Eleanor Marx Award 2019

The nominations are open!!

Do you know an inspiring GMB woman Member or Rep, whose activism and commitment deserves to be recognised? Is there an outstanding woman member or activist in your Branch or Workplace? Nominate them for the Eleanor Marx Award today!

There are so many women throughout our union doing amazing work who don't get the recognition they deserve, such as Cath Murphy an ASDA worker from Scotland who was given the first ever Eleanor Marx Award, Mary Turner former GMB President and Jo Cox former MP.

The Eleanor Marx Award was introduced to celebrate the life's work and continue the legacy of Eleanor Marx.

Who is Eleanor Marx?



Eleanor Marx was born on the 16th of January 1855. She spent her whole life fighting to improve the living standards of working class people, was a leading light in the struggle for women’s rights and was central in the founding of our union.  

In 1889 at the age of 34, Eleanor worked alongside Will Thorne in setting up the Gas & General Workers union in Beckton East London - she's often credited with teaching him to read and write.

Over 800 gas workers joined the union on the day of its launch in east London. In just two weeks over 3,000 signed up, rallying behind the demand for an eight hour day.

She went on to set up the first women’s branch of the union and was unanimously elected to the executive in 1891 and began organising in the struggle of women workers in east London’s rubber industry,  a dispute involving thousands.

In honour of Eleanor, GMB designated the 16th of January - her birthday - as ‘Eleanor Marx Day’.

All GMB members can nominate a woman for this award and it's easy to do -  simply fill in this nomination form by midnight 22nd April 2019. 

Your nomination will then be checked and verified by your region and the successful candidate will receive the award at the GMB National Congress.

*Please note that GMB officers cannot be nominated*

Last years winners

Sarah Louise James, Birmingham & West Midlands

Described as ‘Birmingham’s Inspirational woman!’ for the crucial role she has played in championing women’s rights and encouraging and inspiriting new women activists to become active. 

Her passion and commitment has played a big part in the launch and success of the Birmingham Organised Sisters Society (BOSS) since 2014.

Sarah has been instrumental in leading our equality focused social media profile at regional level for BOSS and for the GMB National Women’s Facebook account. 

Sarah Kelly, Yorkshire & North Derbyshire

Sarah has been pivotal in telling her story around her sexual assault by a patient in the ambulance whilst on duty. 

Through her Branch a campaign was started called Protect the Protectors with the help and support of Holly Lynch MP and Chris Bryant MP to produce a bill that calls for a  new offence of assaulting an emergency worker, new sentencing guidance, and new powers to take bodily samples from suspects.

'Protect the Protectors' law has received Royal Assent. Find out more about the Protect the Protectors' campaign here.  




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