of women in the city.

One of those was former University of Portsmouth lecturer Sue Harper, 70, from Hayling Island, who discussed the early years of the campaign.

Involved in the movement since 1971 Sue shared how she believed it has raised the consciousness of women’s rights and issues. She said: ‘Early women had been thinking and feeling a lot of things so that women today don’t have to go back to the book but they can learn from what feminists in Portsmouth have done previously as we have a long tradition of feminism in the city.’

Other panels included local campaigns on domestic violence, abortion rights, economic struggle and experiences in London from Ann Jones who has been involved in the movement in Wandsworth and Holborn.

There was also a discussion on women’s aid in Portsmouth from Rose Storkey who discussed the development of services for women throughout the decades and how they have become more accessible. There has been a lot of political and social change and with the equal pay act but it still doesn’t mean that the battle has been won,’ said Sue.

Most of the women who attended the meeting were involved in the movement since the 1980s but some were there to discover what it has already achieved.

Early members were encouraged to bring posters, badges, clothing and other associated with their participation in the movement.

Dr Celia Clark brought an article from the 1970s in which she was interviewed in The News about feminism.

Throughout her time in the movement Dr Clark has founded a number of groups to help women in a number of industries, including planning.