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Feminist Webs June 2016

Hello! The newsletter is back and I’m Hannah, the new editor - thanks Hebe for training me up! Even though it’s been on a break, luckily people have continued to send in stories to, so there has been plenty to include. In case you are new to the newsletter, it is aimed at youth workers who run groups for girls and young women. It aims to provide shorts bits of news, discussion starters and links to resources and information about opportunities and events which might be of interest to your groups. Most readers are in the North West area but despite the local focus we’ll always try to include pieces which are relevant further afield. No particular theme this month!

The Girls' Network was formed in 2013. They connect girls from less advantaged communities with female professionals from all walks of life, to help raise their confidence and career aspirations. As well as matching each girl to a mentor, they run networking events and workshops and provide access to experiences which might not otherwise have been easily reached. The Network is growing fast, with over 1,500 girls and women mentors already involved. They have been located mainly in southern England till now but are about to branch out to Birmingham and Manchester. If you would like to be a mentor or link with the organisation on behalf of your young women, email

Idle Chatter? A Feminist Webs event
Feminist Webs and Manchester Histories festival have teamed up to present three early evening events looking at local feminist histories. Poets, song and film will frame each intergenerational discussion and there will be a chance to handle archive material and to ask questions!
Tuesday June 7th - Women’s Liberation Revisited
A former member of the Manchester Women’s Liberation Newsletter
editorial collective will discuss the ways in which feminists organised and worked together during the 1980s.  There will be a chance to look at the run of the Manchester Newsletter – the social media of its time.
Wednesday June 8th - Abasindi: 'we are born to survive’
Local activists remember the Black women co-operative whose Zulu name was chosen by its members as a tribute to the strength, resilience and competence of Black women in Moss Side and the African diaspora in 1980s Manchester.
Thursday June 9th - Radical Youth and Community Work in Wigan and Lancashire
There was an influential and critical girls work movement in the 1980s and 1990s, linked to the second wave of feminism. Youth and community workers discuss work with girls and young women then and now and the feminist issues that underpin it.
All events 5.30 to 7.30pm in Lecture Theatre 2, MMU’s Brooks Building, Bonsall St M15 6GX
Book your free places here

Nomad Clan

This month’s featured WTWOF doubles up as your Art Installment of the Month, since you can watch out for Nomad Clan’s artwork wherever you go! Nomad Clan are the duo Cbloxx and Aylo, whose award-winning collaboration is documented as a timeline on their website here.
One WTWOF is on the side of a building in Liverpool - Tempest (2015) depicts a young Mother Nature and is the North of England's tallest mural. You can read here about Nomad Clan's inspiration for the piece, which incorporates bees, astrology, the liver bird and other emblems of Liverpool and its maritime history. This summer, Nomad Clan plan to run daily street art workshops with young people in the Calais 'Jungle' refugee camp, hearing their personal accounts and encouraging them to tell their stories through creative self expression. Definitely women to watch out for!
Inform the ASA!
In 2015, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) cleared this billboard ad despite almost 400 complaints and 70,000 signatories to an online petition about its portrayal of women. The ASA said: “We did not consider the accompanying image implied a different body shape to that shown was not good enough or was inferior. We concluded that the headline and image were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.” The ASA is now wondering if they might have missed something, and as an “open minded regulator” have decided to find out more about the impact of such advertising and whether the rules need to be changed. Anyone can submit evidence to
LBQ Summer Camp is coming!
Summer Camp is for all young women, aged 14-25, who identify as lesbian, bisexual or questioning. It’s a great opportunity to spend some time in a safe all-women’s space, where you can learn lots of new things and meet some great new people! This year camp takes place Friday 29th-Sunday 31st July, at Tattenhall in Cheshire. You can come for all or part of the camp. The cost is £10 per day and there are a limited number of £5 bursary places available. Deadline for booking forms is Sunday 12th June. Find all the details here.
Training oppportunities
South Youth Partnership (SYP) is offering FREE 2-part training in Youth Work Basics, delivered by N-Gage, on Thursdays 9th and 16th June. 7-9pm at Catalyst Youth Centre, 345 Burnage Lane M19 1EW. Book through ASAP.
Greater Manchester Youth Network (GMYN) has a few more stand alone training sessions to come from their Intro to Youth Work Training programme:
·         Monday 6th June: Planning, Recording and Monitoring
·         Monday 13th June: Measuring Impact
·         Monday 11th July: Understanding and Meeting Needs
These are on Mondays 5:30-8:30pm at Brunswick Parish Church, Brunswick St, M13 9TQ. FREE for volunteers. Places are booked through Eventbrite here.

The Manchester Histories Festival runs 3rd to 12th June and this year has a lots of events for and about women - too many to cover! There are plays, films and exhibitions, mostly free to attend, which cover different aspects and eras of local history across Greater Manchester. Dare to Be Free, for example explores the life of Mary Quaile, an Irish migrant who rose from working as a waitress in a Manchester café to being one of Britain's best known women trade unionists; in Exploding Women, comedy duo LipService explode the myth of women scientists through the exploits of five female boffins; 1599 is a docudrama about young twins from Salford who were at the court of Queen Elizabeth I; and in Meet the Researcher, Dr Alison Slater reveals personal stories of northern working class women, offering a regional perspective on wartime dress that challenges existing accounts about rationing, mending and making-do during WW2. See the complete listings of women's events to decide what to book for.


In December 2015, 27 year old Nicola Thorp was reportedly sent home without pay from a temporary job at an accountancy firm after she arrived wearing flat shoes. She was told the dress code included 2-4 inch heels. She launched a petition to make it illegal for companies to require women to wear high heels at work, which, because it has exceed the threshold of 100,000 signatures, will be debated in Parliament. In this video, male staff at a London style magazine have a go at wearing women’s high heels for a day. “It’s still legal to make women wear high heels in UK offices. So we made the men do it too!” See how they got on.
There is lots to discuss here with teenagers. Who likes wearing stiletto heels? Why and when would you choose to wear them? Have you ever worn them against your will? Why would a company make it compulsory for female employees? Do you agree this should be against the law? Why did the men in the video struggle so much to walk in high heels?
Feminist Webs resources on gender difference might also be useful here.

The last newsletter mentioned Girlguiding's 2015 report, in which 75 per cent of girls and young women interviewed reported feeling negatively affected by a persistent threat of sexual harassment. In 2010, a YouGov poll of 16-18 year olds found that 29 per cent of girls experienced unwanted sexual touching at school and 71 per cent heard sexual name-calling towards girls at school at least a few times per week.
The cross-party Women and Equalities Select Committee has begun an inquiry which will focus on:

  • establishing the scale of sexual harassment and sexual violence in primary and secondary schools in the UK
  • understanding the impact of sexual harassment and sexual violence on pupils and teachers
  • making practical recommendations to reduce the levels of sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools

The deadline for written submissions was 24th May but late submissions are still being welcomed. The Committee was particularly encouraging young people to share their experiences and solutions. Go here for details.

Dear Friend is a letter writing project celebrating women in public life and in struggles for liberation. Women have initiated so many movements and have campaigned with, supported, and fought for countless causes throughout history. Dear friend is running three free workshops in June, in different locations, focussing on different periods and different aspects' of women's public action. Click on the envelope for details and booking.
Which of these logos, proposed by Verge Media designers, do you think we should adopt? Click the vote buttons to send an automatic email with your prefered option, or just write to
Vote for Option A
Vote for Option B
Vote for Option C
Vote for Option D

Monumental news
Emmeline Pankhurst is to become Manchester's first female statue since Queen Victoria took her seat in Piccadilly over 100 years ago. She gained over half the votes in the WoManchester Statue Project poll, probably because people couldn't believe there wasn't already a momument to the Suffragettes anywhere in the movement's home city. The statue will be unveiled in March 2019, for International Women’s Day. It will be privately funded, costing around £500,000. The other deserving nominees were author Elizabeth Gaskell, anti-racism campaigner Louise Da-Cocodia, Manchester councillor Margaret Ashton, businesswoman and writer Elizabeth Raffald, and MP Ellen Wilkinson. Let's hope they will be up next!

Women-only screening
In Place of War is working with FilmHubNW and local Manchester communities to co-curate screening events with emerging and established filmmakers. This women-only showing on Sunday July 10th at 12:30pm is recommended for ages 15+. In Place of War has continually found examples of female artists and collectives who, in spite of the conflict and oppression they face, have risen up against such injustices, using creativity as a way to come together, share their experiences and spread their call to action. This will be a special afternoon of film, food, music and discussion which will explore and celebrate the different ways in which women have raised their voices together in times of crisis.
The Trials of Spring
(Gini Reticker, USA / Egypt, 2015, 80 min, Arabic w/ Eng. subtitles)
I Too Have a Name
(Suba Sivakumaran, USA/Sri Lanka, 2012, 12mins, Tamil w/ Eng. Subtitles)   
Colours of Resilience
(Nina Constable, UK, 7 min, No Dialogue w/ Eng. Subtitles)
Register here for this free event.
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