Harrogate Feminists

Notes from our last meeting

We met on Monday, 10th January and welcomed two new members to our group.

We ate biscuits, talked feminism, and got through lots of “business” too – including co-opting a chair, secretary and treasurer.

We talked about the results of our street harassment survey, which we’re going to post up on the website in full when all our members have had a chance to read the draft report properly. We also agreed to send the report to Harrogate District Community Safety Partnership when it’s finalised, and potentially also talk to Stray FM and the Harrogate Advertiser.

We talked about our draft constitution. We thought it was important to say somewhere that it’s fine for group members not to agree with each other, as long as they aren’t disruptive or derailing.

We talked about plans for our International Women’s Day event, on the afternoon of March 12th 2011, for which we have provisionally booked the Lower Hall of the Wesley Chapel in central Harrogate. The event will be called “A Celebration of Women” and we would like to invite women to share things they have made (arts, crafts… etc) as part of a celebration of women’s creativity. Amateurs and professionals will be equally welcome and nobody’s work will be judged against anyone else’s.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 27th January, time and venue here.


End Violence Against Women Event last Saturday
December 1, 2010, 9:25 pm
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On Saturday three of us came along (not all at once!) to support the Harrogate Soroptimists’ End Violence Against Women event in Harrogate town centre (in the Victoria shopping centre).

We learnt a lot, had fun and found we had lots of ground in common with the Soroptimists we met!

We also took the opportunity to start off our Street Harrassment Survey – thanks to everyone who’s already responded, and if you haven’t yet, do remember to complete our online version! (scroll down for the link)

Picture shows (left to right):  two members of Harrogate Soroptimists, Andrew Jones (MP for Harrogate,) Helen Stalker (President Harrogate Soroptimists) and Grace McGe (UNIFEM Yorkshire). Thanks to Judith McGee for kindly sending us the photo to put on our blog!

Street Harassment Survey
November 28, 2010, 12:54 pm
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We are conducting a survey as part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Violence. We would like to find out what people’s experience is locally, in Harrogate especially; any experience of shouted remarks, insults, innuendo, whistling, ogling, touching, pinching, slapping, hitting and stalking in a public space that made you feel sexualized, intimidated, embarrassed, violated, attacked, or unsafe.

This survey is anonymous and you do not have to answer any questions that make you feel uncomfortable.  We will use the findings to raise awareness about what public spaces are like for people locally.

Click here to take the survey.

Thank you in advance for taking part in this survey.  Results will be on our website from February 2011.

Quick notes from Monday’s meeting

We had a really good meeting on Monday with lively discussion and lots of planning!

SEV legislation

Harrogate Borough Council Licensing Committee is going to hold a public meeting at the council offices at 5.30pm on 11th November, to discuss whether they will adopt the proposed SEV legislation locally. Incidentally, while writing this post tonight I saw that in their report they did note our suggested improvements to their draft policy, although they haven’t summarised the detailed arguments we’d produced in support of our suggestions. One of the lap-dancing clubs submitted their own response via their lawyers. All other responses the Licensing Committee received during the consultation period were in favour of adopting the new legislation, which is great news. Let’s hope they do decide to adopt it!

16 Days of Activism

We are supporting the following events during this year’s 16 Days of Activism:

  • Harrogate Soroptimists’ End Violence Against Women stall on Sat 27th November in Victoria Shopping centre (first floor, opposite Mothercare).
  • Leeds Reclaim the Night march on Saturday 4th December.
  • DoH communications campaign on Violence against Women and Children – aimed both at members of the public and at those working in healthcare.

International Women’s Day 2011

In 2011, we would like to hold our own event, A Celebration of Women, to mark International Women’s Day (8th March) in its centenary year – to take place in Harrogate, probably either on the Saturday before or the Saturday after. We’re working on the details! For interest, see here for events organised by other UK groups in previous years…

Also, we reckon we need to have a constitution and a bank account, as currently we have No Funds Whatsoever, which is a bit inconvenient when planning an event… so we are going to get this sorted soon.

Next meeting – 22nd November – see “Meetings” for more details.

We support the Leeds Reclaim The Night March
September 22, 2010, 7:38 pm
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We’d like to add our voices to the many organisations supporting the forthcoming Leeds Reclaim the Night March, which is planned for the 4th December.

Reclaim the Night is about asserting the right of women to feel free from fear of rape and sexual violence. The route has been especially designed to reclaim places where women feel vulnerable from attack – for example, near lap-dancing venues. Details are being posted on their website as soon as they are finalised. Currently there is a printable flyer – please print it off and spread the word!