100 YEARS SINCE THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT (1918)
SESSION 1: CLASS AND THE SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT
SESSION 2: PANKHURST
SESSION 3: HISTORY AND LEGACY
SESSION 4: BLACK WOMEN AND REPRESENTATION
These workshops are for all women who would like to know more about Consciousness Raising. CR is the group technique in which women use their personal experience to explore their own oppression and to work towards political understanding and collective strength. We will form a group for this session and work on the basis that everyone will participate. The personal is political.
N.B. Each session will be different and more information will follow
Session 1: LYNN ALDERSON’S INTRODUCTION TO CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING
These workshops are for all women who would like to know more about Consciousness Raising (CR). CR is the group technique in which women use their personal experience to explore their own oppression and to work towards political understanding and collective strength. We will form a group for this session and work on the basis that everyone will participate. The personal is political.
SESSION 2: SURYIA NAYAK’S INTRODUCTION TO CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING
“black feminism [raising consciousness] is not white feminism [raising consciousness] in black face” (Lorde 1979: 60)
I owe my life to the power of Black feminist raising consciousness. I am interested in how raising consciences works across our differences as women. The Black feminist lesbian activist, Audre Lorde cautions that, “in a patriarchal power system where whiteskin privilege is a major prop, the entrapments used to neutralize Black and white women are not the same” (Lorde 1980 p118). I ask, ‘what are the implications of this for Black women’s raising consciousness?’ In my refusal of the ‘historical amnesia that keeps us working to invent the wheel every time we have to go to the store for bread’ (Lorde,) - I invite us to think, together, about questions of Black feminist consciousness raising through the Black feminist wisdom prism of Black women such as June Jordan, Angela Davies, Gloria Anzaldúa, The Combahee River Collective and Toni Morrison. For example, June Jordan might respond to the questions raised with her ‘Poem About My rights’!
Open/welcoming to women who because of their skin colour and racial heritage are subject to racism, including those who identify as Black, Asian and women of colour.
SESSION 3: LIZ KELLY’S SESSION
CONNECTING WOMEN: FLOURISH AND ZEBRA PARTNERSHIP
CULTURE OF DISBELIEF: ASYLUM SEEKER IS NOT MY NAME
“It is not considered plausible.” “It is not believed.” “It is not accepted.” These are the refrains meeting asylum seeking women, further traumatising those who have fled trauma. From David Blunkett’s sinister “section 8,” requiring decision makers to disbelieve claimants who do not claim asylum immediately on arrival to Theresa May’s “hostile environment,” successive governments have enthusiastically followed up on election promises to be “tough” on immigration, with no regard to the human damage they cause. We need to stand up and say #IBelieveHer to asylum seekers. This panel is led by Women Asylum Seekers Together and Lesbian Immigration Support Group from Manchester.
ECONOMIC ABUSE AND THE EFFECTS ON WOMEN
With the move to include economic abuse in the definition of domestic abuse this panel explores the effects of economic abuse both within the relationship and after it has ended. We will also discuss how poverty (often caused by abuse) can impede healing and recovery.
EMMA HUMPHREY MEMORIAL PRIZE
FAILED BY THE STATE
Girls are being let down by the state which is meant to protect them, over and over again. From Taunton to Rochdale, Rotherham to Oxford, girls have been groomed, trafficked and exploited, by individuals and by gangs. Girls are often then punished for their own exploitation by the criminal justice system, making a mockery of the text carved into the Old Bailey more than a century ago: “Defend the children of the poor and punish the wrongdoer.” This panel will look at how this has happened and what we can do to prevent it.
FEMINISM AND THE CLASS STRUGGLE
FEMINIST RESISTANCE AGAINST FUNDAMENTALISM
HARD SELL TO HARD CELL
A little over 100 years ago, the Representation of the People Act fundamentally changed the political landscape of the United Kingdom. For the first time, women were able to vote. But not all suffragettes welcomed the Act: in order to vote, a woman had to be over 30 years of age (men had to be just 21, or 19 if serving military personnel), and had to meet certain property qualifications.
In this talk, Emma Rees asks who the Act omitted, and why. She maps the road to 1918 and asks what the consequences of the Act were for the suffragette movement and for surely its most vocal campaigners: the Pankhurst family. She also reveals some surprising continuities between the suffragettes’ struggle and the political world today, as well as identifying some local suffragette heroes.
HOW I BECAME AN ASYLUM SEEKER: A PLAY
A play written and performed by the Women Asylum Seekers Together group. A powerful theatrical representation.
JUSTICE FOR PALESTINE: WOMEN'S PERSPECTIVE
Through the personal experiences of three Palestinian women we aim to show the increasing difficulties of life in Palestine today caused by the illegal actions of the Israeli government; how this particularly affects life for women; and how, through their bravery and resilience, they are resisting both at home in Palestine and by their campaigning here in Britain.
