Uncertain futures: Inequalities affecting women over 50 years at work in Manchester

This project aims to tackle this question through a unique participatory art project involving the collection of narratives from women over 50 years in Manchester around their experience of work. The artwork essentially gives voice to these women to describe and expose the inequalities they have faced during work and to uncover the often overlooked strengths of these women.

Social science researchers from MICRA (law) and from Manchester Metropolitan University (social care) will, working cooperatively with these women, analyse these narratives and draw out themes which will be used to raise public awareness of these issues and influence policy.

The artwork and accompanying research is overseen by an Advisory Board made up of a number of women groups in Manchester including, inter alia: Wai Yin Society, Ethnic Health Forum, Women’s Voices, GM BAME Network, Wythenshawe Good Neighbours, Manchester Carers Network and MCC Work and Skills.

Project Objectives

The positive energy of these women to expose these inequalities and address them is inspiring. The merger of art and research can implement real change.

Dr Elaine Dewhurst
  • To expose the multitude of inequalities which women over 50 face in work in Manchester
  • To address these inequalities by raising public awareness through the artwork
  • To influence policy change through the merger of the artwork and research

Principle Investigator

  • Elaine Dewhurst, University of Manchester, School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Law
  • Sarah Campbell, Manchester Metropolitan University, Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care, Health and Social Care
  • Ruth Edson, Manchester Art Gallery
  • Suzanne Lacy, Artist, University of Southern California, Roski School of Art and Design

Additional Universities/External Partners

Manchester Metropolitan University

University of Southern California

Manchester Art Gallery

Tendayi Madzunzu  ZIWO - Zimbawean Women's Organisation

Rohena Ghatfoor  GMBAME Network

Patricia Williams — Buzz

Elayne Redford — Work and Skills MCC

Marie Greenhalgh — Wythenshawe Good Neighbours

Charity Rutagira — SAWN - Support and Action for Women Network

Atiha Chaudry — GMBAME Network

Sally Casey — Aquarius Tenants and Residents Association

Louise Wong  Wai Yin Society

Circle Steele — Wai Yin Society

Teodora Ilieva — Manchester Adult Ed - learner

Nadia Siddiqui — Women's Voices

Jila Mozoun — Raha - Women's Voices

Erinma Bell — Carisma

Akhter Azabany  Ethnic Health Forum


Funding period: January 31 – August 31 2021


MICRA Seedcorn funding, Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Science Funding

Disciplines involved

Art, Law, Social Care