FRANK RSS Feed http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/ List of latest articles from WEA Women at Work Not Another One http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/706/Not-Another-One http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/706/Not-Another-One At a time when child sex abuse in Scotland is once again in the headlines, we have this powerful piece from WEA Women@Work Local Network Coordinator, Orla Broderick. Look away, turn away. Close the screen, throw away the newspaper. Another group of women share a history of oppression and shame. It's banal, it's commonplace, it's sigh-worthy. It's 'oh no, here we go again.' Dismiss me any way you can, remove me from your radar, your social chat, your mind, your consciousness. We read this last week, last year - a hundred years ago. At seventeen I demanded conversations about what abuse was and what my family knew about it. Thirty years later (almost) I am still asking the same questions. Nothing has changed. My class mates are the latest to join in the anthem of suffering. The once-silent ones standing with the not so silent ones. I was rarely quiet about the state of affairs in the boarding school I attended. I'm fairly sure almost everyone I've had even a passing meeting with has been aware that I considered my boarding school a hell hole and an abomination. Close friends know why I am terrified of nuns and choirs. If our mothers spoke we could join the dots to where it all started, how it was perpetuated. But many of our mothers still refuse to admit that they knew we were being raped, groped or hurt. Before they were our mothers, they were daughters. They were raped, groped, silenced daughters, just like us.  My mother dismissed my abuse claims with the phrase "never mind that one, she has a great imagination". This was a common cliché. I heard my grandmothers say the same of her. Our mothers spoke over us, denying our truth, burying our voices. That was their job. It was what they were taught to do, encouraged, forced, to do.  Take your eyes from these words, don't read on. It's the same old story told over and over and over again. "I threw a snowball and slipped on the ice, ended up with my leg in a cast and a bed in the junior dorm, under the eye of a young orange haired nun with immense breasts. The night she put her hand under my duvet I nearly broke her wrist. She was a big thing and she had a pal, another young nun who was all creepy-cuddly. They frustrated and annoyed me, always watching me, always standing too close. I stole from their pockets, their lockers, their larders. I used their phone. I drank their wine. I took up smoking, drinking, mitching, thieving. I acted up, acted out, spoke out of turn. I stomped and ranted. The young nuns were reprimanded and we seniors were given rooms to share. Away from their glare, I had boyfriends in several towns and villages around rural Ireland and a large bottle of Bulmers waiting in many bars. I went where I wanted, did as I pleased. No one cared." This is my own true voice. This is my memory. My family refuse to believe this memory of mine is real. They tell me I made it up. That I have a great imagination.  All these old yarns have pain and suffering sewn into the fabric of us. It's the thread that binds. We try to buy it away with pretty things or watch it away with terrible telly. But it's in the breaths we take when we are alone. The pain is the truth we dare not tell, the not daring tell is the pain. Round and ever round. On and ever on. The hardest thing for me to accept was that my father did nothing. I was disappointed in men by the time I was eighteen. At twenty I began to believe he wasn't my dad at all, because he hadn't spoken about the hell hole. I saw Irish men as weak. They were the only ones who could have stopped the priests from groping their daughters. But they didn't. My mother and I argued like bitches. We fought wars about abuse, patterns, priests and the like. She told the world I was a liar. In secret she said I deserved it. Scoil Muire Gan Smál was another one. Just another catholic boarding school with a long shadow. Just one more isolated religious establishment with a a paedo priest and his willing nuns.  And now, just one more group of women are sharing their memories, swapping the small remembrances, offering each other a bit of love and space to say aye, we were there too. It happened. You are not alone. You lived. I am here too. Orla's novel, The January Flower, was long listed for the Polari First Book Award 2013. In 2014, she won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. Orla lives in Findhorn. FRANK is where you get to have your say on the Woman@Work website. Submissions for FRANK can be on any subject and can be submitted at any time. There is no minimum length, maximum length is 800 words. Please include a sentence or two about yourself with your submission. Views expressed in FRANK are entirely those of the contributor and are not necessarily endorsed by WEA Women@Work. Submissions should be sent as Word attachments with FRANK in the subject heading to: l.thomson@wea.org.ukFRANK: Open, honest and direct in speech or writing, especially when dealing with unpalatable matters. Thu, 8 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT The New Normal http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/699/The-New-Normal http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/699/The-New-Normal Alison Napier is 58 and was diagnosed with a Grade 3 breast cancer in June 2016. 