Join our choir – sing for fun, friendship, wellbeing, empowerment – no auditions & note perfection not necessary! More sessions (FREE but donations appreciated) coming up in person or you can take part via zoom – for more info e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
[images: photos of the choir, and IWD Derby committee, gathered together and in action at various events including on stage at International Women’s Day Derby Festival, protests and city centre music events with choir leader Jo Lewis]
Sarah Everard disappeared on the evening of 3rd March, as she was walking home. Wayne Couzens has since appeared at the Old Bailey and pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of Ms Everard and accepted responsibility for her killing. On Saturday 26th June 2021 at 7pm, at the same time and in solidarity with others across the country, Derby residents will symbolically finish Sarah’s walk.
The news of another woman, Gracie Spinks, killed in Derbyshire on 18th June has led to a local and national outpouring of grief and concern and calls for agencies to take stalking victims seriously. “As we were preparing to #FinishTheWalk for Sarah Everard, with a walk in Derby of a similar length to Sarah’s remaining walk home, we then heard the awful news of Gracie’s death and the reports that a stalker who she had reported to the police was allegedly responsible for her killing. Our thoughts are with her loved ones and we will be lighting candles for Gracie and all our sisters taken by male violence, at the vigil this Saturday” said Vanessa Boon, organiser, “we are aware that Derbyshire Police has referred itself to the police watchdog and we will continue to be in dialogue with the police, and other agencies, about this and what needs to change to prevent gender based violence, and to protect victims”.
All women, girls and non-binary people are invited to join Derby’s socially distanced Finish The Walkat 7pm in The Arboretum by the cafe/children’s playground. The march begins from The Arboretum heading via Normanton Road to The Spot, where those wishing to march a shorter route can join at 8pm, and then continues on to Cathedral Green, arriving at 8.30pm for a vigil, speeches, poems and inspiring words. Marchers have been making banners ready for the event, including a collaborative stitching project. The family friendly event welcomes children with a responsible adult and marchers of all ages can participate in empowering chants and sing-alongs echoing a tradition of the Suffragettes and subsequent women’s liberation movements. Women and non-binary stewards will welcome and escort marchers, ensuring a safe, smooth event with Covid-19 precautions and first aiders in place and countering a common social narrative suggesting that women should not walk alone without a man to escort her home.
National organisers who will be walking Sarah’s route in Clapham at the same time have cited results from a recent UK survey finding that 97% of women aged 18–24, and 80% of all women, have endured sexual harassment and that since Sarah’s death more than 40 women have also been killed in cases where a male suspect has been charged. Globally 1 in 3 women and girls endure gender based violence, with violations whilst walking to fetch water and as a weapon of war. Their publicity states “Walking home alone as a woman, girl or non-binary person SHOULD BE SAFE. Being in public spaces by day or after dark SHOULD BE SAFE. Journeying through life as a woman SHOULD BE SAFE. We all have our own stories. We are tired of modifying our behaviour, and living our lives in fear, in a cloak of hypervigilance. We should all make it home”.
Victims’ commissioner Dame Vera Baird said in her recent annual report that the level of prosecutions in England & Wales has dropped so low that “what we are witnessing is the de-criminalisation of rape”. Over the past five years, cases reported to the police and initially recorded as rape have risen sharply. However, the proportion making it to court in that time has more than halved. Only 1.3% of reported rapes lead to convictions due to failings identified in the system including gender bias, and inadequate policies, resources, training and wrongful victim-blaming attitudes.
Derby joins the UK-wide #FinishTheWalk events thanks to Derby End VAWG (Violence Against Women & Girls Coalition) following up on their recent online dialogue event to discuss improvements with Derbyshire Constabulary and the #FrozenInFear action, pictured. This involved dressing as famous statues of women in response to the government’s high-profile announcement on protecting statues, amidst delays to implementing the Domestic Abuse Bill and Istanbul Convention which would bring UK laws and resources for prevention of gender-based violence up to global standards. Dr Sonya Robotham, who will speak at the rally, said “I stood as a statue of Mary Seacole, a woman who herself was often on the margins, invisible and voiceless, in solidarity with other women to protest a government which deprioritises violence against women and girls, has continued to underfund women’s charities and refuges, delayed protective legislation and rendered women invisible in the in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and seems more interested in protecting ‘the rights of statues’ than it is the rights of women”.
