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Jack by the hedge
Feminist Webs Newsletter - May 2020

Day by day, the season changes. I have watched weeds grow in the pavement outside my house. The leaves have arrived and the smell of cut grass takes me back to the school playground. Covid-19 is the micro and macro. The tiny things we notice and the huge impacts on people's lives. 
Getaway Girls is still supporting girls and young women. We now have a free phone no. with support by phone, FaceTime and interactive activities See video of Jojo, Capital FM introducing our support and opportunities available. Call 0800 470 2240

Covid-19 is affecting men and women differently

As we draw near to the end of our second month in lockdown, the impacts on different groups of people are becoming ever clearer. The parliamentary Women and Equalities Commission recently put a call out for evidence of the impact of Covid-19 on equalities groups. We are yet to know which submissions have been accepted, we have enough evidence from our projects and services to know who are most impacted. Research is now taking place.

The impact of coronavirus comes in two forms. Impacts of the coronavirus and impacts the response to coronavirus. The Guardian has reported that men are more at risk of Covid-19 than women, reporting that “twice as many men as women” have died from Coronavirus. However, women are much more impacted from the response to coronavirus.

Lockdown has disproportionately affected women and had a huge impact on people experiencing domestic violence. Nationally, reported incidents have risen by 25%. Whilst this gives us an idea of what is happening, we know that a lot of reporting comes through schools so we can expect the real number to be much higher than what we know so far.

Over the Easter Weekend, the government released its campaign to support victims of domestic violence and there new initiatives in place to support people to report domestic violence. However, Women’s Aid reports that 78% of survivors said that it has been harder to leave abusive situations since Covid-19 due to lack of operating support services and physical spaces of safety. There are concerns that there isn’t enough funding in place to provide safe spaces to women when they leave abusive homes. A joint Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) statement has called for money released by the Chancellor to be ringfenced for VAWG service providers.

As we look to recovery from Covid -19 and social distancing relaxes, we expect to see a spike in reporting. Covid-19 is acting like a magnifying glass for so many issues, it is hard to ignore the unequal impact on us all. We have a chance to change that: Lets hope we see a long term rise in funds and increased joined up working to end violence against women and girls.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline:
0808 2000 247 (telephone and typetalk)

Call for a Citizen Enquiry: Youth Work and Young People Now

Fellow youth work professionals are hosting a Citizen Enquiry through the community-based youth work sector concerning what is happening for young people, youth work and youth workers now and over the coming months in respect to Covid-19. We are creating a network of correspondents in all parts of the United Kingdom and a network of citizen enquirers willing to join in discussing and analysing what is emerging. 

The main purpose is to find out What is happening here?  And what is happening for young people? We do not only want to document youth work but get a snapshot into the lives of both youth workers and young people during this time and the coming months.  So this can include the weather, the atmosphere, the food, the music, the emotions…whatever you want to include you can. We will be making a contribution to the wider picture of what is happening via Mass Observation (
We will ask for diary entries each month for at least one day on the first week of the month (starting in May)  from youth workers and if possible also with young people they are working with.  We will also join the Mass Observation diary project on 12th May.  In addition, we invite short reports (memos)  on the following themes:

  • Vulnerabilities and Precarious lives
  • Who is missing?  How is outreach work happening?
  • Crisis points and meeting basic needs
  • What is happening online? 
  • Improvisation?  Emotions?
  • Community networks? 
  • Fears  and hopes for the future of  your organisation/youth project ?

A group of citizen researchers from the youth work sector will meet monthly to consider what has been submitted in their area, join a national meeting to see what is emerging and, after 6 months, decide on what to enquire into further. This will be an independent citizen led research project.

Those involved will  be invited to submit their diaries via this enquiry to the Mass Observation archive at the University of Sussex who are undertaking a record of everyday experiences of the pandemic. They will be invited to use the ethical processes associated with Mass Observation and guidance of this will be given when people join the project. 

To join in the project, contact Janet Batsleer, Manchester  
Christine Smith -  Hull, Tania de St Croix - London, Kevin Jones - Manchester

Do you have something to say or share?

If you have something to say, an event coming up or want to share something with other feminist youth workers, get in touch 
Deadline for May issue: 28th May 2020.
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Feminist Webs · manchester · 41 old birley st · Manchester, manchester m155re · United Kingdom

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