Welcome to our blog! This is a platform where the rich diversity of women's voices can be heard and where we can come together to turn attention on the myriad of issues that affect a variety of women. We celebrate where things are good, and focus a spotlight on areas where they aren't. If you want to write something for this space please just get in touch!

Before sending us your blog, please note: We publish articles that are written by women, pro all women & not for profit in their intention. We welcome lighter pieces as well as articles on more serious issues. There is no specific word count, but most pieces are around the 700 word mark.

Our latest post is by Karla McLaren, Campaign Manager: Women’s Rights in Afghanistan for Amnesty International UK who are campaigning for women in Afghanistan.

[ Items 34 - 36 of 37 ]

Domestic Violence Drama – Changing the perception of issue-based drama.

Claire Moore – Director of Certain Curtain Theatre Company established 1989 - A not-for-profit professional touring company specialising in new writing. Producing exciting, innovative theatre, challenging pre-conceived ideas with dynamic originality… from the page to the stage.

Domestic Violence Drama - Our Approach

We've been at the forefront of the use of theatre and drama within the field of domestic violence since 1995 and work to improve services for woman and children experiencing abuse using our work to raise awareness, educate and engage. Using original theatre we seek to reveal the dynamic of power and control in male violence against women and to do so frankly. We take the harsh, raw elements of life and language, mix them with a startling lyrical flavour and add a touch of attitude, to create something new, edgy, daring and dangerous - and give people what they don't expect!

LADY IN RED – the original stage play

I believe the main barrier to people truly understanding domestic violence comes hand in hand with the 'Why doesn't she just leave?' question. LADY IN RED seeks to answer that question and audiences across the Country have said time and again that the play has finally helped them understand why. LADY IN RED combines superb dialogue, a compelling plot, powerful performance and evocative colours to take the audience on a moving and mesmerising journey with 'Rose' - enabling them to explore one woman's attempts to leave an abusive relationship and the barriers she faces. It explores all elements of domestic abuse and is particularly concerned with highlighting the effects of emotional and psychological abuse. It has helped many women identify abusive behaviour and many support workers answer the age old question 'Why doesn't she just leave?'

Publishing the play via Kickstarter – Crowd-funding – Get involved – make it happen.

The Kickstarter crowd-funding site is a kind of grown-up Sponsorship site. Individuals pledge to back a creative project in return for 'rewards'

This Kickstarter project is to publish LADY IN RED in book form along with support information on domestic abuse. As a not-for-profit Company that receives no revenue funding we've turned to Kickstarter to help make it happen. To get the information out to as many people as possible.

The minimum pledge is only £1 with rewards starting at only £6!

Rewards include signed copies, mentions in the book, a performance in your area and so on - as well as the satisfaction of supporting a worthwhile cause and project!

We have until 13th April to get the support needed - if the goal isn't reached by then - no money is collected. Here's the link - hope you'll have a look and share – support!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1399568370/lady-in-red-the-book-of-the-award-winning-stagepla?ref=home_location

Anyone can support the project - whether they are interested in new writing, domestic violence – violence against women, poetry, philanthropy - so any contacts you can share this with would be a great help.

LINK TO THIS ENTRY (copy + paste):
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Rowing to Beat

Esther Rich

Rowing has historically been one of the most male-dominated sports around. 5am starts, gruelling gym sessions, spending hours outside in the freezing cold or pouring rain… it would be absurd to think women could deal with that for more than a week, right? WRONG! In the London 2012 Olympics, the GB rowing squad won a record-breaking 9 medals – a third of these won by women’s crews! More importantly all 3 of the women’s medals were gold, placed against just 1 from the men. Rowers encounter palm blisters, numb bums and intense muscle ache on a daily basis – but do we women give up because it hurts? You bet we don’t! We train just as much as the men, with the same focus on our goal!

Conversely, when it comes to eating disorders it is men who are under acknowledged – when in fact they represent anywhere from 10-25% of sufferers in the UK. Perhaps it is for this reason that eating disorders are stereotyped as the manifestation of manipulation and attention seeking in teenage girls, when in actual fact they are traumatic conditions which can affect anyone regardless of age or gender. In my own experience, even in the 21st century eating disorders retain the age-old stigma encountered by the majority of mental health conditions, and are widely misunderstood as a life choice rather than a legitimate illness.