SEssion 1: WOMEN IN HEBRON: EMPOWERMENT UNDER OCCUPATION
Session 2: WOMEN'S ROLE IN THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE AND THE INTERNATIONAL BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS MOVEMENT
Session 3: WOMEN IN GAZA: A DAILY STRUGGLE
LESBIANS HERSTORY, DEFIANCE, ACTIVISM
THE LESBIAN REVOLUTION
LESBIANS RISING IN SOCIALIST YUGOSLAVIA
This panel will focus on misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis in women's mental health and neurodiversity, and on the support (or lack of it) available to women seeking help from medical professionals.
NEOLIBERALISM AND PATRIARCHY
Session One: Name TBC
Neo-capitalism has changed the face of patriarchy. The new strategies and principles of management of neo-liberalism have infused into the patriarchal system. Whether it's individualism, privatization/transfer of mens financial responsibilities to the State, deregulation, short term contracts, competitive pressure, lean management/streamlining, globalization/making domestic labor competitive with global labor, fast technological changes, most of these neo-capitalist approaches have been transposed into the age-old system of the exploitation of women by men. Neo-liberalism (which started in the 80s) has been an attempt by capitalism to curb the power of labor and neutralize all the progressive reforms and culture of the 60s and 70s; likewise, neo-patriarchy has adopted neo-liberalism's strategies to regain the ground lost to feminism. This exposé will analyze the changes that took place in different patriarchal institutions--prostitution, heterosexual relationships, marriage and motherhood--as they have mutated by integrating neo-liberal schemes.
Session 2: SHAPING THE FUTURE
Shahidah’s talk will explore how dominance over women has not always existed. There is evidence from the hidden histories of some societies which show that women have been powerful, fair and equal citizens. Patriarchy has nevertheless existed for millennia, based on the sexual and economic dominance of men over women.
She will talk about history teaching us important lessons about the nature of Patriarchy. How it ensures its own continuity by means of fear and terror, through violence against women in the home and on the streets, and how it’s laws legitimise the violence, keeping women in a state of constant fear.
Feminist researchers have told us about women’s challenges to Patriarchy, what we have won and what we have lost through our struggles for freedom and equality. We will look at how Patriarchy changes its face continually in response to our challenges, and how these changes frame our thinking and our actions.
What are the challenges facing us as feminists today, how do we analyse the historical and current workings of patriarchy and develop strategies that will break male dominance, break it’s continuity, and put an end to women’s subjugation, exploitation and oppression?
ONE YEAR AFTER #METOO
#MeToo was a gigantic tsunami that definitely shook patriarchy, an extraordinary battle that will long be remembered by us, already illustrated by multiple popular images. The power of this movement can be analysed as an unprecedented conjunction of a global alliance of several groups of women around the world: Hollywood stars, simple activists, anonymous feminists, millions of women who seized digital tools such as social networks all at the same time and everywhere on the planet. As such, #MeToo is a similar and contemporary phenomenon to the Arab Spring that could be requalified as the « women's spring » or the « autumn of patriarchy »: A triggering event followed by a massive and sudden speaking out by millions.
Its effects can be measured by its reporting in traditional male media (http://time.com/time-person-of-the-year-2017-silence-breakers/), the Pulitzer Prize awarded to R. Farrow, and by its very concrete effects on men who until then seemed untouchable: conviction of serial rapist B.Cosby, denunciations of Tariq Ramadan's crimes, many violent artists finally reported/shamed/put aside such as W. Allen, Tarantino, Louis CK, etc.
In the middle of the maelstrom, we might almost forget that H.Weinstein, at the origin of this, has still not yet been sentenced…
OPENING CEREMONY PERFORMANCES
Made up of women asylum seekers in Greater Manchester. They share their experiences, empower and support one another whilst fighting for our rights and raising awareness about the issues that force women to seek international protection and the effects of the injustices experienced through the UK immigration system.
They are women of all ages, nationalities, ethnicities, sexual orientation and disability. We speak many languages, practice many religions and accommodate for all.
The WAST choir go into the community to reach out to people who have never met any who is in the asylum system and think we are given homes and free mobiles and don't know how we suffer and also that we are women just like them, who care about our kids and just want to be safe and free.
The Jute Mill Song
Written by Mary Brooksbank, millworker, socialist and trade unionist, and performed by Shonagh Glenn, the Jute Mill Song brings home the hardships faced by those working in the mill. I first heard this song on a Feminist weekend and knew straight away that we had to bring Shonagh’s voice and the memory of her grandma teaching her the words to the conference. In memory of all the women who were worked so hard by the industrialists. And with thanks to Shonagh and her Grandma.