'Grief! Why are people baking bloody Victoria Sponges and cupcakes to pay for a MacMillan nurse? Aaaargh! There are a thousand surgeons and multi-disciplinary teams on alert when it's a curable dramatic cancer. If it's quiet and sad and terminal we have a bloody coffee morning.' It is advert time and I forgot to mute. 'Don't go getting yourself all aeriated now,' wisely counselled Nurse Beloved, not looking up from her computer game. Money confuses me, particularly public money. Unless I am wrong, there does not seem to be a genuine shortage of it in UK plc, the fifth richest economy in the Entire World. Poorly distributed, but plenty there. A quick scan of recent headlines tells me the following: Amazon paid sixpence, two marbles and a dusty caramel in tax to the Irish government. The 6th Duke of Westminster died leaving an estate of maybe £9.9bn and his heir will probably not have to pay lots of inheritance tax (at 40% amounting to £3.74bn give or take) because it is held in trusts and offshore places. Allegedly. Trident will cost at least £205bn to replace according to CND (or £17.5bn according to the always canny and veracious MoD) and the current nuclear version has failed to prevent any of the recent horrific atrocities in Europe. And that's why I am indeed aeriated. Because if I add together the unpaid UK taxes of Amazon and its chums, even just one legally avoided inheritance tax and the lowest estimate for Trident I get £13.75 billion pounds. And that is an awful lot of Victoria Sponges, and more than 370 times more than the £37 million raised by Children in Need last year. I know. Calm down, dear. But where's the fun in that. Hashtag Headache. Why it is saintly and noble to wear a pink ribbon and bake a pink cake and embarrassingly ungrateful particularly as a cancer sufferer ('Quiet there, blogger at the back,') to question the ethos behind the campaigns, and to wonder why, when there is clearly no lack of cash in these sceptred isles, the terminally ill are relying on a recipe donated by Kirsty Allsopp for Key Lime Pie and a non-biodegradable silicone charity wristband made in China to secure dignified end of life care? Earlier this year the World Health Organisation gave coffee a clean bill of health, saying that it did not cause cancer after all, and all the Coffee Morning bakers and hostesses and hosts surely dodged a bullet and a lot of unfortunate press. So in the years between 1991 and 2016, a mere quarter of a century, coffee has been rehabilitated. Don't give up, bacon. The jury is still out on sugar as a possible carcinogenic, at least until after all the coffee and cake events.And it's not just terminal cancer patients having to rely on charity to be able to provide a highly skilled professional to support and care for them at the end of their life. Like many I winced when the rich earnest pop singers crooned, 'And there won't be snow in Africa...' (Duh, the Atlas Mountains? Kilimanjaro?) and, 'Where nothing ever grows.' Oh for heavens sakes. Nothing? Ever? Really? Of course when I'm not being aeriated I know there is another side to this story. I may not understand why the government will not fully fund all the end of life care that is needed, leaving charities to the mercy of public generosity and the whim of public opinion but shouting about it will not change anything. I will be grateful that I have a socially acceptable illness that the public are happy to support financially. It would be different if I were an unkempt aggressive homeless drug user for no one bakes cakes for them. And who benefits from discouraging us from asking the difficult Why questions, encouraging us instead to take part in undoubtedly highly organised and successful celebrity and media-backed fund raising events, as if there were no alternative, and it was all just a bit of a lark? People I have a huge respect for take part in these events. Five years ago a fabulous former work colleague was instrumental in successfully halting a royal cavalcade in the Highlands with a line of 8000 bras strung between two East Sutherland villages, with volunteers in pink cowboy hats stopping traffic and rattling buckets. Charles and Camilla donated £30 (between them!) to the Breast Cancer Unit in Inverness. People getting together, meeting their neighbours and making new friends, sharing food, forming a common purpose, how can I possibly get aeriated about that? Eating together even reduces obesity! So I will stop, my chemo-fogged argument has suddenly entirely consumed itself and I will just be pleased to have got it off my interestingly scarred chest. Alison Napier Alison is a social worker to trade and is also a writer. Her short stories are published in many collections and anthologies in both Scotland and England and her non-fiction has appeared in a variety of national newspapers and journals. She lives in Perthshire with her partner Susan, enjoys her allotment on an island in the River Tay (regrettably prone to regular flooding…!), cooks once a week for a lunch club for older people and plays the recorder with a fine bunch of friends in her spare time. This blog was originally written for and published on OAPSchat - a website for Optomistic and Pro-Active seniors. FRANK is where you get to have your say on the Woman@Work website. Submissions for FRANK can be on any subject and can be submitted at any time. There is no minimum length, maximum length is 800 words. Please include a sentence or