Celebrating women in Hammersmith & Fulham

Women's history month 1 to 31 March

This year's United Nations International Women’s Day theme is DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.

Building gender equality has been a struggle for many women for centuries and an everyday occurrence from feeling safe walking the streets, getting the right support with health care to accessing affordable childcare.

Women have fought battles to be treated equally and fairly – to have a voice, a vote and be paid fairly. The digital gender gap is just another inequality that needs challenging through championing transformative technology and digital education to protecting women and girls online.

We recognise that women’s history is a rich tapestry locally, nationally and internationally, where we build resilience in our communities for equal rights, and support each other through social change to make the world a better place. In H&F we champion innovation, through our Industrial Strategy and social and digital inclusion work to tackle inequalities and transforms our communities.

Building on innovation we recognise the importance of celebrating our achievements. That’s why this year we are proud to celebrate the many women who came before us, and the women making our borough an amazing place to live, work and visit today.

In 2022, the borough elected its highest number of female councillors ever – all from diverse backgrounds and women who were born here or chose to make Hammersmith & Fulham their home and build their history in the borough.

Valuing our diversity and celebrating our History, this year we have organised Women’s History Month.

We have an amazing exhibition of female artists at The Lyric, are launching our women’s history trial project gathering records on formidable women from H&F with local schools to build a Women’s History Trail for 2024 and many other events.

Join us throughout March to explore our events and help us build our catalogue of amazing women from art, politics, history, medicine, engineering and technology.

Find out about ourWomen's History Month events.

H&F Mayor, Cllr Emma Apthorp, Lead Member for Women & Girls
Cllr Rebecca Harvey, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion & Community Safety

H&F Women's History Month Quiz

We've put together a quiz to celebrate the many contributions from the H&F women who came before us and are blazing a trail now. Give the quiz a go and see how much you know about the women of H&F.

Take the H&F Women's History quiz

H&F women past and present

Queen Catherine of Braganza (1638 to 1705)

Along with Frances Bedingfield, Queen Catherine founded the convent and school for “English Ladies” in Hammersmith Road - now the Sacred Heart School.

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 to 1797)

Mary Wollstonecraft was a pioneering feminist writer. She wrote a landmark book The Vindication of the Rights of Women.

She also argued for gender equality and for women to be educated equally to men.

Caroline Chisholm (1808 to 1877)

Caroline Chisholm went to Madras in 1830 where she opened a school for soldiers' daughters

Later in 1841, she opened a home for female immigrants in Sidney, Australia. Her portrait was on the Australian $5 note and 5 cent stamps from 1967 to 1968.

She settled in Fulham, 19 Barclay Road in 1870.

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh (1876 to 1948)

An Indian princess, Sophia Duleep Singh was an important figure in the suffragette movement in the UK – securing the right to vote for women – and whose godmother was Queen Victoria.

She worked closely with the Suffragette Pankhurst family.

Christina Broom (1862 to 1939)

Photographer and postcard publisher. She lived at 38 Burnfoot Avenue and had a shop at 92 Munster Road.

She was Britain’s first female press photographer and photographed the suffragettes.

Lolita Roy - fighter for women’s votes in 1865

Lolita Roy was an Indian social reformer and suffragist who fought for women’s rights in Britain and India.

During World War One she set up a fund for Indian soldiers and raised a lot of money through auctions and clothing sales.

After the war she continued speaking out for women’s rights across the British Empire.

Baroness Edith Summerskill (1901 to 1980)

Baroness Summerskill was a Labour MP for Fulham. She was also Minister of National Insurance, 1950-1 and chairperson of the Labour Party from 1950 to 1954.

She published a number of books including Babies without Tears, The Ignoble Art, Letters to my Daughter, and A Woman’s World.

Baroness Phillips Norah Mary (1910 to 1992)

Baroness Phillips Norah Mary was a long-life feminist, life peer. She was Lord Lieutenant for Greater London from 1978 to 1985.

She was also the first woman to become a government chief whip in the House of Lords in 1965.

Janet Olufunmilayo Adegoke

Janet Olufunmilayo Adegoke was the the fi first Black woman to become the Mayor of a London borough. She was elected Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham in 1987.

Dame Sheila Cameron Hancock DBE

Dame Sheila Cameron Hancock is an English actress, singer, and author. She has also presented several documentaries.

In 2010, she was presented Suffragette City telling the story of the suffragette movement through objects from the Museum of London's collection.

In the 2021 New Years Honours Llist, Shelia was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to drama and to charity.

Peggy Coles

Peggy started Hammersmith & Fulham’s Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) in September 2019.

Their aim is to improve services and support for people with dementia and their families in all the diverse communities of the borough.

Jazz Browne - Community champion

Jazz Browne has spent over 70% of her lifetime in H&F Fulham. From growing up as a child in White City to her career spanning over 20 years in the borough.

As CEO of Nubian Life, Jazz and her team played an instrumental role in providing culturally specific services throughout the pandemic alongside supporting the wider community.

Rosie Peters - Leading teacher

Rosie Peters is the co-head at Wendell Park primary school and is passionate about making a difference in the lives of children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

At Wendell Park they strive to ensure that diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of all that they do. This has meant reviewing their curriculum, in particular history, and they have even created their own antiracist charter.

This had led Rosie to playing an instrumental role in delivering the Power of Representation Programme in schools across the borough.

Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE

Dr Hayaatun Sillem is CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation.

She co-chaired the commission on improving Black representation in motorsport. She was named as one of the inspiring 50 women in tech in Europe and one of the most influential in both UK engineering and UK tech.

Councillor Patricia Quigley

Cllr Patricia Quigley is the Lead Member for Inclusive Community Engagement and Co-production. She has represented the ward where she grew up and still lives since 2018.

Patricia co-wrote “Nothing about Disabled People without Disabled People” report with 9 other Disabled residents as part of the H&F Disabled Peoples Commission.