International Women’s Day celebrated in Uppermill

ACCLAIMED ACTRESS Maxine Peake lent her support to International Women’s Day at an event in Uppermill hosted by Saddleworth Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund.

In a message that offered support for the work the charity does along with its sister groups across the North, she praised the groups for their wonderful and invaluable efforts.

p14 international womens day
Kathy Brooks, SPWSF spokesperson; MP Debbie Abrahams; and Arwa Abu Haikal Harvard, a speaker from Palestine

She said: “The world needs to come together and stop this horrendous occupation and the continued discrimination and destruction of the Palestinian people.

“One of the ways this can happen is by events that continue to educate people on the crisis and highlight the strength, resolve and resilience especially of the Palestinian women.”

Her words were echoed by MP Debbie Abrahams who, along with Angela Rayner MP and around 70 people, attended the event at Uppermill Methodist Church.

Mrs Abrahams, who is Vice-Chair to the All Party Britain-Palestine Group in Parliament, said: “I am inspired by the work of the Saddleworth Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund which is helping so many women improve their lives in the midst of terrible conditions.

“In spite of the frustrations, indignity and injustice ordinary Palestinian women face on a daily basis, most of them want a just and peaceful future; something we can all identify with.

“The work of the Fund is playing its part in bringing the vision of justice and peace between Palestinians and Israelis a step closer with each woman they help into higher education.”

The theme of the event was ‘Women of Palestine: living through trauma, building resilience’ and combined fundraising with marking International Women’s Day and the resilience of Palestinian women.

In a programme featuring films, photographs and first hand accounts, the audience heard from Palestinian women about the continuing damage to their communities and the enormous pressure of trying to keep their families together.

With coffee and cake, a jewellery stall and the opportunity to buy Palestinian food and goods the event raised more than £500.

Over 95 per cent of all money raised goes directly to the women in Gaza to pay for their education, which costs around 400 per year but is beyond the means of many.

Kathy Brooks, SPWSF spokesperson, said “Currently, SPWSF, together with groups in Sheffield and Bolton sponsor 43 women in Gaza through higher education.

“The money raised at this event, together with donations and standing orders, will ensure SPWSF can maintain and increase that commitment.”

The Saddleworth Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund was formed in 2012 to enable women in Gaza to access higher education. Anyone interested in supporting them can contact the group by emailing


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