two about yourself with your submission. Views expressed in FRANK are entirely those of the contributor and are not necessarily endorsed by WEA Women@Work. Submissions should be sent as Word attachments with FRANK in the subject heading to: l.thomson@wea.org.ukFRANK: Open, honest and direct in speech or writing, especially when dealing with unpalatable matters. Tue, 1 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT Fully Engaged http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/691/Fully-Engaged http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/691/Fully-Engaged In this FRANK column, Lorraine Thomson, W@W Project Coordinator, expresses a personal viewpoint.The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is a story of rare impact. As with Catch 22, the phrase Jekyll and Hyde has transcended the book and become part of our everyday language. Although Jekyll and Hyde is not my favourite Stevenson story (that plaudit goes to The Bottle Imp), I have recently been dwelling upon it as the duality at the heart of the tale seems to me to reflect the contemporary existential struggle. We are living at a time of incredible change and innovation. Knowledge, opportunities, and the possibility of interacting with people across the world are only a device away. Young people especially, have the chance to learn and connect with the world in a way that was unthinkable during my formative years before the internet existed and the main job of the local librarian was to keep knowledge-hungry kids out of the adult section lest they stumble upon something more challenging than Enid Blyton's Secret Seven. But with the positive comes the correlating negative. The ability to engage has become a fear of ever switching off and life is lived at an intensity previously unknown. Long gone are the days when school with all its trials and tribulations was left behind with the ring of the final bell. Now there is no respite; the good, the bad, and the intensity of knowing what everyone thinks about everything all the time shadows you home. Sinatra sang Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week; before the advent of the internet you might have thought so but with the rise of social media don't you just know it. It's right there on Facebook, everyone is at the party and you weren't invited. There is no escape, no let-up. So-called banter gets grotesquely out of hand in group chats. People flounce after being roasted, but being roasted is better than not being included in the first place. Opinions become fact, rumours mutate into truth, while in her bedroom a naïve girl takes an intimate photograph to send to some guy she doesn't know and who most likely isn't who he says he is.  Child exploitation didn't start with the internet and if the web disintegrated overnight it wouldn't end, but the gaping maw of the web, ever hungry for more and more images has made the cynical corruption of our children increasingly profitable. The internet doesn't just make the gratification of sexual voyeurs easier to achieve; it seems to make everything easier but what we are being fed is the illusion of choice. Everything on the internet is a click, a swipe, a tap of the keyboard away. Instant gratification followed by more instant gratification leading to a dulling of the senses. Maybe that's why so many young people self-harm - because feeling something is better than feeling nothing. Or maybe it's because they read about it online and they want to be as tortured and sensitive as everyone else. No wonder so many of them turn to drugs, which are also only a text or a click away. They know the dangers, sure they do - they get told about them at school. But health warnings don't work, the kids either feel so young and invincible that the thought of losing a few brain cells doesn't matter, or they are on such a nihilistic mind trip that death by drugs seems like an acceptable option. The ones who survive this stage of their lives will come out at the other end to face a Brave New World, for the internet and all that comes with it, is in its infancy. We haven't begun to tap into what is possible; depending on your point of view this is either an exhilarating thought or one which terrifies. Perhaps instead of the device being hand-held and never out of grasp, it will become corporeal. The screen will be absorbed into the body and everyone barcoded at birth so that they may purchase what they will with the blink of an eye or a flicker of a thought. We will be 100% engaged and Hyde, as he does in Stevenson's tale, will have won.Lorraine ThomsonLorraine lives in Ullapool where she is a member of the Coastal Rowing Club. Writing as LG Thomson, she is the author of four published books. FRANK is where you get to have your say on the Woman@Work website. Submissions for FRANK can be on any subject and can be submitted at any time. There is no minimum length, maximum length is 800 words. Please include a sentence or two about yourself with your submission. Views expressed in FRANK are entirely those of the contributor and are not necessarily endorsed by WEA Women@Work. Submissions should be sent as Word attachments with FRANK in the subject heading to: l.thomson@wea.org.ukFRANK: Open, honest and direct in speech or writing, especially when dealing with unpalatable matters. Fri, 7 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT Sick of Superheroes http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/684/Sick-of-Superheroes http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/684/Sick-of-Superheroes In this FRANK column, Debbie Mathews, Local Network Coordinator for Ross-shire, expresses her views on superheros. Really.  