We had a fantastic day on May 16th; excellent speaker after excellent speaker and full-house in terms of attendance. Although we had originally hoped to have a follow-up workshop day at the Feminist Library on Saturday 17th this had to be cancelled; but there was a huge appetite for a further event and for setting up some kind of federation or network.
The whole conference was recorded and this will be edited and made available in due course.
Meanwhile here is a snapshot of the event … captured not in snapshots but in great photographs by Stephanie Waterman https://www.facebook.com/stephanie.waterman.37?fref=ts
Alison Blunt opens the Conference
Lynne Harne “All the women left the 1971 Skegness conference and reconvened in the canteen”
Julia Long “We are losing our understanding of why we need women only spaces”
Pragna Patel “The government is reaching out to muslim men, who may be politically moderate but are not moderate about women’s rights”
Franki Hackett “Mental safety is as important as physical safety”
Ruth Lewis “Women at the North East Feminist Gathering reported feeling “euphoric joy” in women only spaces”
Morning panel answer questions
Gail Chester “If you accept their funding you have to do what they want you to do”
Marian Larragy “There are lots of different sorts of feminism”
Ego Ahaiwe “If I had £1 for every time we’ve been asked about space, I would have been able to save Lambeth Womens Project”
Rukhsanda Chishti “You have to believe and keep fighting”
Melanie Jeffs “we have a “man-sitting” policy; any men in the building have to have a woman with them”
Anne Neale “We have managed to buy our building”
Emma Scott “Tindlemanor is one of the few affordable places in London left”
Wendy Davis “Maybe social enterprise is the way forward now”
Sadly,Vivienne Hayes from Women’s Resource Centre was unwell and unable to join us.
Lunch AND networking
Nadia Baksh “Having women only events allows all women to dance”
Nabila Pathan “For some reason I was always excluded from male conversations”
Louise Pennington “When men forced their way into Mumsnet discussions, women stopped contributing”
Lucy Anne Holmes “My favourite place is my virtual office”
Jane Garvey saying something I like obviously!
Last formal session of the day with Jane Garvey
After the last formal session we had tea and a lot of networking and debate until they needed to lock the building!
It was agreed that we definitely need to have some follow-up event(s) and perhaps to set up some kind of network or federation.
A really great day! Rooms of our Own, London Women and Planning Forum and Women’s Studies without Walls are grateful to everyone who came to listen to women’s experiences and ideas about women’s spaces. We look forward to getting together again soon and taking the agenda forward.