The Women’s Voice Group was created to discuss and make plans for the Women’s Sector Conference which will take place on 1st March 2016. The group is made up of women core group members, peer mentors and GROW trainees – women with lived experience. We meet fortnightly and so far have had a lot of fun brainstorming potential names for the conference and how we want to proceed.
The idea for the conference came from workshops that resulted in the question ‘where are all the women?’ Women with multiple and complex needs are currently hidden and don’t have a voice. We want to change that and, working with other women’s sector support services across Manchester, we want the women of Manchester to come out from hiding and to speak up…..not only to find their voices, but to shout loudly. So we’ve named the conference Speaking Up – Stepping Out.
On Wednesday evening, six members of the Women’s Voice Group went to the cinema at The Printworks to see Suffragette. It was an incredibly moving account of the start of the feminist movement when women began their fight for the right to vote. The determination and the lengths the suffragettes were prepared to go to were extreme; they were prepared to sacrifice everything (one scene in particular making Rachel and Alicia cry). Some of the scenes were horrific; these women were treated appallingly.
Despite some of the harrowing scenes, we left the cinema feeling elated and empowered; we were so impressed by the strength of character and resolve of these women. We want the Women’s Sector Conference to highlight that the women of Manchester need to find their voices and fight for their rights…….they must feel that they are able to stand up and be counted. We can help them!
If you are interested in getting involved in the Womens Groups contact Tabatha Obrien-Butcher.