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Feminist Webs Newsletter - April 2019

This month we feature some of the excellent girls and young women's youth work going on in and around Manchester. Thanks to all of the groups for their contributions! If you know of other initiatives that could inspire fellow girlswork project workers in Greater Manchester and beyond, do send us your stories.
Please email any items for the April newsletter to feministwebs@yahoo.co.uk.

Living Charter for Youth Rights

Living Charter for Youth Rights is a project linked to the Voluntary Youth Manchester (VYM) Network and the 2019 Sick! Festival. It asks the question: ‘For the lives of young people to be valued, what needs to change?’
and there is a strong desire to consider the gender aspects of this. Events are fortnightly and aimed at different groups. The next one is for 15 to 30 year olds and their older allies, and will take place on April 17th 4.30-6.30pm at: Reform Radio, Bonded Warehouse, Lower Byrom Street, Manchester M3 4AP.
There will be a drumming workshop on May 1st, 4.30-6.30pm (venue tbc), to build towards an event linked to the 1819 Peterloo anniversary. Young feminists and their older allies welcome to come and drum out a protest beat.
Living Charter organiser Janet Batsleer is also looking for young women, men and non-binary young people people to take part in comedy workshops with a social and political twist. Please send all enquiries to: j.batsleer@mmu.ac.uk.

Salford Girls group LEADing the way

LEAD is a programe for 12-13 year old girls in Salford, run by Reclaim. The girls have been incredibly busy over the past two months.
In January they had two days off school to complete an Enterprise Challenge. Each had to pitch an idea for a social enterprise to representatives from the BBC, Timpsons, Salford Council and HOME Manchester. They were interviewed individually about their part in the idea development process, in which they had been supported by mentors from Educating All, REIGN, The Crimson Wave and The Pioneer Pantry. The panellists set them tough questions, like how they would demonstrate need for their idea in the Salford area, and how would go about seeking finance or funding. The panel were very impressed with their responses. The girls’ proposals included:
Men2be’ - an organisation that would support and encourage boys under the age of eighteen to share and open up, and provide a space for open conversations. ‘
’1ndividual’: -an advisory service for young people to help them avoid discrimination, drawing on the unique experiences of YP themselves.
The challenge taught the girls about the importance of team work; effective listening; respecting each other’s ideas; and mutual encouragement.
Later, their Activism Challenge unfolded over the course of a weekend with an ‘Introduction to Activism’ workshop from Girl Gang Mcr; an afternoon of powerful placard/zine/print making with Theresa Easton from Artist’s Union England, and a workshop by Mighty Heart Theatre and Jane Bradley on the language surrounding emotional abuse and how to call it out.
The LEAD girls have also been attending weekly drop-in sessions where they have debated key issues such as class and gender, produced the manifesto you can read above, and taken part in personal development workshops centred on self-esteem and peer support.
Reclaim's LEAD organisers would like to hear from anyone who sees an opportunity for collaboration! Contact info@reclaimproject.org.uk
Go Girls IDGC report!
To mark International Day of the Girl Child last October, the Go Girls group at Levenshulme Youth Project, decided to work with photography. The young women wanted to capture objects that represented or related to a part of their identity. One photographed her own camera, and wrote:
"Photography is something that runs in my blood. My grandad and great granddad were professional photographers back in their day. Photography is my passion, it’s how I capture moments that I might not remember when I am older".
Another girl took a picture of her football boots and talked about the importance of doing sports and becoming good in a sport that men dominate. Other objects included medals from school, sketches they had drawn and favourite dishes from African culture. The photos were framed and remain on display in the café area at Inspire in Levenshulme.
The group also went canoeing at the Water Adventure Centre to celebrate International Day of Girl Child and enjoy themselves. Although some had never canoed before, they managed to overcome their fear and have fun despite strong winds - as you can see below!

Feminist Webs and Reanimating Data

Reanimating Data is an exciting project which you will be hearing more about because Feminist Webs is a partner! It is a collaboration between academics, archivists and activists who are interested in young women’s sexual health and empowerment, based around a set of interviews carried out in Manchester in 1988-89 as part of a social research study called the Women, Risk & AIDS Project (WRAP). The aim is to archive, share and reanimate this material as way of exploring change and continuities in intimate lives over a 30 year period. The project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and involves the Universities of Sussex and Edinburgh as well as the Feminist Webs archive and several members of our network. There will be WRAP workshops held around Greater Manchester over the next year or so, and various other opportunites to be involved. The idea is to build a community around the archive in order to ask new questions about sexual politics, social change and feminism. It is already generating fascinating resources and ideas for workshops with girls and young women. You can watch film about the original WRAP, make contact with the team and find out about upcoming events on the project blog here.
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