#Vote4equality: Thursday 22nd May, European elections

From email:

On Thursday 22nd May, the country will go the polls to vote for the European Elections. In addition, almost 180 parts of England and Northern Ireland will be voting in local councillors or Mayors. Today women make up just:
– 32% of elected councillors
– 13% of elected Mayors
– 32% of Members of the European Parliament

Local government wields an enormous amount of power – a quarter of all public spending goes through local authorities, and three-quarters of their employees are women. It is vital that women’s views are equally represented in decision making at this level.

What you can do:

Arm yourself with the facts: Read our top stats on women’s representation in local government
#Vote4equality: Tweet your council candidates! Find out who your local council candidates are and ask what they will do for women

Donate to Fawcett:

Here at Fawcett we work tirelessly in public and behind the scenes to improve the representation of women in all public bodies. becoming a member of Fawcett. Every donation will be used wherever the opportunity is greatest to achieve greater gender equality. Forwarding this message onto just two of your friends could double the income from this appeal. Why not spread the message by telling the community you’ve supported Fawcett’s fighting fund through Twitter and Facebook?

Established in 1866, Fawcett is the UK’s leading campaign for equality between women and men. Our vision is of a society in which women and men enjoy equality at work, at home and in public life. As a campaigning charity, we need your voices behind us and we are always in need of financial support. Not already a member? Join us today.

PETITION: York Feminist Network – Lap dancing campaign

From email:

Hello,

I hope you don’t mind me sending you this quick message.

I’m a member of the York Feminist Network, and a number of our group are calling on City of York Council to reject the application for renewal of SEV (Sexual Entertainment Venue) licence from lap dancing club ‘Upstairs’ (part of The Mansion), on Micklegate in York. The current licence expires on 30 November 2013.

As Council policy states that we are not able to object on moral grounds, our campaign takes a more community-focused argument, concerned with the impact on local residents, creating ‘no-go’ areas for women and damaging both the character and reputation of York as a welcoming, family-friendly city.

This is the link to our petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/906/553/769/lap-dancing-clubs-no-place-in-our-community/.

If you are able and willing to share it amongst your group, that would be much appreciated.

Thank you ever so much,

Rachel (York Feminist Network)

EVENT: Feminism in the 21st Century: Privilege, Bias and Feminist Practice (5th March, 2014)

I’m going to this. Might see you there.

From email:

Timed to lead up to International Women’s Day, this one-day public forum will consider contemporary gender issues and persistent sexism. What does it mean to be a feminist in the 21st century and what are the new challenges facing women in an era marked by on-going global conflict and economic crisis? A panel of internationally renowned feminist thinkers will discuss the feminist now and the feminist future, alongside a day of networking opportunities and activities.

Questions under discussion will include:
Given recent high profile debates in the media and via social networking, what is the possible future relationship between Trans* people and feminists? What does the debate about intersectionality tell us about the state of feminism right now? Does the current worldwide scapegoating of the poor and working class have a particularly deleterious effect on women? Can new grass roots movements against austerity offer hope of positive change in gender issues? What are the connections and differences brought to light by recent media and legal attention to rape and sexual assault, both in the ‘bad old’ 70s and in the hyper-sexualised present of assaults posted to YouTube and ‘Everyday Sexism’? Does it still make any sense to speak of ‘post-feminism’, empowerment and sexual autonomy in the current context of commodification of sex and pornification of culture?

The day (5th March, 2014) will be accompanied by an activists’ fair including:

  • Stalls featuring women’s groups and feminist activities
  • Women’s choir
  • Feminist artwork and film screenings

Timetable for the day:

Activist fair opens at 11am

12.00 – 1.30pm Panel One: ‘Objectification’

  • Dr Jules Holroyd (Nottingham)
  • Dr Anna Bergqvist (MMU)
  • Finn MacKay (Feminist activist)

1.30pm – 1.45pm – break

1.45pm – 3.15pm Panel Two: ‘Intersectionality’

  • Rhian E Jones (Feminist activist and blogger)
  • Caroline Bayliss Green (MMU)
  • Well known feminist blogger #1 (invited, tbc)

3.15 – 3.45pm – break

3.45pm – 5.45pm: Panel Three: ‘Post-feminism and silencing’