I've had enough of them.  There's a never-ending stream of boys in spandex, or metal - cape optional - with the odd girl thrown in for sex appeal; although let's face it, it's mostly boys: Batman, Iron Man, Spiderman, Captain America, Ant Man, The Hulk, Thor, Blade, Ghost Rider, Dr Strange, Black Panther and Nick Fury.  Shall I go on? I'm no expert.  I have no idea how many superheroes there are and I'm not about to do a Google search to find out.  Actually, I've just done a Google search, and the results are staggering.  The list goes on for pages: fan clubs, games, Lego, costumes, films, TV, and merchandise. Marvel has defined the superhero in contemporary culture. Marvel's own modern incarnation was in 1960's comics in the USA, although the brand had other manifestations prior to that.  The comics transferred to TV in 1966 and the brand was bought by Disney in 2009, and as you'd expect, a continuous excretion of films, games and attendant merchandising, raking up billions, has followed. These superheroes do not live in a vacuum.  There are the requisite villains, of course, super-villains who always get defeated and yet always rise up in some new incarnation bigger, meaner, stronger.  That's one of the things about superheroes; they need villains to be able to 'do their thing'.  And we all know what that is: the fights and explosions.  Except what used to be 'Bing!' 'Bang!' and 'Kapow!' has turned into increasingly realistic special effects which are less and less comic style.  With the violence bigged-up on screen, there is often massive destruction in its wake and these 'good guys' often kill as many civilians as they save. In an ideal world with power comes responsibility, but seemingly not if you wear a costume and a have a super-ego to match your super-powers.  Oh no, then you get carte blanche to cause as much death and destruction as Mr Villain.  Superheroes, supposedly a fighting-for-good patriotic bunch, seem to be enjoying a punch up for the hell of it as much as for anything more noble.  Though unintended, it's a neat metaphor for a country that wades in all over the world picking fights with villains of their own definition, often for less than moral causes. Superheroes create super-villains and war monger create wars and rebels. OK, so I don't need to see another superhero film.  I can let my partner get on with it and pass.  The fact is, I will still be bombarded with this stuff: in trailers, in the media, on lines, in kid's games, in merchandising.  You can't avoid it.  It's in the ether and the psyche.  And it's depressing. We all know life isn't as simple as good guy/bad guy, but these stereotypes stick.  Look at the female superheroes.  Surely we have more in our armoury than sex appeal?  And let's face it, girls don't get out of bed in the morning with point perfect makeup and no bed hair.  We do not all have figures like Scarlett Johansson.  But as long as guys are the making movies... Best not get me started on those topics though, I can feel another rant coming on! My superheroes are all real people who have fought against the odds, Mandela and Malala, the Paralympians, the ordinary people who are less than perfect but are standing up for what they believe in against hostility or persecution.  And what about the ordinary people who have superpowers?  The peacemakers and leaders, those with quiet perseverance?  I'm with Bowie - 'we can be heroes' if we believe our ordinary lives matter, and other ordinary lives matter: black lives, LGBT lives, disabled lives, immigrant lives. I bet you haven't heard of Jessica Jones.  She's an original Marvel character, a private-eye who prefers to use her brain to her brawn.  She's a superhero in a much looser sense: foul-mouthed, hard drinking, and not a stitch of spandex in sight.  Now she is someone I could get to like, but as yet she has made no appearance on the big screen. So, as I say, I'm sick of superheroes.  Sick of the fighting and destruction and posturing. There's only so much escapism this girl can take. We need a new breed of superhero, modelled in our own image, so that real courage and sitckability, and standing up for truth are the superpowers we encourage and admire.  For now, if I don't see another superhero in my lifetime it will still be too soon!Debbie MathewsBorn in London, but now living on a hill overlooking the Cromarty Firth, Debbie has spent the last 12 years working in the third sector as an advocate, community worker and in mental health.  