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School of Geography

Women’s Spaces and Feminist Politics: yesterday, today and tomorrow

16 May 2014

Time: 6:30 - 5:00pm
Venue: Room 126, Geography Building, Queen Mary School of Geography E1 4NS

You are invited to a one-day conference organized by London Women and Planning Forum, Rooms of our Own and Women’s Studies without Walls.

This one-day conference will explore the role of women’s spaces in feminist politics, focusing on women’s centres and other women’s spaces in the past, present and future. During the 1970s there were autonomous women’s centres in most London boroughs and throughout the UK. They provided an exciting, safe and liberating environment for women to share thoughts and experiences and to campaign for change. Many of these centres were funded by local authority grants but as the grant-giving environment diminished most were forced to close. Some have survived by tendering for out-sourced council services such as domestic violence and rape counselling. Many have struggled against the conflation of feminist demands into a generalised equality agenda. During the past decade a new  generation of feminists has started to campaign against the objectification of women in the media, the expansion of pornography, sexism in the workplace and on the street, the lack of representation of women in public life and the sexualisation of young children. This new generation of feminists is largely organized via social media rather than in physical spaces.

Conference programme [PDF 101KB] (pdf)

There will be four key sessions.

  1. Why “Women Only”?  Speakers on the history of women’s spaces, lesbian and separatist issues, cultural and religious diversity issues and requirements for women’s safety.
  2. Women’s Spaces past, present and future. A range of speakers looking at Women’s Centres that have closed, those that have survived and ideas for new forms for the future.
  3. Virtual women’s spaces. Speakers from organisations that organise almost exclusively online; benefits and problems.
  4. One hour discussion involving all the speakers and audience chaired by Woman’s Hour’s Jane Garvey, followed by a Networking session

We aim to organise another event following on from this Conference with the opportunity for much more discussion, networking and planning for the future.

Please go to Eventbrite to register  

£38 for waged + booking fee  
£8.50 for unwaged + booking fee (if this is difficult for you, please email us)

Includes tea/ coffee throughout the day and a vegetarian lunch. Please let us know if you have particular access and /or dietary requirements

Registration deadline: 6th May 2014

Email contact:

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