The Sheffield branch of the Fawcett Society got down to some damn fine campaigning on Wednesday to raise awareness of the pay gap between men and women. Armed with home made placards, piles of leaflets and fistfulls of badges, we sauntered through the town centre, spreading the good word.
And, hell, if we didn’t get a fantastic response!
Most people were wholly unaware of the pay gap and stared in disbelief (OK, in some cases probably more: damn feminists/students/hippies at it again) at the statistics on our placards. Others – mostly men, interestingly – came up to us to ask wasn’t paying women and men different wages illegal, and were genuinely shocked that this still happened..
Unlike the students on campus, sick to death of being plagued with flyers for crappy club nights, shoppers and workers on their lunch break were more than happy to take our flyers – we gave out 300 in just over an hour – while the emo kids were loving the free badges. We even managed to unload a couple on some unsuspecting policemen.
In a stroke of utter genius, we took our placards onto the merry-go-round installed in the main shopping street for Halloween, attracting giggles and camera phones aplenty.
Most importantly, people seemed genuinely interested in and supportive of the campaign, and I’m sure we must have got a significant number of the hundreds of people we reached thinking about equal pay. Fingers crossed we’ll also make it into the local paper. All it took was a handful of activists, a couple of hours’ planning and discussion and an email to the local press.
We had a great time, and I highly recommend you get campaigning near you!
For more info on the Fawcett Society’s campaign and equal pay statictics, go here.