News

Planning meeting summary: 29th September 2019 @ The Community Hub, John Lewis, Birmingham

Thanks so much to everyone who came along and for all your hard work, time and input!

FWFC at recent events:
FWFC members attended the Youth Strike for Climate Change on 20th September 2019 supporting members of Birmingham YouthStrike4Climate . Check out the pics from a great day of solidarity here.

Upcoming events in Birmingham:
This Autumn: Bedlam 2019: Birmingham’s 4th Arts and Mental Health Festival runs until Saturday 12th October and SHOUT! Festival of Queer Art and Culture is coming up: 5th – 17th November.

BACK UP: Art Project in BSWA Refuges
Our members working on this project have had domestic violence training with Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid (BSWA), and have delivered their first pilot session with women to help plan for our bigger project. The training and pilot was invaluable and we learned so much in preparation for our art and craft projects with women living in refuge. Hearing how BSWA work with women was powerful and inspiring, and reaffirmed why feminism and feminist thinking is so crucial to our everyday lives. There will also be a public engagement side to this project which will: provide a voice and make visible the stories of women living in refuge and those who support them; disseminate vital, factual information about DV; raise awareness of DV support services in public and online spaces; and initiate a call to action around DV and women’s inequality.

BSWA What's Our Story?

BACK UP: Cooking Project with BSWA
We are currently researching women who would like to voluntarily deliver a cooking project for young women living in refuge. The project would involve teaching how to cook basic healthy meals, and knowledge around food hygiene and storage. Some great suggestions from members and people to follow up!

BACK UP: Goodnight Out Campaign Update
The Goodnight Out 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. They have secured funding to work in partnership with BSWA to deliver a pilot project in Birmingham and are looking for eight venues, pubs, bars or clubs to receive FREE accreditation and training on safer nightlife skills for all their staff and security. Do you know somewhere they should train? Email info@goodnightoutcampaign.org.

ELEVATE: SRE Curriculum
If you’d like to support the ongoing campaign for relevant SRE (Sex and Relationships Education) provision and the teaching of equality and diversity, SEEDS (Supporting Education of Equality and Diversity in Schools) are doing great work in Birmingham and there are practical suggestions on their facebook page for things you can do locally.

ORGANISE: Fundraising for Baobab Women’s Project
The recent Studio Sale fundraising event at Grand Union as part of Digbeth First Friday in August went really well! Thank you to the women from Baobab Women’s Project who came along and also to our members who provided merch and ran the stall. It was a great start to our fundraising. Thank you Grand Union for organising the event and giving us the opportunity! We are currently working on a fundraising event EMPOWER BAB! scheduled for Spring 2020, our next planning meeting will focus on the fundraiser so if you’d like to find out more and come along, get in touch. Baobab Women’s Project are a West Midlands refugee and asylum seeker grassroots women’s advocacy project, working in solidarity with others for positive change, and are our current fundraising beneficiary.

ORGANISE: FWFC at Barber Lates 2019 (Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham)
Some of our members will be talking about FWFC as part of the Barber Lates Herstories Archives and Activism event with the Feminist Library on Tuesday 19th November.

ORGANISE: West Midlands Feminist Hero
We have a list of amazing women who qualify as West Midlands Feminist Heroes! We will be celebrating the contributions, help and support that these women provide in their communities very soon.

ORGANISE: Feminist Library
The Feminist Library is open and ready to borrow from or to donate to.

DATE FOR NEXT PLANNING MEETING: Sunday 12th January 2020, venue tbc.
If you are interested in finding out more or coming along, get in touch here.

DONATIONS:
We will be collecting much needed items for women being supported by BSWA, at every planning meeting. This support is greatly appreciated by BSWA as there is huge demand on their foodbank for women in refuge, women accessing their homeless hostel and those being supported in temporary accommodation, very often hotels, with access only to a kettle. If you are in a position to donate, do bring along things from the list of items.

First fundraiser for Baobab Women’s Project @ Digbeth First Friday!

FWFC will be part of Studio Sale at Grand Union on Friday 2nd August 6-8pm as part of Digbeth First Friday!

We will be selling our very own FWFC merch – t-shirts, totes and brooches – at very reasonable prices! All funds raised will go to Baobab Women’s Project, a West Midlands refugee and asylum seeker grassroots women’s advocacy project. We will also be selling poetry books and artwork produced by women working with Baobab Women’s Project, so please do come along and show your support.

Baobab Women’s Project provide advice and support including assistance with immigration, health and housing. They focus on undocumented, asylum seeking and newly granted refugee women’s issues, particularly supporting women affected by gender violence and trafficking.

 

Baobab Women’s Project, our new fundraising beneficiary!

We are pleased to announce that Baobab Women’s Project will be the FWFC fundraising beneficiary for the next year!

Baobab Women’s Project are a West Midlands refugee and asylum seeker grassroots women’s advocacy project, working in solidarity with others for positive change. They provide advice and support including assistance with immigration, health and housing. They focus on undocumented, asylum seeking and newly granted refugee women’s issues, particularly supporting women affected by gender violence and trafficking.

 

Planning meeting summary: 7th July 2019 @ Grand Union, Birmingham

Thank you to Grand Union for generously hosting our planning meeting!

BACK UP: Art / craft / cooking in women’s refuges
FWFC will soon be working on a cooking project with BSWA (Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid). We are also piloting an art project leading to a more substantial project in Winter 2019/2020. BSWA really value the arts and see how much difference it can make to the women they work with. The art project will also be used as a vehicle for talking more widely about domestic violence and abuse, and about women’s inequality.

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 venues in the city where GNO campaigns are needed.

ELEVATE: Women and the revolution in Sudan
FWFC have been learning about the background to the Sudanese revolution and recent massacre, and the role of female revolutionary icons who have had a huge impact during the revolution #BlueForSudan: Find out more here: A Women’s Revolution: Why Women are Leading Calls for Change in Sudan, Kandaka: Resurrecting the Sudanese Queens, Alaa Salah

ELEVATE: Sex & Relationship Education
SEEDS (Supporting Education of Equality and Diversity in Schools) are a recently formed group promoting equality and diversity in schools, including LGBTQI identities and relationships, connect with them through their fb group.

ELEVATE: Our Streets Now
Our Streets Now is an instagram campaign set up by two sisters – 14 & 20 – who are petitioning the government to make street harrassment illegal. Their campaign has gained huge momentum, please support @ourstreetsnow

ORGANISE: Fundraising
Baobab Women’s Project will be FWFC’s fundraising beneficiary for the next year. They support undocumented and asylum seeking women in lots of ways and we look forward to supporting them through our work. FWFC will have a stall at Grand Union’s studio sale as part of Digbeth First Friday on Friday 2nd August, where we will be selling our own merchandise, all proceeds will go towards Baobab Women’s Project.

ORGANISE: Feminist Clapback
Feminist Clapback is now online! Also check out Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates (in the FWFC Library) and the Brazilian documentary Enough with Catcalling by Fernanda Frazao, Amanda Kamanchek & Lucas Kendy de Silva Kakuda.

ORGANISE: Feminist Library
The Feminist Library is nicely stocked at the moment! Members can donate books and borrow them at meetings. Thank you to everyone who has recently donated!

Date for next meeting:
The next planning meeting will be in Autumn 2019 in Birmingham. 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!

 

 

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.”

Check out our new Feminist Clapback page to read the responses.

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!