‘Statues’ Photo credit: Helen Barker Photography (with permission granted for use in the media). Photo caption: Maggie Fennell as Britannia, Sonya Robotham as war nurse Mary Seacole, Joanna West as Millicent Fawcett, Cindy Carter-Foster as Emmeline Pankhurst, Vanessa Boon as pilot Amy Johnson and Lucy Giuliano as footballer Lily Parr.
Finish The Walk Derby has backing from local groups with inspiring speakers appearing at the rally including from Bambuuu domestic abuse support,Spoke Out, Vox Feminarum and the Women’s Equality Party Derbyshire Branch, as well as local trade union support. “D44 GMB Branch are very proud to support Derby’s Finish The Walk event. As a branch our membership is more than 50% women and we seek to support them wherever possible. This event sees our support continue from the innovative Frozen In Fear statues protest earlier this year” said Branch President, Joanna West, “We will walk side by side and reclaim the streets. As a force for the power that women are, we will #FinishTheWalk”
Vanessa Boon, Chair of International Women’s Day Derby, and member of the Coalition, will also speak at the rally. She told us “the lockdown made it more challenging for us all to have a shared outlet for our grief in the wake of Sarah’s death, and the elevated discourse about the widespread fear and harassment that plagues our daily lives” she added “this will be a poignant moment to share in the memory of all our sisters who never made it home, and we will also speak up about the appalling high numbers of women for whom home is not a safe place too. This is a call for change to prevent and address gender-based hate, harassment, and misogynist violence. We should be safe and able to enjoy our freedom to roam. We recognise the multiple oppressions that combine to worsen the experiences and rates of violence against women facing racism, ableism, lesbophobia, biphobia, transphobia, non-binary prejudice, deprivation and all forms of exclusion and we hope to bring all communities together to rise in unity”.
Organisers are keen to see more men speaking up on the issue of respectful relationships and ending male harassment and violence towards women and girls and non-binary people, highlighting that it is not a “women’s issue or victims’ issue” but a “societal issue and with 3 women killed by a current or former male partner each week in the UK, it’s a humanitarian crisis which everyone has a responsibility to address”. Any men and allies wishing to support are asked to show solidarity by meeting at the vigil at 8.30pm at Cathedral Green (near the Bonnie Prince Charlie statue).
You can sign up for a variety of sessions from 5th-8th March spanning HERstory, Healthy Relationships, Black Women Matter, Rebel Women’s Sing-Along, Laughter Yoga, Courageous Conversations Café and more – discover the whole programme below or at: https://iwdderby.eventbrite.co.uk where you can book your ‘donate what you can’ or free (financial hardship) tickets and register any access requirements. There is something for everyone, with an important variety of spaces; some sessions are open to all genders, some are for self-identifying women, some welcome non-binary folx who feel affinity or siblinghood in spaces that centre women’s experiences, some are great for children and young people to participate with an adult – please see each event description on eventbrite for details.