LETTER FROM AFGhANISTAN
OPENING CEREMONY KEYNOTES:
TAKE OUT MISOGYNY
Take out misogyny is concerned with the way misogyny, white supremacy, and attitudes toward animals interact through meat advertisements, stereotypes of meat eating, and animal agriculture’s dependence on female reproduction. Misogyny enables not just the social oppression of women, but along with white supremacy, establishes a hierarchy of entitlement and privilege that is related to attitudes toward animals. To take out misogyny we must first know its reach.
OPENING KEYNOTE: LESBIAN IMMIGRATION
FROM FGM SURVIVOR TO CAMPAIGNER & TEACHER
SECULARISM: A FEMINIST ISSUE
The panel will focus on the rise of religious fundamentalism(s) in Europe, Africa and Middle East, its relation with the concurrent rise of (neo)liberal ideologies and their combined impact on the rights of women & ethnic minorities. From the attack on women's sexual-reproductive autonomy and re-establishment of "traditional values" by the Catholic, Christian Orthodox and Islamic ideologues, to the appropriation of the feminist language & struggle, we will explore how the two seemingly mutually exclusive movements - one of "tradition" and the other of "modernity", in fact, work hand in hand, to roll back the universal rights, liberties of women and minority groups.
SPACE FOR SISTERS
An informal session, this is a space for women of colour to come together at FiLiA and discuss ways of living your feminist politics. Life as a feminist of colour can be isolating – especially up north – so this session is focused on enabling women of colour to connect. The group will help each other answer questions about how to make organising sustainable and avoid burnout, the politics of sisterhood, and what political concerns are facing women of colour in modern day Britain.
THE FEMINIST FAMILY WAY
How do we raise critical thinking, feminist children? What battles do we pick as feminist parents? This panel looks at the challenges of feminist parenting.
THE UNTAPPED POTENTIAL OF WOMEN
TRAVERSING NO-ONE'S LAND
What is sex? What is gender? The law, unhelpfully, uses both terms interchangeably at present although case law now recognises that sex is a function of biology and gender one of self-perception. To add to the confusion, at local level councils are often unsure of the difference and organisations struggle to understand what the law requires of them. As the government proposes to reform the Gender Recognition Act this panel will look at what the law actually is in this area and how it is applied in practice, and asks: is there a workable solution? And is it something that legislation can ever resolve?
Flourish CIC Twilight session supported by The Zebra Partnership - Connecting Women Global to Local
This is your chance to connect with women changemakers who are local to Greater Manchester. We'll be showcasing a range of women using expert by experience approaches to create positive social change. This interactive panel style session is chaired by Nickala Torkington, Co-founder and Director at Flourish Together CIC - a peer learning network and social venture development consultancy set up to lead the difference they see needed in communities whilst increase economic independence of women.
On the panel our expert by experience changemakers will be discussing how they are developing innovative, sustainable solutions to a range of challenges including Menopause, Domestic Abuse, Self Care, Health Awareness and Single parenthood.
Nickala Torkington, Co-founder Flourish CIC
VEGANISM & PATRIARCHY
What is veganism, is it related to feminism and patriarchy? if so, how? Why should feminists care about it? Is it really a social justice issue, and how so? What does it have to do with the lived experience/daily reality of a woman living in patriarchal society?
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS: A GLOBAL EPIDEMIC
Session 1: UNDERSTANDING VIOLENCE AGAINST OLDER WOMEN
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. However, this abuse has been defined by the victim's age rather than gender and, consequently, has been labelled 'elder abuse'. This conceptual framing of violence against women has not only obscured the extent of the problem, but has led to poorly informed prevention and response initiatives. This paper draws on two recent studies examining different forms of violence against older women, namely sexual violence and homicide, from a feminist perspective. Implications for future research, policy and practice are discussed.
Session 2: RACE, CULTURE AND GENDER
Speaking out about violence, abuse and other oppressions: findings from interviews with African and Caribbean heritage women"
Session 3: SCARS ACROSS HUMANITY#
Session 4: VICTIM SELF-BLAMING
WOMEN AND THE MEDIA
In the last year over 12 million women used the #metoo hashtag to share their personal stories of sexual harassment in the work place and beyond. We’ve seen Harvey Weinstein hand himself into the police, women take a stand on red carpets and finally women’s testimonies are starting to be heard. This is an opportunity talk about sexism in the British film and television industry, on and off screen. From morning chat show television, news reports to high budget drama, how can women start reclaiming the space?
Chaired by television producers and hosts of the DAS Podcast, Charlie Brades-Price and Rubina Pabani, we ask the panel the following question: Is raised awareness enough to change the way the media runs?