It may seem counterintuitive to be able to progress from anorexic teen to member of the rowing team at university, but I found that rowing was the very thing which enabled me to maintain my recovery away from home. It has taught me the value of a sufficient diet for fuelling training sessions, provided a much needed sense of acceptance within the group, and given me a profound awareness of what my body can do if I build strength rather than avoiding muscle-gain. Poor body image in general is not uncommon among women, and is something which many of the crew I row with at Corpus Christi College have experienced in some form. Rowing has enabled us to view exercise not as a way to get the bodies we desire, but a way of celebrating the amazing things our bodies can do – and this is the message that we want to convey to others!

The women’s squad of CCCBC have therefore decided to embrace our rowers’ thighs and embark on an unprecedented challenge: rowing the 180km from Oxford to London over 4 days as an all-female crew to raise money for Beat – the UK’s leading eating disorder charity, whom I volunteer as a Young Ambassador for. Our aim is to stamp out the stigma on eating disorders and show sufferers that recovery IS possible (as well as obviously raising a lot of money for Beat to help them do so!). We will push our bodies to the limits to stop eating disorder sufferers from doing the same!

It is going to hurt. A LOT. So we would absolutely love it if as many people as possible might be willing to help make that main worthwhile by sponsoring us at www.justgiving.com/londonrow

LINK TO THIS ENTRY (copy + paste):
http://www.thewomensroom.org.uk/showpage.php?blogpage=34&blogtitle=Rowing+to+Beats

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Women's Leadership - Making it Happen

- By Caroline Watson, Director, Progressive Women 

The furor over Sheryl Sandberg (of Facebook)'s new book raises lots of questions about women's role in society. In the same way that when Sex and the City is criticised for not being feminist enough (it's Hollywood why should it be all things to all women?). Is is fair that Sheryl's book is expected to be gospel to all working women. However, as women aren't close to being equal on tv, film or in the higher rungs of business, when they do appear we overly scrutinise their contribution. Sheryl Sandberg writes from her own perspective about how to get women to the top, every woman who gets to the top has her own story and I am sure we can learn from.

It's for this very reason that Progressive Women is organising our 'Making it Happen' Leadership conference. We're inviting inspiring women leaders including Dame Tessa Jowell MP, Katie Ghose Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, and Rowena Ironside Chair of Women on Boards to speak to over 60 female future leaders. We're also delighted to have professional leadership trainers offering their time to help develop skills and expertise central to career success. Even now in the early twenty first century we know that women take on the bulk of the child care and other caring responsibilities which can make striving towards career success seem even trickier, as Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged in her TedX speech, women face harder choices between family and career success. Women are more likely to drop out of or limit their careers to take on caring roles. At our conference on 11 May, Mojo Mums will be offering a workshop on balancing work and family life.

Women are still seriously under represented in positions of power. Out of 109 heads of state only 9 are women. I don't need to tell you that in the UK we've only had one female Primte Minister. We want to enable more women to stand for parliament and other elected positions. Candy Piercy, has worked with many Liberal Democrat MPs to help them get selected and elected, she has also trained with the UN, EU and the Foreign Office. At 'Making it HAppen' Candy will be providing a session on 'Getting ahead in politics'.

We know that one of the obstacles to women's achievement, is a lack of female role models and male dominated work cultures, especially when it comes to reaching the Board. Rowena Ironside of Women on Boards will be offering a workshop, no matter where you are in your career, its not too early to start planning a path to the Board. 

Sandberg claims the data shows that women systematically underestimate their own abilities, and attribute their success to external factors, rather than their own actions. She says we need to 'own our own success'. At our conference Ruth Culver will be offering a training session on 'Building Confidence for Success'.

The aim of the day is to really get to the heart of the women's power deficit in the UK, by inspiring, enabling and supporting women - our female future leaders.  For more details and to book your ticket  go to www.progressivewomen.org.uk

LINK TO THIS ENTRY (copy + paste):
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News Index

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2) Overdue: a plan of action to tackle pregnancy discrimination now

3) Just how accessible are the UK's free, universal Health Service?

4) Why We Need Female Role Models

5) Discovering the First Female English Playwright; or, Why We Should Care About Cary

6) Black women, feminism and the view from the outside: #solidarityisforwhitewomen

7) Why hashtag #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen went viral in 24h

8) From Sexist Exclusion to Feminist Inclusion: the Art of Pauline Boty

9) Lean In Public Speaking

10) Starting a new business following redundancy

11) equals - Blank Media Collective

12) The Wench Front Interviews Churchill On This, His Fiver Hour

13) Comedy and Continence

14) EverydaySexism

15) Check out our latest storify, by @bluecowmoo

16) Sound Women Festival

17) An invitation to Sky News

18) Why it is Time for a Criminal Offence of Domestic Abuse

19) Standing on the shoulders of giants

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