11.00am – 12.30pm Let’s Really Listen and Be Heard– online mutual deep listening session; for women/womxn and non-binary folx who feel affinity or siblinghood in spaces that centre women’s experiences; come to a safe space, be listened to, and hear other women’s voices. A different way of being together where every voice counts. An inclusive space, with equal uninterrupted talking time, disrupting inequalities; we are keen to include womxn who facilitate diverse groups, community projects and parents/carers, who often miss out on the chance to be heard. Led by Marguerite, a trainer with Sustaining All Life – invitations to this session have been sent to womxn involved in local community organising and womxn’s charities, who may wish to adopt mutual listening circles or techniques in their groups as well as in day to day life. If this sounds like you, and you would like to take part, please contact us for details
11am-12pm Comedy Workshop with Ishi KhanThis is a fun online workshop where you can learn tips on how to make your work humorous. We will explore what makes your work funny and how to develop a seemingly simple idea into a humorous piece of writing. Participants are encouraged to bring along the ideas or creations that they would like to add the funny to. These creations can include poetry, prose, sketches, plays, speeches, blogs or even a blank sheet of paper with no idea! Beginners are very welcome. Comedy is great to express yourself, de-stress, boost confidence, engage folks, spread joy and exercise your funny muscles! Women/womxn and girls and non-binary folx who feel affinity or siblinghood in spaces that centre women’s experiences; under 16s can take part with adult supervision. Book via: https://iwd2021-comedy.eventbrite.co.uk
11am-4pm Craftivism Exhibited at Derby Arboretum and online via facebookIf you take your allowed socially distanced exercise at the beautiful Derby Arboretum, look out for our craftivism created by more than 60 local women/womxn and girls, in partnership with Spiral Arts with thanks to Central England Cooperative; the craftivism will also be displayed in the park throughout March. Please take precautions to cherish everyone’s lives and protect from Corona Virus including social distancing, washing hands, wear masks if possible, and please do not attend if you have symptoms or have been advised to self-isolate, and follow the latest guidelines at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
We will also publish photos & videos of the craftivism online via our facebook page – we’d love to see your photos, artivism and pavement chalking – like the Suffragettes did – wherever you are! You could make a banner, window display, chalk a feminist slogan or take a #ChooseToChallenge selfie (raise a hand showing your palm up to the camera, like a ‘stop’ gesture, or adapt to work for you) #IWD2021
Self-Care Sunday 7th March>>>
11am-9pm FREE Follow our Self-Care Sunday Virtual Trail via Facebook– explore a variety of womxn’s arts & crafts, wellbeing, projects, affirmation gifts & enterprise taking part, plus inspiring online content all day including activities for mindfulness
Book your Donate What You Can / FREE tickets for these wellbeing-boosting online sessions; these session are for women / womxn, self-identifying, and non-binary folx who feel affinity or siblinghood in spaces that centre women’s experiences; children welcome to join with adult supervision – see age guide for each event >>>
11.00am – 12.30pm Rebel Women’s Sing-Along – join us to sing uplifting and empowering songs by, and about, inspiring women. Raise your voice! All women are welcome to come and sing for fun, friendship and wellbeing. No singing experience needed, shy singers welcome. Together we’ll sing songs of women’s rebellion and change-making. Girls 8ys+ welcome to join in with adult supervision. With choir leader Jo Lewis. Book via: https://iwd2021-derby-rebel-women-sing.eventbrite.co.uk
1.00pm – 1.30pm Laughter Yogawith Ishi Khan – Let’s laugh those fears away, and enjoy our best Sunday! Join in with some light hearted, uplifting laughter yoga games. In this 30 min laughter yoga session, we are going to release anxieties, nurture our inner laughing champions and be silly because we are worth it! There will be smiling, standing, clapping and laughing. Wear something comfortable and bring some water to chuck at each other, haha not really, you’ll ruin your laptop if you try that! Do bring the water, but let’s drink it. Let’s say yay to fun. It’s our Fun Sunday! Children can take part with an adult. Book via: https://iwd2021-laughter-yoga-derby.eventbrite.co.uk
