Women’s Aid’s response to the ‘Keep Apna Haq Open’ campaign

Women’s Aid values and supports specialist BME women’s domestic violence organisations. BME services have a track record in delivering quality specialist support to BME women and children survivors of abuse.

BME women are more likely to experience domestic violence for longer, and the violence is more likely to escalate to a much more serious level before they seek help. In addition, women’s BME services are being disproportionately affected by funding issues. It is vital that BME women have a known, culturally-specific organisation in their community where they can get help from other BME women who understand the complexities of their situation and the additional barriers they face. Such organisations address unmet need and prevent harms that would prove costly and dangerous to victims if their services disappeared.

As a specialist BME women’s organisation, Apna Haq plays an essential part in addressing violence against women and girls (VAWG) and has over twenty years’ experience of supporting victims of domestic violence, forced marriage, honour-based violence, childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence, trafficking, sexual exploitation, racial harassment and social exclusion. Apna Haq offers unique expertise in meeting the safety, linguistic, cultural and health and wellbeing needs of its service users, and is an invaluable resource for both the local community and the national domestic violence sector.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

“Women’s Aid calls on Rotherham Borough Council to seek a solution that ensures the survival of this unique grassroots organisation and its life-saving services, and offers our support to the efforts to keep Apna Haq open.”

Press Release at http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-press-information.asp?itemid=3507&itemTitle=Women%92s+Aid%92s+response+to+the+%91Keep+Apna+Haq+Open%92+campaign&section=0001000100150001&preview=1

September 23, 2015

9 October 2015 18:00 ~ Manchester Suffragette Charity Première – The Pankhurst Trust Incorporating Manchester Women’s Aid

Ticket @ £25 + booking fee – Donation optional (*)
Odeon IMAX Cinema Manchester Printworks
27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS

Suffragette is the story of the Pankhurst Women, founders of the Women’s Social Political Union, whose militant tactics made the Pankhursts crucial contributors to women’s suffrage and Manchester’s radical heritage.

This Pathé movie will première in Manchester and the PANKHURST TRUST have the privilege of hosting it in the home city of the Pankhursts before it goes on general release.

We would like you to join us for an evening of celebration for the city. We hope that the women who make Manchester great today will come together to celebrate and honour the women who enabled this to happen: the Suffragettes who fought for, and won, the vote for women nearly 100 years ago.

Dr Helen Pankhurst, of Emmeline Pankhurst will be joining us at the screening and, together with Stella Duffy writer, theatre maker and Women’s Equality Party Campaigner, will answer your questions on the Pankhursts, the Suffragettes and the ‘legacy’ of women’s suffrage in relation to the wider women’s movement and contemporary struggles to tackle gender inequality and injustice.

All proceeds from the event will go to the PANKHURST TRUST to support the Pankhurst Centre that houses a small museum dedicated to the Pankhurst family, the women’s suffrage movement and that commemorates women’s historic and contemporary struggle for political, social and economic equality.

About the Pankhurst Trust (Incorporating Manchester Women’s Aid)

On the 23rd June 2014 Manchester Women’s Aid and The Pankhurst Trust merged to form a single charity. United with one clear message that together we have a renewed energy and commitment to tackling gender inequality and the violence and injustice it fosters.

We have great plans to revitalise, protect and restore the heritage, history and architecture of 60-62 Nelson Street, birthplace of the Women’s Social and Political Union founded by Emmeline Pankhurst. And to ensure that the powerful story of the women who won the vote continues to inspire those who dare to challenge gender inequality and the violence and social injustice this fosters.

Your help and support for our project would go a long way to securing the c £2 million Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) we hope to attract following a first stage application for HLF in November 2015.

(*) Book tickets online at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/manchester-suffragette-charity-premiere-tickets-18431745848

September 22, 2015

15 October 2015 ~ Women in Comedy Festival 2015 – Manchester – until 25 October 2015

This October sees the Women in Comedy Festival return for a third year and it’s bigger and better than ever. Running in Greater Manchester from Thursday 15 until Sunday 25 October it features more than 50 shows in numerous venues across the city and boasts actor Maxine Peake and comedians Susan Calman and Isy Suttie as patrons. Hundreds of tickets have been sold so far.

The festival is full to the brim with female comedic talent with around 140 acts confirmed including big names such as ‘The Job Lot’s’ Jo Enright, festival patron and as seen on many a panel show Susan Calman, ITV1’s ‘Show Me The Funny’s’ Tiffany Stevenson and sketch group Birthday Girls.

