Research, policy and activism around violence against women has primarily focused on young women, who have considered most at risk of victimisation. Over the last few decades, research has gradually emerged showing high levels of violence and abuse against older women.
We are really proud of our provision for children at FiLiA, enabling parents to attend the conference with their children rather than having to make alternative arrangements which can be expensive or unsuitable. Every year we have provided a creche for babies to pre schoolers and workshops for primary age children - although children are also welcome at the sessions at their parent's discretion. We do not charge an entry fee for children.
Women gave what they could to support the writing of this legal briefing. Women who have exited the sex industry; academics; activists and those who simply recognise that the sex trade has nothing to do with liberation, and everything to do with sexual objectification and exploitation.
As the debate around gender identity intensifies, it seems more and more people are asking questions about the impact of transgender ideology and legislation on women, children, and our understanding of gender under patriarchy, more broadly. At the same time, those who do speak out or challenge the ideology behind the concept of transgenderism (or connected policies and practices) are being punished for doing so.
LINK TO ORIGINAL PODCAST HERE
FiLiA stands in support of our spokeswoman Heather Brunskell Evans. We were surprised and disappointed by the decision of the Women's Equality Party to remove her as spokeswoman for WEP.
The trigger for this was Heather's participation in the Moral Maze, on an episode entitled "Defining Gender." It was, as one would expect on Radio 4, gentle, considered and thought-provoking. The whole thing can be heard here.
During that programme Heather expressed the view that while adults could define their gender in whichever way they see fit, more caution should be exercised when it comes to children.
We are astonished that such moderate views attracted a complaint to WEP. This is an issue where there is frequent disagreement, between politicians, between medics, between sociologists, between scientists, as well as within the trans and feminist communities. Removing a moderate voice from these discussions simply because others disagree with it is dangerous.
Heather's own statement can be found on her website here.
It is deeply worrying that across political parties, universities and media outlets, traditionally the homes of unafraid opinion, there is complicity with a culture of thought-orthodoxy. Yet we all know that nobody has ever changed their viewpoint by being told what to think. Persuasion has always come through reasoned argument, the foundations of which are free speech and free thought. FiLiA will continue our established principle of encouraging all three.
As you may be aware, a heavily under-reported Kurdish-led feminist revolution organised along the principles of direct democracy, racial inclusivity, ecological sustainability and a co-op based economy is taking place in Rojava, also known as the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, in the middle of death and destruction.
More background information is available here: The Rojava experiment
February 6th marks the 100 year anniversary of the first time women were allowed to vote in the UK. The Representation of the People Act in 1918 expanded the electorate to include virtually all men regardless of income or status, and offered 8.4 million women the right to vote for the first time in history.
A full century after women were first granted the right to vote, the UK is still being made to suffer a massive imbalance in the political sphere.
Although every election in recent history has broken records in terms of women in government, Westminster is still significantly skewed. Only three out of every ten Members of Parliament are women, while women make up over half of the general population.
On February 6th 1918, the Representation of the People Act was passed by the UK government, signifying a momentous day for women. As well as abolishing many of the property qualifications for male voters, the law included this:
“Women over 30 years old received the vote if they were either a member or married to a member of the Local Government Register, a property owner, or a graduate voting in a University constituency.”
For the full article and others on Sexual Exploitation and Violence please access the online Dignity Journal
With deep thanks to Cath Bore for contacting us about the book 'Know Your Place' which can be bought HERE
'Know Your Place is a book that is a political howl from those who know that it is easier, that we are easier, to go unacknowledged and that our experiences, our lives, our humour are difficult for others to take.' Lisa McKenzie
There is no official record or commemoration of women killed by men in the UK, so KAREN INGALA SMITH is taking to social media to remember them
IN JULY 1981, at the first Feminist Conference for Latin American and Caribbean Women in Colombia, November 25 was declared an annual day of protest in memory of three activist sisters Patria, Maria Teresa and Minerva Mirabel who had been assassinated due to their involvement in efforts to overthrow the fascist government of Rafael Trujillo.
FiLiA Statement: in support of a woman’s right to speak
Since the beginning of recorded history, women have been forced or coerced into silence.
‘If a woman speaks disrespectfully (?) to a man, her mouth shall be crushed with fired brick, and that brick will be hung at the main gate’
c. 2350 BC Urukagina’s Code
Women and girls have been fighting patriarchal oppression for thousands of years. Patriarchal state laws, religious instructions, institutional and cultural norms combine to quieten, shape or silence our voices. Where we make even small gains, the backlash is fierce.
We have a right to speak out on issues that affect us, and it is incumbent upon those in positions of power to ensure that we are listened to and heard.
FiLiA is concerned by recent attempts to prevent discussion of the Gender Recognition Act. It is not acceptable that individuals and women’s organisations are unable to openly and freely explore the impact of this potential change in law on our lives.
Mary Beard points out that ‘women, even when they are not silenced, still have to pay a very high price for being heard’. That price is being felt in the form of threats, actual violence, withdrawal of speaking opportunities as well as the fear of loss of funding, job security and reputation.
FiLiA stands by Heather Brunskell-Evans and others who have stepped forwards; determined to uphold the principle of democratic debate and healthy discussion.
FiLiA is proud to provide a feminist space for women from all over the world to come together and share their views, respectfully and with the recognition that in order to be effective in creating positive change for women and girls – we must immerse ourselves in those difficult discussions; not be prevented from allowing them to happen.
In sisterhood and solidarity,
"We were willing, both of us, to give our lives for the Socialist Revolutionary party. That was a just punishment for the lives we tried to take. We dedicated ourselves to the movement, Manya, and we didn’t take that vow lightly. We didn’t flinch from the consequences.”
Angelina will be involved in the following FiLiA session:
Revolutionary Women (Saturday Morning)
We're delighted to say that there are going to be two additional sessions at FiLiA 2017 over the lunch break with young women in mind!
Session 1: Pornography and Young Women's Sexuality - How Porn Culture affects me
TIGER (Teaching Individuals Gender Equality and Respect) is a Bristol based workers cooperative who work with young people to provide education on topics related to gender equality. In this session, we will be exploring a range of issues related to mainstream pornography and the impact this has on young women and their partners lives. We will be asking questions such as - who is porn made for and who does it represent? What does it teach us about how and why we have sex and the impact this might have on our ability to form healthy relationships with ourselves and others?
Session 2: Body Image
TIGER (Teaching Individuals Gender Equality and Respect) is a Bristol based workers cooperative who work with young people to provide education on topics related to gender equality. In this session we will be discussing body image. This is a huge topic for young people today who live in media saturated environments, which convey multiple and often contradictory messages about how we should look and how we should feel about this. In this session we will be aiming to create an open and supportive environment from which to begin to explore these ideas as a group.