Young people from two schools in Manchester are creating a timeline of local women who inspire them to celebrate International Women's Day.
The children from Year 9 at Whalley Range High School for Girls in Whalley Range and the Co-operative Academy in Higher Blackley having been working on the timeline project to create a piece of art which will be displayed in Manchester Town Hall as part of the celebration event on March 4 for International Women's Day.
A joint project between Manchester Libraries and the Co-operative Society Manchester, the timeline will highlight the contribution that famous women have made to Manchester. It will also represent what ordinary women contributed to the city's history with images of women at work and play from the Rochdale Pioneers of 1844 to the late 1950s.
As well as the famous contributions the children have been finding out about the life stories and personal family histories of some of the women closest to them, their mothers, aunties, grandmothers and sisters. Each pupil has made a personal collage with images, material, letters and highlights from their interviews with family members which will also be incorporated into the final banner.
Working with local artist Lisa Watson the personal collages will be incorporated into artwork created using stitchwork, sewing, sketches, photos and computer technology to create three 1.5 metre banners which will be displayed in the Lord Mayor's Parlour. People will also have the chance to contribute their stories about fabulous Manchester Women on ribbons and pin them onto the bottom of the banners which are in the suffragette colours; green, white and purple.
Councillor Suzanne Richards, Manchester City Council's lead member on women's issues said: "This has been a great project for the children to work on as they are learning about the historical women figures who have contributed to Manchester's rich history but also the personal histories from their own families are equally important and just as interesting. It is important that we don't forget the ordinary women who are the backbone of our society as International Women's Day is a celebration of all women."
Artist, Lisa Watson, said: "I have really enjoyed working on this project and I have been really interested in the student's rich family histories. One pupil's big sister came with their family to Manchester in 2006 from Nigeria for a better life, another's Nanna was the face of Imperial Leather Soap, 1968-1969. The main focus on 'Our Fabulous Manchester Women' has been the pupils' amazing families, and Manchester Libraries historical images of Manchester Women, so although I have put an historical timeline onto the banners, from 1844 (Rochdale Pioneers formed) to present day, it is very much about celebrating everyday peoples lives."
Celebrations for IWD in Manchester Town Hall Sunday 4 March will run from 11am - 6pm where an innovative and exciting programme of events is taking place.
There will be a chance to get involved in music production, learn about the music industry from experienced women in the industry as well as the opportunity to be involved in making an album in a day.
Panels of women from the music industry will hold workshops and discussions, including a contribution from Liz Kershaw Radio 6 presenter who has been in the industry for 25 years. Sound women will hold workshops which will look beyond the presenting role at where a range of skills fit into the radio industry from being in front of the microphone to organising the team behind it.
There will be stalls, opportunity to listen to women from a range of industries talk about their work as well as the chance to find out about next steps in education, employment or training with information and advice on cv writing, skills, apprenticeships and business start up support.
For more information on the IWD event go to www.manchester.gov.uk/iwd