International Women’s Day 2019

We believe International Women’s Day is a positive celebration that brings women together to promote solidarity and the building of women’s networks, to highlight women’s achievements and what still needs to be done to secure equality and equity for women in Calderdale, nationally and globally. That is why every year All 1 Collective commits to being part of the International Women’s Day celebrations around Calderdale.

IWD 2019 #BalanceforEquality
March 6th 2019 We will be at Queens Rd Neighbourhood Centre developing an interactive installation on the issues and priorities of local women.

March 13th 2019 – We will also be holding an exciting event at the Piece Hall in partnership with the WEA, the Women’s Centre, the Square Chapel and the Piece Hall.

IWD 2019 WEA Poster.pdf


This will include a performance by Kate Radford, followed by a panel of inspiring women including MP Holly Lynch, Sally Bogg (IT Business Role Model of the Year 2018), Deborah Newbold (Associate Artists Square Chapel), Angela Everson (Women’s Centre), Sisters United and Shirley Allen-Jackson (WEA).

In the afternoon participants will get to choose from 3 brilliant workshops: 1: Phenomenal Woman – radical poetry (Sally Baker); 2. Crafty Collectivism (Harriet Lawton); 3. Interactive Forum Theatre Anna: Daughters of Fortune (Mind the Gap)

The event is free but if you’re interested in coming please register by calling the WEA on 0300 303 34 63 giving the reference number: C3675361

 

Active Citizens 2018 – 2019 Project Summary

Active Citizens is the British Council’s social leadership training programme that promotes intercultural dialogue and community-led social development. Since 2018, All One Collective has been working in partnership with the Worker’s Education Association (WEA) to deliver the programme in Calderdale and Sheffield. We have been training participants so that they can further develop their skills and knowledge to develop social action projects and to bring about positive social change in their communities.

In December 2018 we hosted a group of Active Citizens who came from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Morocco, Bury and Newcastle in Calderdale on an International Study Visit to see the amazingly vibrant community projects and organisations that exist in Calderdale.

In February 2019 two of our Active Citizens from Calderdale and Sheffield travelled to Ukraine, visited projects there and connected with other Active Citizens from all over the world.

Getting Connected: Feel Good Club

Delivered throughout summer 2018, at Todmorden Learning Centre, the Feel Good Club aimed to improve well-being, reduce isolation and improve emotional resilience for participants

Six workshop sessions were delivered giving participants the opportunity to meet others from the area, explore techniques to develop confidence and self-belief, develop practical skills around public speaking and conflict resolution and to understand and develop active listening skills. Each session ended in a dialogue session using a ‘conversation café’ style methodology.

Following on from the project an informal peer support and meet-up group was established by the participants.

Growing Together

Growing Together – A community Action Project in Park Ward, Halifax

Growing Together started as a series of five free workshops in May 2018 delivered in partnership with the Queens Road Neighbourhood Centre, Halifax. The workshops helped participants to undertake a social mapping exercise, exploring issues around the environment of Park and potential solutions to help to make the area cleaner and greener and somewhere residents are proud to live. #PrideinPark

Beyond the workshops a Growing Together Community Action Group has now been established and has since July 2018 undertaken 4 community clean ups in Park and supported one community clean up in Todmorden. A great start for creating real social change for this community.

If anyone is interested in being involved please drop Roisin an email on roisincavanagh@all1collective.org.uk or Sarah Dyer on sarahl.dyer@calderdale.gov.uk.

 

International Women’s day 2018 – Press for Progress

International Women’s day 2018  – Press for Progress

To mark International Women’s Day on 8th March 2018, All One Collective attended the Queen’s Road Neighbourhood Centre celebrations in Park ward, Halifax and explored the 2018 theme ‘Press for Progress’ with women of different backgrounds living in Calderdale.

We asked them three questions:
1. What are the challenges that you currently face?
2. What would you like to change?
3. What do you love about being a women?