5.00pm – 6.00pm Self-Care Café – Join Emma and Sam from ‘Derby Rebel Projects’ on this special ‘International Women’s Day’ Self-Care Café where we will take you on a journey to help you unwind, relax and have fun, you deserve it! With creative relaxation and meditation activities on offer. Book via: https://iwd2021-selfcare-derby.eventbrite.co.uk
Monday 8th March: Official International Women’s Day (IWD) – Derby joins the global celebrations!>>>
11am-9pm FREE Follow our Virtual Trail via Facebook– explore a variety of organisations, local agencies, women’s charities, projects & enterprise taking part, plus inspiring online content all day. Join the global conversation online with #ChooseToChallenge
A day ofCourageous Conversations – book your FREE / Donate What You Can tickets for these inspiring online sessions >>>
Thanks to Derby City Council for funding BSL Interpreters for these virtual events on 8th March
1pm – 2.30pm Anonymous was a woman – where is Derby’s HERstory?Whilst famous men from the city’s past such as Wright, Strutt, Curzon, Royce and Clough are celebrated in the city’s naming of streets, buildings and exhibitions, what is known of the women who made an impact? Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s famous quote ‘for most of history, anonymous was a woman’, this panel will discuss the local women overlooked by the history books. With Sonya Robotham – Vox Feminarum & Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation, Laura Phillips – Head of Interpretation & Display at Derby Museums and Vanessa Boon – IWD Derby, uncovering over100 years of local HERstory, with Q&A. Who for? All genders welcome; children 11yrs+ with adult supervision. Book via https://iwdderbyherstory.eventbrite.co.uk
4.30pm-6.30pm: Courageous Conversations Café– drop in any time for as much or little as you like, maybe with a cuppa? Join us with the questions you feel we need to discuss this International Women’s Day #ChooseToChallenge – gender inequalities, women’s lives during the pandemic, objectification, consent, violence against women, detention of women, intersectional feminism, far right attempts to hijack women’s issues, women rising up around the world, the injustices and the actions we can all take including social media action during this session together… and whatever else you want to talk about! Come share & plug your womxn’s/girls’ projects too. Facilitated by Vanessa Boon. Who for?: Women/womxn and non-binary folx who feel affinity or siblinghood in spaces that centre women’s experiences and girls 11yrs+ (some mature and challenging themes will be discussed – you know your kids best) Book via https://iwd2021-derby-courageousconversations.eventbrite.co.uk
7pm – 8.30pm Hidden Figures – Black Women Matter – join us for an inspiring online panel discussion with the women of Derby’s Black Community Matters Committee, co-creators of the Black Lives Matter Derby Manifesto, and guests, sharing experiences of being hidden figures, the heroes who encouraged them to step forwards and rising up to create change, with Q&A.Who for? Women/womxn of all ethnicities and non-binary folx who feel affinity or siblinghood in spaces that centre women’s experiences; children 11yrs+ with adult supervision. Book via https://jus-tickets.com/events/hidden-figures-black-women-matter
FREE February online sessions: Get your craftivism on ready for International Women’s Day!
Free creative zoom sessions with Spiral Arts to make an A5 mini banner with fabrics and radical cross stitch messages, feminist slogans and affirmations for International Women’s Day. If you are interested in joining us please email email@example.com to book a place. The dates for the workshops are –
Thursday 4 Feb, 10.30am-12.30pm
Monday 8 Feb, 1pm-3pm
Wednesday 10 Feb, 7pm-8.30pm
Let know us know by e-mail which date/s you would like to join and your postal address. We will send out material packs and stamped addressed envelopes. Please return them so we can exhibit the banners in Derby Arboretum for the IWD Artivism Trail on Sat 6 March as part of the festival – the messages will inspire people taking exercise in the park and we’ll share photos and film footage from the day online too.
Craftivism is a gentle and thought provoking form of expression and activism with benefits to wellbeing, creative energy, shared experience and reduced loneliness.
We are looking forward to being creative together!
Ever wished you could find a feminist film, inspiring local women’s stories or a women’s or girls’ magazine that was better than the usual stuff on the shelves? And with no air-brushing? Help us create content!
We’re inviting supporters – especially women and girls, across Derby & Derbyshire to contribute to our International Women’s Day Derby Festival online content which we’ll be posting throughout 5th-8th March 2021.
