Thursday, 11 December 2008

Stronger Together in the South West

This week WRC Policy Team members travelled south to hold an event near Taunton with the South West Foundation looking at how women’s organisations in this area can better influence their local agenda and get their voices heard. It was a really great opportunity for women from lots of different kinds of organisations to meet and talk about the issues that they face locally and discuss what they can do about it! The event was part of WRC’s Stronger Together project and highlighted the need for women’s groups to work together and support each other when faced with gender discrimination at a local level. Networks like Equality South West’s gender network are already starting to do this.

Women’s Action Network Dorset spoke about their work supporting isolated women through social events and projects, and SEEDS Devon were keen to know about how they could challenge funding decisions and get more involved in local government.

The one thing that really struck me was the huge geographical areas that services have to cover in rural areas like the South West. The differences between the extent of services in the towns and countryside were obvious, however, the experiences of lack of recognition were the same.

We had fun creating our ideal visions of the future which were very colourful and optimistic – let’s hope we can get closer to this through solidarity and challenging decisions that reflect negatively on women!

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