Katy reports on our EqualiTeas event, which took place on Thu 21st June:
This event was organised as part of the UK Parliament EqualiTeas initiative to engage people in discussions about equality and democracy. The event was designed to be very informal so that women would feel encouraged to attend and participate. Women were invited in and offered tea, cake, and other refreshments. They were asked to sign a name sheet with a box asking their reason for attending.
Attendees were provided with discussion cards and information cards on some key campaigns undertaken by organisations in Notts. These included: NWC’s work with Nottinghamshire Police to make misogyny a hate crime; WAIS campaign work on changing legal aid rules for survivors of abuse; POW’s early intervention work with children vulnerable to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE); Notts SVSS’s work to make it easier for survivors of domestic violence to register anonymously on the electoral register; Mojatu Foundation’s work on tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM); NWC’s work establishing a #TimesUp network to fight sexual harassment in the workplace.
The event mainly consisted of informal conversations about (in)equality and issues that were important to the women attending. The women were provided with paper bunting and encouraged to use it to write their thoughts on questions such as ‘What does equality mean to you?’ and/or ‘What would you like to change in our society?’ and/or ‘What issues of inequality/inequality do you see today?’ etc. These comments were then shared amongst the group and used to prompt further discussion. Women were also invited to make badges using the badge-maker.
Some of the comments that emerged from the conversations included:
- More women in parliament now
- Same job same pay
- Equality is all women having opportunities regardless of race/sexuality/religion/disability etc. And actual opportunities not just a ‘diversity’ tick box!
- Still only 3% conviction rate for rape. Come on.
- Put an end to the ‘Old Boys Club’ or ‘Old school tie’
- We need to look to Rwanda’s example! We need quotas.
- Educate Boys Empower Girls To Change Attitudes
- In 2018, young women are missing school because they cannot afford sanitary products
- In 2018 it is still legal to take photos up women’s skirts without their consent #stopskirtingaround
- Equality and Respect to each other
- In 2018 Laura Pidcock MP was forced to vote in the Commons despite being in pain & 8 months pregnant. Naz Shah was forced to vote on morphine, in a wheelchair & in pyjamas
- Women are not objects or possessions and should be treated with respect
- In 2018 women are exchanging sex for a roof over their head
- For women who are registered to vote to feel empowered to vote the way they want & not to be pressured by partners/spouses to vote the way their partners vote.
- Men should treat women with respect and when they say no they mean no. Also women should be paid the right wages too.
- Listen to, believe and trust women – re: rape, abortion, their health
- Who watches the watchers – who is keeping the MPs accountable. NC Council, Ombudsman, you name it.
- 100 years since (some women) got the right to vote. The right to choose a political party. BUT effectively there is no choice as nothing ever changes !!!
- Women should be treated with respect. Saying ‘No’ means No!
- How do we create a system of accountability? So, we can see what decisions are being made ????????
Some women were asked whether they would be interested in joining a focus group. There was a talk about the prospect of a Women’s Manifesto in 2019 to coincide with the local elections as one way for women to get more involved in discussing and pushing for change on issues that matter to them.
Please keep an eye out for details of these and other opportunities to get involved and have your voices heard as part of our Centenary Cities activities.