As well as her new role with W@W, she is a self-employed cook and writer and was one of the founder members of the Highland Literary Salon. FRANK is where you get to have your say on the Woman@Work website. Submissions for FRANK can be on any subject and can be submitted at any time. There is no minimum length, maximum length is 800 words. Please include a sentence or two about yourself with your submission. Views expressed in FRANK are entirely those of the contributor and are not necessarily endorsed by WEA Women@Work. Submissions should be sent as Word attachments with FRANK in the subject heading to: l.thomson@wea.org.ukFRANK: Open, honest and direct in speech or writing, especially when dealing with unpalatable matters. Mon, 12 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Dingwall, Tain, Thurso, LOSE YOUR FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/679/Dingwall-Tain-Thurso-LOSE-YOUR-FEAR-OF-PUBLIC-SPEAKING http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/679/Dingwall-Tain-Thurso-LOSE-YOUR-FEAR-OF-PUBLIC-SPEAKING 1st Mon each month, 7pm, Tulloch Castle, Dingwall3rd Mon each month, 7pm, Duthus House, Tain7th Sept Launch, 7pm, North Highland College, ThursoThese events are hosted by Toastmasters, a not for profit organisation operating throughout the world helping people to improve their public speaking skills. Come along and find out how improving your public speaking skills can help you in your professional and social life. Learn more about Toastmasters. No commitment, no sell, just a group of people that work together to improve everyone's speaking and communication skills. Go to North Highland Speakers for more information. Thu, 18 Aug 2016 00:00:00 GMT HIGHLAND HOSPICE - Saturday 18th June http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/663/HIGHLAND-HOSPICE-Saturday-18th-June http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/663/HIGHLAND-HOSPICE-Saturday-18th-June Young people and those looking for a change of career are being offered the chance to look behind the scenes of his construction site. Open Doors site visits demonstrate the diverse range of career opportunities available within construction and give people a taste of what it is like to work in the industry.Spaces are limited so to register your place please goes to www.opendoors.construction and click on Highland Hospice Wed, 25 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT "I think one's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results." - Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/624/I-think-ones-feelings-waste-themselves-in-words-they-ought-all-to-be-distilled-into-actions-which-bring-results.-Florence-Nightingale-1820-1910 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/624/I-think-ones-feelings-waste-themselves-in-words-they-ought-all-to-be-distilled-into-actions-which-bring-results.-Florence-Nightingale-1820-1910 "I think one's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results." - Florence Nightingale (1820-1910).  "The lady with the lamp", Florence Nightingale, nursed wounded soldiers during the Crimean war. Her passion and dedication to the profession changed public's perception about this profession. Her insistence on improving sanitary conditions for the patients is believed to have saved many lives. The Florence Nighingale Foundation Wed, 6 Jan 2016 00:00:00 GMT Nellie Bly, 1864-1922 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/614/Nellie-Bly-1864-1922 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/614/Nellie-Bly-1864-1922 Nellie Bly, 1864-1922.  Nellie Bly was born Elizabeth Jane Cochran on May 5, 1864 in the town of Cochran's Mills, Pennsylvania.  The town was named for her father, Judge Michael Cochran. Early in life, Elizabeth earned the nickname "Pink" because her mother routinely dressed her in that colour.  To read about this remarkable lady click here. Mon, 9 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Mother Teresa (1910-1997) - "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/605/Mother-Teresa-1910-1997-Not-all-of-us-can-do-great-things.-But-we-can-do-small-things-with-great-love http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/605/Mother-Teresa-1910-1997-Not-all-of-us-can-do-great-things.-But-we-can-do-small-things-with-great-love Mother Teresa, the Nobel Peace Prize winner (1979), aimed at looking after those who had nobody to look after them through her own order "The Missionaries of Charity". She worked tirelessly towards her goal until her ill-health - that included two heart attacks, pneumonia and malaria - forced her to step down in March 1997, following which she took her last breath in September 1997.  For more information click here Tue, 13 Oct 2015 00:00:00 GMT "Each coming together of man and wife, even if they have been mated for many years, should be a fresh adventure; each winning should necessitate a fresh wooing." - Marie Stopes (1880-1958) http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/596/Each-coming-together-of-man-and-wife-even-if-they-have-been-mated-for-many-years-should-be-a-fresh-adventure-each-winning-should-necessitate-a-fresh-wooing.-Marie-Stopes-1880-1958 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/596/Each-coming-together-of-man-and-wife-even-if-they-have-been-mated-for-many-years-should-be-a-fresh-adventure-each-winning-should-necessitate-a-fresh-wooing.-Marie-Stopes-1880-1958 The british scientist Marie Stopes is best known for her achievements in the fields of birth control and sex education in the 20th century.  She publicly addressed romantic and sexual happiness in a marriage, thereby, breaking many barriers in the society.  Stopes was a campaigner for women's rights and a pioneer in the field of family planning. Marie Stopes was born on 15 October 1880 in Edinburgh to an archaeologist father and scholarly mother who was also a suffragist. Her studies as a paleobotanist took her to universities in London and Munich, then to Manchester where she became the first female member of the science faculty at the university. In 1911, she married Reginald Ruggles Gates. The relationship quickly broke down, and Marie realised that her husband was impotent and the marriage was unconsummated. It was annulled in 1914. Please click here for more info. Tue, 11 Aug 2015 00:00:00 GMT Nancy Grace Augusta Wake AC, GM served as a British Special Operations Executive Agent during the later part of World War II. http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/597/Nancy-Grace-Augusta-Wake-AC-GM-served-as-a-British-Special-Operations-Executive-Agent-during-the-later-part-of-World-War-II http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/597/Nancy-Grace-Augusta-Wake-AC-GM-served-as-a-British-Special-Operations-Executive-Agent-during-the-later-part-of-World-War-II Nancy Grace Augusta Wake AC, GM served as a British Special Operations Executive Agent during the later part of World War II.  