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A big day of feminism in London


feminism in london conference 2013, reclaim the nightOctober 26 is the day of the 2013 Feminism in London conference, with panel discussions and workshops.

And afterwards there is a Stop Porn Culture meeting and London’s Reclaim the Night march.

The Feminism in London Conference’s morning’s panel discussion – Incarcerated Women – on women in prison, is particularly relevant today in the wake of the Corston Report.

Speakers include Jenny Earle of the Prison Reform Trust, Adeline Trude of Bail for Immigration Detainees, and Rachel Helford of Women in Prison. Bridget Rukwira is chairing this.

Then there’s the morning workshops:

No Choice At All: Raven Kaliana, an artist and human rights activist, presents a screening of her film Hooray for Hollywood, followed by a Q&A session. The film is a look at human trafficking and child exploitation.  Raven’s motivation to inspire social change stems from her history as a survivor of these crimes. Heather Harvey of Eaves will also be there.

Working Towards Non-Hierarchical Relationship Models: You can’t choose who you fall in love with, we’re told, but are there alternatives to traditional relationship structures and sexualities? What would relationship structures look like in a feminist utopia? Explore the possibilities of love in the 21st century and beyond. Presented by Dr Christine Campbell.

Feminist Opposition to Militarised Male Violence: This workshop will explore why militarism is a feminist issue and what we can do about it; consider the role and consequences of armed male power on women’s lives, and discuss a range of feminist strategies and actions that can empower us to disarm patriarchy. With Rebecca Johnson.

Challenging Linked Systems of Power: Towards a Whole-istic Feminism aims to transcend rifts between radical, liberal, socialist and other ‘kinds’ of feminism. Women are oppressed by male dominance but capitalism, white supremacy and other power relations do just as much damage. We will join the dots between these systems of domination – in workplaces, public services, at school, at home – and ask how a ‘whole-istic’ feminism can resist them. With Brigitte Lechner and Cynthia Cockburn.

Secularism and Feminism within BME Communities: Gita Sahgal of the Centre for Secular Space and Lola Tinubu of African Atheists UK will discuss the shared challenges and experiences of BME women engaged in secular feminism.

An MRA Workshop – a pro-feminist men’s workshop to which all are welcome. Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) are a persistent presence in online forums and debates about feminism. This workshop looks at some typical MRA arguments and through group discussion seeks to arrive at effective responses to them. It is to be presented by Chris Green of the White Ribbon Campaign and David Brooks of the Men’s Feminist Book Group.

There are two workshops for children – girls and boys aged 7 – 11 – ‘Girls in Stories’ in the morning to which boys and girls are welcome, and T-shirt making in the afternoon.

The Teenage Workshops are for 11- 18 year-olds, but girls only: the morning workshop looks at What’s so good about being a woman? and the afternoon workshop ‘Empowerment!’ takes a look at young women’s rights. EMPOWER is part of the Safer London Foundation.

The afternoon’s panel, Women and the Media, A Post-Leveson World asks: What can we expect from the media in a post-Leveson world? The panel will include a speaker from Object, who made submissions to the Leveson enquiry about the portrayal of women in the media; Yasmin Alibhai-Brown who is a well known writer and journalist; and Ruth Barnes from The Other Woman radio show and will be chaired by Roweena Russell.

The workshops in the afternoon:

Sexual Violence And Trafficking: An International Perspective: Raggi Kotak, founder of the Anti-Trafficking Legal Project and Liberty Human Rights Award nominee, will co-ordinate a workshop on international violence against women (VAW) with Dr Aisha Gill, Associate Professor in Criminology at the University of Roehampton.

Vagina! While awareness of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a human rights abuse increases, labiaplasty in the west gains popularity amongst those who seek the “perfect” genitalia. What does patriarchy encourage us to do to our vulvas and vaginas across the globe? Meet Nimco Ali of Daughters of Eve, BBC reporter Najlaa Abou Mehri and consultant gynaecologist Michelle Fynes.

Kick-Ass Activism: A How to of Campaigning… Team No More Page 3 will show you the ropes of campaigning! Warning: You might just start a campaign after this! No More Page 3 is a campaign appealing to the editor of The Sun to please stop showing the Page 3 topless pictures. It has public backing from UK Girlguiding, National Union of Teachers, UNISON, Rape Crisis and many other unions, charities and organisations, as well as the support of 140 cross party MPs and well over 115,000 petition signers. In August this year the Irish Sun stopped showing the topless Page 3 pictures.

The Ageism and Experiences of Ageism workshop will discuss stereotyping in its many forms and ageism in particular, in society generally and as it affects the young, older and old women present.  We will consider old age as seen by younger women and experienced and lived by older women. This will be very much a participatory workshop, with useful academic material available for those who are interested.  Presented by Marj of the Older Feminist Network and Vito from the Older Lesbian Network.

Or join Rebecca of the Scary Little Girls theatre company for Taking Space, Talking Loud a – women only – workshop exploring what it means to take up space as a woman. Frequently asked to reduce ourselves and blend into the background, this workshop will use discussion, some simple drama and Transactional Analysis exercises to explore how we women can find our selves and our voices to enjoy a place in the world, rather than play under it!  We will explore issues that affect women at work, socially and in relationships in a safe, women only space. All women welcome.

The workshop on Healthy Relationships is a pro-feminist men’s workshop to which all are welcome. Working With Men (WWM) will introduce participants to our work which aims to prevent violence and gender inequality among young people. WWM uses its uniqueness in engaging boys and young men to explore masculinity and relationships within the contexts of race, culture and class. WWM supports boys and young men to gain an objective perspective of violence, in turn empowering them to regain control over their lives, make informed decisions and express themselves clearly with girls and young women. With Owen Thomas and Sally Mehta.

After that: Stop Porn Culture International is hosting a post-conference workshop to explore ways that feminists across the world can organise against the porn industry.

Part of this event will be planning for an international ‘Stop Porn Culture’ conference in London on March 15, 2014, that will bring together anti-porn feminists from all over to develop strategy to combat this multi-billion global industry.

And then there is also an extra-special 10th London Reclaim the Night! Close down central London for women, put your feet on the streets to shout a loud NO to rape and all forms of male violence against women.

The women-only march will assemble at 6.30pm outside the Institute of Education on Bedford Way – the nearest tube is Russell Square – and march through the centre of London. We will end with a mixed post-conference, post-march party – venue to be confirmed.

Men are encouraged to join the Men’s Vigil at the Edith Cavell memorial, just off Trafalgar Square.

Join us.

But conference tickets here.

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