While street markets are a life of any city, they are still to this day mostly dominated by men. To change this scenario and make the streets of London more inclusive, the city’s Tower Hamlet Council and City of London initiative set out to create a lane of shops in the iconic Petticoat Lane area which will be solely manned by women. It is apparently, London’s first women-only run market and it opened up for the public on November 15.

“Markets have played a crucial role at the heart of the East End for generations but they have traditionally been male-dominated spaces,” Ann Sutcliffe, a corporate director at Tower Hamlets, earlier told BBC.

ALSO READ: Gateway of India Gets “Women-only” Sanitation Facility

This market is part of a wider regeneration initiative to resurrect an old market on Wentworth Street and rename it Lady Lane. This lane has shops from the local women entrepreneurs of the area and it aims to empower them with stronger livelihood and greater knowledge of the changing ways of business in the current times.

“It is great working with other women, some women have busy lives with children and careers etc. and for them to find the time to do this as well, to do something for themselves. We come in in the mornings and we are all working together, it’s really great. Soon we’ll be taking over the whole of Petticoat Lane!”

The entire project costs £2.7m over four years which also involves giving stallholders council-funded business and social media training. The Lady Lane market will now open every Friday from 10 am to 3 pm at Wentworth street.

“We have brought those women together and offered them some business training and some social media training… it is about improving the business that happens on the street, the entertainment that happens on the street and making it vibrant again,” Kirsty Valentine, project manager for the regeneration of high streets and town centres for Tower Hamlets council, told Eastlondonlines.

“It is really exciting because we’ve got a lot of different women from over 11 nationalities. And they all come from different situations and they’ve all got different types of barriers that have prevented them being able to take this step, so it’s a really empowering programme that is helping individuals develop their skill sets and businesses,” she added.

ALSO READ: Say hello to women-only venture capitalist funds

The market comprises of women from different cultures coming together to bring the varied flavours of their culture to the table. The products range from Ethiopian vegan food to natural beauty products, to Somalian hot sauce. Susanne Nicholas and Marilyn Crew, co-founders of Maszu Naturals sell homemade organic skin and hair care products in this market to suit Afro-Caribbean hair and skin.

“Markets have played a crucial role at the heart of the East End for generations but they have traditionally been male-dominated spaces,” Ann Sutcliffe, a corporate director at Tower Hamlets said.

“It is great working with other women, some women have busy lives with children and careers etc. and for them to find the time to do this as well, to do something for themselves. We come in in the mornings and we are all working together, it’s really great. Soon we’ll be taking over the whole of Petticoat Lane!” said Nicholas.

Picture credit: Twitter
Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.