Such big questions can be difficult to answer, so as way of sparking thought and conversation we identified different areas of life that we thought woman at the event would find relevant and interesting, wrote them on cards, placed them on a table and encouraged women to add their own thoughts and ideas. Through this collaborative effort we identified the following 12 issues:

Racism
Equality
House work
Violence against women and girls
Childcare
Employment
Sexual and Reproductive health
Education
The sharing of jobs at home
Body image
Physical and mental health
Free time

What were the main challenges that women identified at the event?

Most of the women we spoke to had something to say about gender equality and perceived there to be a lack of equality between men and women in all aspects of society. From the home, where women spoke about doing the majority of the housework and childcare, to wider society where they underlined the difficulties women face in entering the workplace, the media and politics.

Some spoke of the feeling that they were not taken seriously, that their opinions carried less weight than men’s. Others highlighted the lack of recognition they received for the work that they did in the home and in caring for a family. Many spoke of the challenges of juggling competing demands as a housewife, mother, worker, friend, sister and daughter and the emotional labour associated with these roles.

The lack of equality between men and women when it comes to sharing childcare and the housework was a particularly emotive issue and a source of frustration for nearly all the women we spoke to. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was also a generational difference in women’s experiences. One older women, for instance, said that she had been expected to do nearly all the work in the home by her first husband but that her experience had been different from her grandmother’s. She had gone to work and had freedoms that were not enjoyed by her grandmother, who she said had rarely left the house.

A young women, who had recently graduated from a local university said that her experience was more mixed -that she knew male/female couples who were very committed to an equal share of the housework and childcare but also admitted that this was still quite rare.

Women gave many answers for the root cause of this inequality ranging from patriarchal power structures, cultural expectations and individual laziness. As complex an issue as this can be, one woman was direct and succinct in her statement: “Men need to get off their bums and do something!”

Closely linked to women’s experiences of inequality relating to housework and childcare were gendered stereotypes and expectations, or as one woman put it, “a pressure to conform to feminine ideals”. A teenage girl clearly articulated the multiple pressures she faces when she wrote: “Life as a teenage girl: Standards, peer pressure, from other girls and boys, expectations of school, home, friends/family”.

Another woman wrote about the effect of these expectations on her body image: “Forever craving to be the right size. Perfect skin, perfect wife while being a perfect homemaker”

Many of the women we spoke to viewed domestic and caring responsibilities as a significant barrier for them entering into employment or accessing education and training as well as a source of isolation:“I think, as a women, what is difficult is when you become a mother there is a lack of childcare which hinders what you can do e.g. exercise, job and education.”

“When women become financially dependent on their partners and husbands it’s really hard to progress and get employment because of lack of confidence”

“You become isolated. By looking after your child, you can end up feeling lonely”

What would you like to change?
Generally speaking, the women we spoke to articulated the need for more educational and work opportunities, more childcare support to enable them to go to work, and more groups and activities to enable them to develop confidence and learn new skills.

In addition to this, the experiences that some women of colour and women with disabilities shared with us, reinforced the importance of considering all aspects of a women’s identity and how this shapes her experience of the world and the challenges she faces.

For example, two older deaf women who visited us at the event told us that they could not go to any of the groups for older/retired people in their area because they did not have funding to provide BSL interpreters. For them, the inclusion of a disability access budget in group activity planning is essential.

Women from migrant backgrounds called for the wider provision of ESOL classes and spoke of the importance of English proficiency in enabling them to access wider educational opportunities, whilst another woman declared: “It’s time to put women of colour centre stage!”

What do you love about being a woman?

With so many big issues on the agenda, we had little time to discuss what it is we love about being a woman! Some spoke about how much they enjoyed spending time with other women and the support and strength this gave them. One woman spoke about how the stereotype of women being emotional had worked against her but also gave her a sense of freedom in how she expressed herself.

For us at All One Collective, we came away from the event filled with respect and admiration for the way in which the women we spoke to were so open about their experiences and their obvious strength and resilience in the face of life’s challenges.