Planning meeting summary: 3rd March 2019 @ Gas Hall, BMAG

Thank you again to BMAG for generously providing us with a meeting space!

RECENT FEMINIST EVENTS: Sara Ahmed Talk, Free Feminist School, Reclaim the Night and International Women’s Day Events
Members who attended the Sara Ahmed talk said it was a great experience, and encouraged everyone to see Sara on tour this year, check out Sara’s twitter feministkilljoy @SaraNAhmed blog https://feministkilljoys.com/ and book Living a Feminist Life. Great feedback from the Free Feminist School organised by Women’s Strike Assembly, Feminist Action Brum and Plan C Birmingham: a really engaging and interesting day, providing lots of information about local, national and global feminist issues. FWFC attended the Reclaim the Night March on International Women’s Day (IWD). Next year FWFC will aim to create an IWD map of events enabling different organisations to schedule events around one another and to amplify the whole day.

BACK UP: Art / craft / cooking in women’s refuges
FWFC Sub-group working to put in place an art / craft / cooking pilot project working with women in refuge. Initially working with women to teach knit and crochet, this project will work as evidence to support and bigger funding bid.

BACK UP: Good Night Out Campaign update
The Good Night Out (GNO) Campaign is an independent, international initiative dedicated to helping the night-time economy deal with, tackle and prevent harassment. They do this by helping licensed premises adopt best practice policies through a poster campaign and the provision of specialist training. Funding has been secured by GNO for work in Birmingham, which will be supported by FWFC. FWFC have been working to identify and collect data around the areas of Birmingham where sexual violence is most prevalent and urgently needs to be addressed.

ELEVATE: New SRE curriculum update
Guidance for Schools has now been announced and has been welcomed by women’s groups and LGBT groups. The EVAW (End Violence Against Women) statement gives a good overview of the improvements and issues: https://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/relationships-sex-education-womens-groups-welcome-progress/. The issue of removal from lessons by parents remains an issue, particularly around LGBT sex and relationship education.

ORGANISE: Fundraising
FWFC are currently researching a new fundraising beneficiary, more info soon. We are now planning our next fundraising schemes: merch, a daytime event in summer and an evening event. FWFC will also start to collect material donations at planning meetings, to be donated to BSWA.

ORGANISE: Feminist Clapback, Episode One
The Feminist Clapback is a FWFC collective response to everyday sexism, offering facts, information and viewpoints that could help people to tackle similar sexist issues in the future. The Feminist Clapback was prompted by discussions around how difficult, tongue-tying and infuriating it can be to respond to sexist comments in the moment. We had a great response to our first clapback scenario:

“I was out with a male friend and we got talking about how I was worried about having children. I said there should be better provision and support for women to take time off to have a baby. I feel like your career can suffer if you have a break, and of course it can affect you financially (I am self employed, which is another part of all this!). He disagreed saying that it is a choice to have kids. He said it’s comparable to a gap year. He’d had a gap year in his 20s and it hadn’t affected his career.”

Responses will be available on here soon!

ORGANISE: Safe transport working group
FWFC have been working to identify safe ways for people to travel at night and get home from nights out, particularly in Digbeth and the city centre. We are looking into female only taxi campanies and taxi companies where female drivers can be requested, along with walking buses, and support networks that already exist for getting people home from the city centre late at night. Reporting hate crime on public transport and how to do it was also discussed: hate crime can be reported online at http://report-it.org.uk, you can DM a train company when you are travelling by train (info on trains) and text the transport police 61016 to report an incident.

ORGANISE: West Midlands Feminist Hero
Please get in touch and tell us about your heroes! https://feministsworkforchange.com/west-midlands-feminist-heroes/

ORGANISE: Feminist Library
Thank you to members for our new donations! They will be up on the website soon! https://feministsworkforchange.com/the-fwfc-feminist-library/

Date for next meeting:
The next planning meeting will be on Sunday 12th May 2-4pm at Grand Union. If you are interested in finding out more or coming along, get in touch here.

Thanks so much to everyone who came along and for all the great work you’ve been doing!

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