  • Silence and ambivalence in discussions of post-feminism: Dr Katherine Angel (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Jinan Younis (Altrincham Girls Grammar Feminist Group)
  • Dr Ginette Carpenter (MMU)
  • Well known feminist blogger #2 (invited, tbc)

5.45pm – 6.00pm – break

6.00pm: Generating Feminism: Plenary from Professor Iris van der Tuin (Utrecht)

7.00pm- 7.30pm: Discussion and closing remarks

7.30pm: Social evening (tbc)

This event is convened by members of the Institute’s research cluster on ‘21st Century Feminist Agendas’: Dr Ginette Carpenter, Dr Anna Bergqvist and PhD candidate in English Caroline Baylis-Green, and IHSSR Project Manager Helen Malarky

PETITION: #losetheladsmags

It’s time for shops to Lose the Lads’ Mags

Today it’s no longer acceptable to have ‘girly calendars’ on office walls. Why? Because they create a sexist and degrading environment for female employees and customers. So why, then, do supermarkets and newsagents still think it’s OK to expose staff and customers to degrading, pornographic lads’ mags – the modern day equivalent of ‘girly calendars’ – in their stores?

A woman who works in Tesco told us, “I hate that Tesco sells these mags and papers like the Sun and the Star. In the store I work in there is a laddish culture and I don’t think having these magazines help that…”

Lads’ mags portray women as dehumanised sex objects. There is extensive evidence this fuels sexist attitudes and behaviours and creates a conducive context for violence against women.

We’ve also obtained brand new legal advice showing that shops selling lads mags’ – like WH Smith and Tesco – are potentially breaching equality legislation. Stocking and displaying lads’ mags and papers with Page 3-style front cover images can constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment under the Equality Act. Employees could take legal action on this basis and, where the magazine is visibly on display, customers could also have a claim. Legally as well as ethically, lads’ mags are well past their sell-by date.

That’s why we’re joining with Object, Women’s Aid, End Violence Against Women and many others to tell shops to lose the lads’ mags.

Sign the petition and ask shops to lose the lads’ mags!

As is the case with ‘girly calendars’, people shouldn’t have to see sexist, degrading lads’ mags when they are going about their work or doing their shopping.

Sign the petition today.

ACTION: Please respond to the Government’s call for evidence for the Equality Duty Review

From an email from the NEWomen’s Network:

The call for evidence below is very important and may be our only chance to ensure that the Equality Duty Review panel takes into account the importance of having the Duty in place.  While not claiming that the Duty is perfect we would like to position it as something which has the potential to be improved and therefore even more effective. If you have used the Equality Duty and have evidence, then please do respond.

NEWomen’s Network are also co-ordinating a response – if you have any evidence please register here – NO LATER THAN 6 PM ON THURSDAY 18TH APRIL

The Government has announced a call for evidence for the Equality Duty Review. Please see below (details can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/policy-advisory-groups/123?). CLOSING DATE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS THE 19 APRIL.

Call for evidence

The review is particularly focusing on the following key themes:

  • how well understood is the PSED and guidance
  • what are the costs and benefits of the PSED
  • how organisations are managing legal risk and ensuring compliance with the PSED
  • what changes, if any, would ensure better equality outcomes (legislative, administrative and/or enforcement changes, for example).

The Chair of the steering group is particularly interested in looking at equalities paperwork and policies related to PSED (particularly in relation to public sector procurement processes) and the collection, retention and use of diversity data by public bodies, for example, in relation to goods, facilities and services.

If you have evidence about how the PSED works that relate to any or all of the above points, please submit this to the PSED review team by Friday 19 April-

They will only be able to consider information relating to the Duty’s operation, and will not be able to consider submissions which are not evidence-based. They will not be able to consider evidence submitted after this date. They would also welcome examples of documentation you are aware of relating to the PSED, for example equality impact assessments, procurement forms, diversity data forms, guidance and toolkits.

They expect this combined review to be done by June 2013.

ACTION: Call for evidence – the impact of austerity measures upon women in the North East of England

This call came through on email from the North East Women’s Network.

IF YOU CAN PROVIDE ANY EVIDENCE,  PLEASE REGISTER AN INITIAL RESPONSE BY NOON ON WEDNESDAY 10TH APRIL HERE.

In October 2012 NEWomen’s Network published “Findings and Recommendations from Interim Case Study: The impact of austerity measures upon women in the North East of England”. NEWN is now in the process of updating the case study to inform  the  shadow report being submitted by Women’s Resource Centre to the to the   Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) examination in Geneva in July 2013.

If you have any stories data, information, case studies, research or any other forms of evidence (including stories  and testimonies of women themselves) about the impact of the welfare reforms and austerity measures upon:

  • The lives of women in the North East and their children, families and the community
  • Cuts to women’s community and voluntary organisation
  • Cuts to women’s only services

If you have any evidence at all please register your details  (it will only take a minute or so)  and one of the researchers will contact you to arrange to follow up it up.

NEWomen’s Network intends to deal with the issues that are at the heart of the current economic crisis and tackle the underlining causes of women’s inequality and CEDAW provides us with a framework with which to do this. CEDAW was established in 1979 and is often referred to as the Women’s International Billof Rights.   Unlike domestic UK and European legislation on gender discrimination and equal treatment, the Convention is solely concerned with the position of women rather than discrimination faced by both sexes (which would include discrimination against men). CEDAW places obligations on the countries that have agreed to the Convention, to eliminate discrimination against women in all its forms.

Continue Reading…

ACTION: Calling women of colour to guest blog (f-word)

Following our call for guest bloggers towards the end of last year, we had a number of great people respond and have lined up a programme for most of the year based on those applications which we’re really excited about.

Nevertheless, we were concerned about the relative lack of applicants who were identifiably women of colour. We want to try to correct this, so we’ve reserved some spaces towards the end of 2013, and are putting out a second call to fill those slots.

If you’re a woman of colour who is British, living in Britain or writing with a British perspective who would be interested in a month-long guest blogging slot on The F Word blog please get in touch with me. Let me know a little bit about yourself, why you would like to blog and what sort of things you would like to blog about. Alternatively, if you would like to recommend someone else, please feel free to suggest them, with contact details if you have them.

Follow this link for more and for information on how to get involved: The F-Word.

ACTION: Suspended Coffees – Huddersfield, UK

Suspended Coffees is the gesture of a good will and kind heart.  This is a as page listing Suspended Coffee Shops in the Huddersfield area: Suspended Coffees – Huddersfield, UK.

How you can get active supporting Suspended Coffees:

1) Approach to your local cafe and explain to the manager what it is.

2) Ask them if they would like to get consider participating. However, please don’t make them feel pressurised. Any business will most probably want to consider how they feel about Suspended Coffees and also may want to speak to some of their customers about it before making a decision. At the end of the day, it’s their business and livelihood and all cafes who come on board so do voluntarily.

3) Contact us to let us know if they are interested and we can get in touch with the cafe and ask if they need any further information.

4) We will add them to the list of cafes in the Huddersfield area, send them posters for their businesses to put up and also advertise them on this page and other Suspended Coffee pages/website.

Thanks a lot people for all your support and Good Luck!!

Susan & Lynda ♥

Related:

ACTION: Common Cause UK: Congolese women leading change for peace and justice

Common Cause UK is holding a peace vigil in Piccadilly Gardens (Manchester) on this coming Saturday, the 30th March. It is from 12.30pm until 2pm. The vigil is to raise awareness of the mass violence perpetrated against Congolese women.

Piece by ChristinaManch and Sam:

Mama Nzita is a founding member of Common Cause UK. In an interview with Black Feminists Manchester, she shares her thoughts about the ongoing campaign to raise awareness and end violence against Congolese women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She tells us more about the Common Cause Manchester group that formed in December 2012 and their upcoming peace vigil.

Int: Can you tell us about Common Cause UK?

MN: “Common Cause UK are a platform for Congolese women based in the UK, we empower ladies, teach them to know about their rights because ladies are not aware of their rights, they are suffering and facing many problems in this country, so that’s why Common Cause was set up to help ladies in our community.”

Is it specifically for Congolese women?

“At the beginning yes it was for Congolese women, but we have grown now and can help other women, but the focus is for Congolese women

Rest the rest: blackfeministsmanchester.