The festival launch night is at The Frog and Bucket in Manchester city centre on Thursday 15 October and is compered by Calman who introduces a headline set from Jo Enright, Bolton comic Sophie Willan, Laughing Cows’ Kerry Leigh and the bombastic talent of Annette Fagon.

There are a number of acts fresh from the festival performing their Edinburgh Fringe shows including Stevenson, Israeli human rights lawyer Daphna Baram, the diminutive Jo Coffey, the EMMA nominated Joy Carter, the darkly humorous Kiri Pritchard-McLean, sex educator Chella Quint, seasoned pro Sally Anne Hayward, Sara Mason with her shocking Hollywood stories, party girl Eleanor Conway and Swedish Chinese comic Evelyn Mok.

In addition there are solo shows from Hayley Ellis, Harriet Dyer, Kerry Leigh, Sahar Mirhadi, Amy Vreeke, Lara A King, Carol Robson, Pernilla Hammargren, Soula Notos, Ellen Tomlinson and Nina Gilligan. Plus a special exclusive preview of Susan Calman’s brand new show.

Elsewhere in the festival there are open mic nights providing the opportunity for burgeoning talent to develop and for the punters to say, in years to come, that they were there at the beginning when a new telly star or award winning comic was performing their first gig. There are compilation shows, workshops, comedic plays, sketch comedy and a lip synching battle. A book launch, networking events, comedy workshops, family friendly improv, humorous burlesque and stories told in skit and song. Plus there’s work in progress material from Rachel Fairburn, Dotty Winters and Birthday Girls.

The festival culminates with the Laughing Cows wrap night on Sunday 25 October and a fantastic line up with the prolific writer Suzi Ruffell, Stockport’s own Kerry Leigh and skit troupe Birthday Girls.

Now in their 17th year Laughing Cows have opened clubs across the nation and expanded onto the continent playing host to a number of big name female comedy acts whilst also nurturing new talent.

The club began life in London in 1998 when founder Hazel O’Keefe took up the gauntlet thrown down by a well-established club promoter when he confessed that the reason he wouldn’t book two female acts to play the same bill was that, ‘I wouldn’t take that risk’.

O’Keefe set out to prove that female comedians aren’t some kind of bizarre specialist act or, the other common misconception, that all perform the same kind of material but in actual fact are as varied and as myriad performers as any comedian – regardless of gender. In addition, Laughing Cows set out to confound not just those mistaken promoters but some audience members who seem to think that they don’t find women funny.

Patron Maxine Peake commented, “I’m proud to be supporting the UK Women in Comedy Festival as a patron. A festival filled with laughter combined with feminist principles taking place in the North … what’s not to support!”

The full line up can be viewed here – http://www.womenincomedy.co.uk/2015/Calendar.html

September 22, 2015

24 October 2015 8:30 ~ Feminism in London Conference 2015 – & 25 October2015

FiL is women-run and women-led, but is open to everyone to attend. It will focus on activism and inspiration not just academic discourse, although we intend that all attendees should be able to enjoy the event and gain from it.

The conference addresses a wide range of issues from feminist history to women’s human rights.

At FiL we hope to approach these topics in a way that is engaging yet accessible.

The objectives of FiL are to provide an explicitly feminist conference which will be inclusive of all women, including women with disabilities, women of colour, LGBT women, younger and older women, women on lower incomes and women with children. We feel strongly that sexism and male domination are not over when the most privileged women in society alone move forward; feminism must include all women or it is not feminism at all. The focus of the conference will be on what we can achieve together.

The format of the conference will be an opening panel discussion, followed by breakaway sessions throughout the day.  A highlight of the conference is the art exhibition.  We will also have a film room, a ‘soft space’ for those who are triggered by subject matter, those who are non-neurotypical or have spectrum disorders, and those who simply want a quiet space. There will be a free creche, and workshops for children.

Saturday will see those who want to join Stand Up For Women for a feminist party, and the conference will conclude on Sunday with the presentation of the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize.

More at http://www.feminisminlondon.co.uk/about-the-conference/

Feminism in London Position Statement

Feminism in London is a mixed, inclusive feminist conference. We aim to have something for everyone. We recognise that not every attendee (or every speaker, or even every committee member) will agree on everything and we celebrate the diversity of feminist thought. We believe it is a fundamentally feminist thing to acknowledge that we often disagree and that when this is done respectfully and thoughtfully it can strengthen, rather than divide, our movement. We wholeheartedly reject misogynist ideas that disagreement constitutes “catfighting” or “bitching.”

The conference itself adheres to the following principles. We ask that speakers and committee members do not speak against these at or on behalf of FIL. We ask that attendees who disagree do so in debate or discussion but without attacking the conference or speakers, or simply attend the multiple other workshops where these topics do not arise.

Sex and gender

FIL is an inclusive mixed conference. The organising committee are women only in line with our constitution. Some workshops may be women only. Some may be men only. In this context, women only means those who identify as and live their daily lives as women, while men only means those who identify as and live their daily lives as men. Genderqueer, agender, bigender people and others who identify neither as men nor women are welcome at the mixed workshops.

Whether a workshop is open only to women, only to men, or mixed is at the discretion of the workshop providers who are best placed to know their target audience.

We are committed to women only organising. As women we are too often socialised to defer to men. It is important to us that the organising is done by women. We ask that male allies respect this and do not harass us to let them take lead positions in organising the conference. Men are welcome at the conference and offers of non-organisational assistance (for example, as volunteers with the creche) will be gratefully received.

Sex industry

We will never work against the women involved in the sex industry. We use the term “women” here to include the smaller number of men who are involved other than as “managers.”

We will work to support women who are or have been involved in the sex industry. We condemn police brutality, state violence and criminal prosecution of women in the sex industry. We are supportive of decriminalisation of the sale of sex and criminalisation of the purchase of it, and of supported exit plans (the “Nordic model”).

We are critical of the sex industry. By this we do not mean that we disapprove of the women involved in it. We are critical of the hypercapitalist industry itself and the unequal position of worker and purchaser. In particular:

  • We will prioritise the voices of trafficked women. We reject the state position that women “claim” to be trafficked as this is based on structural racism (the assumption that undocumented migrants will say anything to gain the right to remain) and structural sexism (the belief that women “cry rape” at the drop of a hat.)
  • We will prioritise the voices of women who work or have worked in street     prostitution, who are less likely to have the platform of their own website and social media accounts from which to be heard.
  • We will prioritise the voices of women who are or have been in poverty,     women who are or have been drug and alcohol dependant, women who are or have been in prison and women who have been in care.
  • We do not believe that the purchase of sexual services is a human right.
  • We believe that the purchase of consent is problematic and contributes to a culture in which men believe that financial expenditure, such as buying dinner, entitles them to sex (rape culture). We do not hold women in the sex industry responsible for this but the industry attitudes.

More at http://www.feminisminlondon.co.uk/position-statement/

Timetable: http://www.feminisminlondon.co.uk/timetable/

Accessibility: http://www.feminisminlondon.co.uk/accessibility/

Saturday Evening Party: http://www.feminisminlondon.co.uk/evening-party/

Registration Costs:

Concessions(*) Full Price
£25 for one day £40 for one day
£40 for both days £70 for both days
£15 evening party £15 evening party
£50 for both days and evening party £80 for both days and evening party

(*) Note: Concessions for students, unwaged, over 65s and under 18s (children to age 12 are free). Proof of age or other entitlement to the concession price may be requested on the door

Register online at http://fil.clientsite.co.uk/

For full details and updates go to http://www.feminisminlondon.co.uk/

September 15, 2015

9 December 2015 ~ Gender Responsive Trauma Focused Approach for Engaging Women’s Recovery from Sexual Violence – WGN – London

Supporting Survivors Resilience, Moving Beyond and Through Experiences of Sexual Violence (accredited training)

Course dates: 9th & 10th December 2015
Course times:
Registration starts from 9.30am. Training will be between 10am-4.30pm on each date.
Venue: To be confirmed (Central London)

Aim: This FREE two day accredited course aims to build on practitioners existing skills and knowledge, following best practice protocols for effective engagement to support women’s recovery from sexual violence.

About this course: This course will use theoretical constructs from gender analysis perspectives on sexual violence, to examine prevalence, definitions, challenge popularist attitudes and views towards sexual violence from a trauma focused approach. This will involve the exploration of neurobiology of trauma responses to contextualise the range, depth and trauma symptomology and the ensuing legacy of sexual violence. The course will
also introduce strength and evidence based approaches to working holistically, with women who have experienced sexual violence, from a culturally relevant perspective. The programme will also include specialist information from Rights of Women on the legal frameworks in relation to sexual violence.

How to apply: Please visit www.wgn.org.uk/training to download Application and Manager Agreement forms. Completed Application and Manager Agreement forms should be emailed to training@wgn.org.uk by the relevant closing date.

Please apply early to avoid disappointment, as many of WGN’s courses are over-subscribed and the application process may be closed early as a result.

The closing date for applications for the December 2015 course is Friday 30th October 2015

For updates about all of the training offered by WGN please visit www.wgn.org.uk/training or follow us on twitter @WomenandGirlsN

September 15, 2015