Tuesday, 16 November 2010

London Irish Women's Health Day

Stoke Newington’s Church Street has been the home of the London Irish Women’s Centre for almost 30 years and last week, I (Skye Sandhu) went along there to see what was happening for their health day.

London Irish Women's Network provides advice & information on a wide range of issues, including housing, benefits, domestic violence.

Catching up with Caroline from the centre, she described that the primary reason for the awareness, information and advice day was much needed because studies published have shown that joint with Bangladeshi men, Irish (men, women and children) are the ethnicity with the worst health records in the UK. The target audience for the event: mainly elderly women and mothers with young children.

It was great to see they had everything covered from free goodie bags, massages, advisors, health checks and crèche on board, so that women could really engage on their health.

It was a quiet start because of the wet weather conditions but gradually picked up to everyone’s delight! While there, I caught up with Barry from the Stroke Association and Sophia from Hackney Stop Falls Network who were some of the stall holders present and got to hear about the advocacy and support they provide in the Hackney community for elderly women.

Personally for me it was good to go and visit one of our members face to face to see and feed back on the great work they do for the community, so if you have an event or open day- let us know so that we can come to you!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Marching for Million Women Rise in Manchester

By Skye Sandhu

An empowered and energised bunch of women all met up at Stratford, London early one October Sunday morning to travel up to Manchester for the first Manchester Million Women Rise march.

Despite only having one toilet break on the way up there, we were all surprisingly still eager and at full steam to get moving with sisters in the North. We got there in fantastic time (thanks to our driver) to hand out all the banners to the hundreds of women and children gathered in the Castlefield Arena, in the city centre.

Weather was on our side, without a cloud in sight, off we all marched. It was great to see women joining in with us as we passed the streets and the applause from the public watching us as our procession passed.

The day was enriched with warm speeches, singing, chanting, applause, laughter and a strong feeling of uprising and empowerment (not forgetting good food provided by volunteers).

En route back to London if you heard singing amidst the service station loos by Wolverhampton that would have been us - bringing the energy up and down the country all in the aid to end all forms of male violence!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Overcoming barriers for Deaf women

By Skye Sandhu

Recently I was invited on behalf of Deaf Ethnic Women’s Association to attend their AGM as a speaker to talk about the WRC and what it is we do as an umbrella organisation to support the women's sector.

Following on from my presentation, Deaf Advocacy and Justice for Deaf People spoke about the communication barriers for Deaf women and the difficulties this has imposed on Deaf women having access to services, which is a significant issue for these women.

The session really made me stop and think how marginalised Deaf women are (those with various types of hearing impairment). These women still suffer violence and are oppressed by this further because they cannot access the services you and I can. Sadly, services catering for Deaf people are not so easily accessible.

I was delighted, enriched and really made to feel welcome by DEWA. If you are interested in finding out more, DeafSafe + Domestic, Sexual Violence are running a full day Deaf-led conference on the 25th November at the Learning Resource Centre, for further details please email deafadvocacy.justic@gmail.com