Nancy Wake was born in New Zealand but her family moved to Australia when she was 2. She spent her childhood in Sydney and after her studies she traveled to Europe where she worked as a journalist. In 1939 Nancy married French industrialist Henri Fiocca who was killed during the War.  For more information click here. Tue, 11 Aug 2015 00:00:00 GMT Violette Szabo – “The Bravest of Us All” http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/594/Violette-Szabo-The-Bravest-of-Us-All http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/594/Violette-Szabo-The-Bravest-of-Us-All Violette Szabo was an undercover secret agent for the SOE (Special Operations Executive) in Occupied France during World War Two. After completing two special missions, she was captured by the Germans and executed in 1945. This is her incredible story. See more here Tue, 21 Jul 2015 00:00:00 GMT Moina Belle Michael Biography (1869-1944) http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/586/Moina-Belle-Michael-Biography-1869-1944 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/586/Moina-Belle-Michael-Biography-1869-1944 Moina Belle Michael Biography (1869-1944)  Moina Belle Michael was an American teacher who had the idea to create an emblem of Remembrance using the red Flanders poppy. At the age of 49, with a career in teaching for over 30 years already behind her, she had this inspirational idea in November 1918. She decided to dedicate her life to campaign to have this emblem recognized by governments, veteran agencies and the public.  She continued with this project for the next 26 years until her death in 1944 and became affectionately known as “the Poppy Lady”. For more information click here. Mon, 29 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Cathay Williams: The Only Black Woman Buffalo Soldier http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/585/Cathay-Williams-The-Only-Black-Woman-Buffalo-Soldier http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/585/Cathay-Williams-The-Only-Black-Woman-Buffalo-Soldier Cathay Williams: The Only Black Woman Buffalo Soldier - Private Cathay Williams was the only woman to serve in the US Army as a Buffalo Soldier. On November 15, 1866 she enlisted in the Army as a man. Williams reversed her name William Cathay and lived as a male soldier and served until she was found out due to the last of many illnesses she suffered while a serving. She is the only documented black woman known to have served in the Army during these times when enlisting women was prohibited. Find out more here. Tue, 23 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Margaret Mackworth, otherwise known as Lady Rhondda, was an important women’s rights campaigner throughout the first half of the 20th century http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/584/Margaret-Mackworth-otherwise-known-as-Lady-Rhondda-was-an-important-womens-rights-campaigner-throughout-the-first-half-of-the-20th-century http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/584/Margaret-Mackworth-otherwise-known-as-Lady-Rhondda-was-an-important-womens-rights-campaigner-throughout-the-first-half-of-the-20th-century Margaret Mackworth, otherwise known as Lady Rhondda, was an important women’s rights campaigner throughout the first half of the 20th century Wed, 17 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/580/Amelia-Earhart-1897-1937 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/580/Amelia-Earhart-1897-1937 Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)  "Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried.  When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others."  Too read more about Amelia Earhart please click here Mon, 15 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Millicent Fawcett dedicated her life to peacefully fighting for women's rights. Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929) http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/568/Millicent-Fawcett-dedicated-her-life-to-peacefully-fighting-for-womens-rights.-Millicent-Fawcett-1847-1929 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/home-frank/article/568/Millicent-Fawcett-dedicated-her-life-to-peacefully-fighting-for-womens-rights.-Millicent-Fawcett-1847-1929 Millicent Fawcett dedicated her life to peacefully fighting for women's rights but she remained an underrated leader of the suffrage movement (campaign for women to have the vote). She encouraged her politician husband Henry Fawcett to carry on with his work after he was blinded in an accident.   "A large part of the present anxiety to improve the education of girls and women is also due to the conviction that the political disabilities of women will not be maintained." - Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929) Read more here Mon, 1 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT