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Feminist Webs Newsletter - March 2019

With International Women's Day (IWD) falling on 8th March, this time of year offers lots of opportunities to meet and celebrate with other women, reflect on gender politics and learn from one another. The festivities got underway in Manchester with an energetic Walk for Women last Saturday. Thanks to all the local groups who sent details of their upcoming IWD events and initiatives!
Please send any items for the April newsletter to feministwebs@yahoo.co.uk.

International Women's Day in Swinton

When: Thursday 7th March, 6-9pm

Where: Deans Youth Centre, 57 Deans Road M27 0AP

WUU2 is a social media  resource for young people in Salford, offering lots of positive activities. They are hosting this event for women and girls for International Women's Day - see the image for details!

Hulme celebrates IWD

Local councillors and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) are hosting workshops for residents, students and workers. Refreshments provided. Two sessions each hour:
At 1pm: Let's Talk Periods
Sharing information about some of the issues facing girls and young women in schools in the UK and around the world, and introducing current campaigns.
Or: Fulfill our aspirations
Exploring work opportunities, what could hold us back and how we can reach our aspirations.


When: Thurs March 7th, 1-3pm
Where: Brooks Building, MMU Birley Campus M15 5JH

More info here.
At 2pm: Women Asylum Seekers Welcome Here
What is it like to make almost impossible choices and leave everything behind?
What welcome do we give our sisters when they arrive?
Or: Our Children Growing up in Hulme
Bringing up our children in Hulme in 2019. Let's get together and talk about our experiences.

IWD for Manchester's feminist youth work workforce!

When: Friday March 8th 
Where: Pankhurst Centre, 60-62 Nelson Street,  Manchester M13 9WP

4-6pm: Women’s Comedy Workshop for youth and community workers who are developing work with girls. Email J.Batsleer@mmu.ac.uk to secure a place. Booking essential!

This workshop will be offered to girls groups throughout the year, in order to contribute a perspective on girls' rights to the Living Charter for Youth Rights. This will be launched at the Sick! Festival in October 2019.

6.15-7.15pm: Voluntary Youth Manchester (VYM) Network Meeting

Exploring Equity and Diversity in Manchester. A gender perspective. All welcome. Starting to make a giant snakes and ladders game. More info here.

'Let’s Talk. Period' Regional Workshop for the North West

When: Wednesday 13th March, 10-4pm
Where: Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL

To book a place, email Nicola.Bristow@plan-uk.org.
The UK is one of the richest countries in the world. But a recent Plan International UK report revealed a culture of stigma and silence have turned periods into a hidden public health issue, putting girls' physical, sexual and mental health at risk. Let’s Talk. Period is a new project from Plan International UK and Brook which aims to end period poverty in England by:
• Piloting the P-Card Scheme in seven locations in England, ensuring those in need receive products, education and training.
• Bringing together the network of organisations and professionals who are seeking solutions to period poverty
• Delivering a Period Poverty Grant scheme to support smaller organisations to tackle period poverty.
• Making sure young people have a voice when it comes to period poverty. They are currently recruiting young people for a Youth Advisory Panel.
For more information about Let’s Talk. Period, please click here.

TALKING POINT:

#periodemoji

Linked to their awareness raising around menstruation, Plan International UK campaigned alongside NHS Blood to get a blood drop design included in one of the fastest growing global languages: emoji. By normalising and breaking taboos around the monthly cycle, they hope it will allow girls and menstruators everywhere to feel more comfortable talking openly about their periods.
You could discuss this with your group. Do they find periods a difficult subject to bring up, with their friends or family? Are there any particular taboos associated with menstruation in their culture or religous group? Why do they think these have developed? What do they think of the argument made in this article that 'conversations focusing on the female body can often be read as transphobic, excluding women on the basis they don’t have a womb'? And do they think it's a good idea to supply companies with yet more information about ourselves, to help them target adverts depending on our biorhythms in addition to all the other psycho-social data we hand over via our use of emojis?

Reanimating the Women, Risk & AIDS Project (WRAP)

When: Saturday 23rd March, 10am-1.30pm

Where: People's History Museum, Manchester M3 3ER view map

You are invited to a free half day workshop for youth workers, sexual health workers and sex and relationship educators past and present. You will have the opportunity to share your experiences of working with young women in Manchester, try out some creative methods and have a look at a recently digitised archive of interviews with young women in Manchester in 1989.

The workshop is part of the ESRC funded study ‘Reanimating data: experiments in people, places and archives’ which is revisiting the Women, Risk and AIDS Project (WRAP). The WRAP project was a feminist sexual health research project that collected interviews with young women in Manchester thirty years ago.

At the workshop we will look at interview extracts from the WRAP archive and experiment with creative methods for working with the material that could also be used with young people. We will also ask you to share your experiences of working with young women in Manchester in 1989 and today.

We would like to invite you all to bring with you an object, image or other item from your personal archive relating to girls work’ feminism/ sexual health work. If you have kept it, there must be a reason and we would like to hear about that. It would be great to see things from the 80s/90s but we are also interested in things that you have saved from other periods.

Go here to book or contact e.m.mcgeeney@sussex.ac.uk with any enquiries.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Gender stereotypes

UK children continue to be held back by gender stereotypes. This is 2019, but in the news we still see little boys being bullied for wearing nail polish (actually, that's a US example, but a good one!) and girls being told that superhero shoes are not for them. Fawcett is launching a campaign to #SmashStereotypes, and they want to people's childhood experiences to feed into it - as a youth worker why not contribute via this online survey?
If you missed it on the BBC last year, the two part documentary No More Boys and Girls - Can Our Kids Go Gender Free? looked at what happened when a primary school on the Isle of Wight experimented with gender neutral education. It is essential watching for any feminist educator or youth worker! Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here.
This is a thoughtful article on the subject of gender stereotyping in education, while this opinion piece from a secondary teacher at a selective academy school gives a more positive assessment of where we are. What do you think?
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