Saturday, June 10, 2006

“Why women?”

Not much time for blogging at present, but this got sent to me - a timely reminder that feminism still has some way to go.......

“Why women?” campaign - Women’s Resource Centre

Women’s organisations work with the sharp end of discrimination, providing essential and often life-saving services to the most forgotten and isolated women. Yet we are currently facing a funding crisis.

We are constantly being asked to justify why we work for women, despite the expertise and experience held by the sector in meeting women’s needs, and in challenging discriminatory laws and practices - marital rape was only made a criminal act in 1991 after decades of campaigning.

The Women's Resource Centre, the umbrella body for women’s groups in London, recently launched the ‘why women?’ campaign which calls on government to put gender back on the agenda, and sustainably fund the women’s sector - over 170,000 postcards highlighting the achievements of women’s organisations are currently in cinemas and bars across London.

Based on in-depth interviews with a diverse range of women’s organisations, the ‘why women?’ report found that the deep-rooted issues these organisations work on rarely appear on funders’ criteria or government targets - and this will only get worse as funding moves from grants to more prescriptive, competitive tendering to deliver public services.

Campaign resources, which they hope will be of benefit to other women’s organisations lobbying for change, include their research report, which highlights the social problems women’s organisations work to address, as well as the difficulties they experience in finding suitable funding; their charter, which outlines the reasons why women’s organisations are needed; their executive summary, which highlights recommendations for change, targeted to particular government departments; posters and postcards illustrating how women’s groups have contributed to challenging discrimination and pushing for equality for women, and a short film about the women’s sector (which is almost finished!).

Please sign up to support this campaign at

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