Send us your videos, animations, articles, podcasts, songs, poems, photos, weblinks, etc relevant to International Women’s Day, women’s and girls’ rights and/or our theme Courageous Conversations #choosetochallenge #ChooseToChallenge by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by Deadline 31st January 2021
We’re hoping for perception-changing action shots – we’d love to showcase short films/podcasts (up to 5 minutes), articles (maximum 300 words) & images of women and girls riding bikes, digging allotments, running projects, leading marches, using a megaphone, in a science lab, painting a canvas, skateboarding, playing electric guitar, climbing, running a meeting, playing rugby, drumming, expressing powerful poetry, speaking up. We’d also like to show women making a difference during the pandemic – as keyworkers, organising food banks, home schooling, running community projects and entertaining folks online or gigs from the front window for your neighbours, or how you have kept going – let’s document women’s amazing efforts through this difficult time.
We cannot guarantee to publish all submissions received but will aim to include as many as we can that are relevant. Non-commercial content is preferred, but a story of how a woman started her enterprise is welcome, plus content about causes, charities, inspiring women’s life stories, women’s eco campaigns & community projects, your favourite activist/inspiring woman, women in science, feminism, etc – enjoy! #ExpressYouself Our priority is giving space for women and girls in Derby/shire but relevant submissions from allies of all genders welcome, content on intersectional feminism themes and trans inclusion and non-binary experiences and men as allies would be lovely to receive too
You content must be respectful, non-discriminatory and must be your own work and you must not breach copyright with the text or images submitted and if you feature images or film of anyone else you must have their permission to pass it to us to publish on the internet.
A variety of virtual workshops, facebook trails, artivism exhibits at Derby Arboretum, podcasts, videos and Courageous Conversations make up this year’s programme spanning Friday 5th – Monday 8th March 2021 embracing the theme #choosetochallenge
Feminist Friday 5th March: She Speaks – Powerful poets & performances online with She Speaks UK & The Maypole
Sisterhood Saturday 6th March: Artivism Exhibiting our community-made artivism in partnership with Spiral Arts & Central England Co-operative, addressing women’s and girls’ rights, pavement chalking & #ChooseToChallenge pics at Derby Arboretum whilst enjoying a stroll, fresh air and social distancing [please note the latest Government Covid 19 safety guidelines] plus inspiring online content
Self-Care Sunday 7th March: Virtual trail via @WomensDayDerby on Facebook and wellbeing workshops online including Rebel Women’s Sing-Along, Creative express to de-stress session, Meditations, Mindfulness, Bollywood Dance-along, Song Writing & more
Official International Women’s Day Monday 8th March: Courageous Conversations online panels & virtual stalls trail via @WomensDayDerby on Facebook. Topics include – HERstory: Anonymous was a woman with Derby Museums & Vox Feminarum uncovering the stories of lesser known local women who made a difference and why women are missing from history exhibitions and a new project to change this; Healthy Relationships with Relate Derby; Feminists v. Fascism; Intersectional Feminism; Allies: Brothers Beside Us?; Hidden Figures panel with Derby’s Black Community Matters Committee and Women’s Lives During The Pandemic.
Pre-bookable zoom workshops will appear on our eventbrite page soon – most sessions are free, low priced, pay what you can, or donations appreciated to support our non-profit volunteer-run festival, thank you.
[Image transcription: International Women’s Day Festival Derby 2021, 5th-8th March: text: Feminist Friday 5th: Powerful poets & performances online with She Speaks UK & The Maypole Sisterhood Saturday 6th: Exhibiting artivism, pavement chalking & #ChooseToChallenge pics at Derby Arboretum whilst social distancing plus inspiring online content Self-Care Sunday 7th: Virtual trail and wellbeing workshops online Official IWD Monday 8th: Courageous Conversations online panels & virtual stalls trail Follow facebook & social media for details @WomensDayDerby Book e-workshops via IWD Derby on eventbrite with images of diverse women, of many cultures, ages, LGBTQ+, Disabled, joining together, supporting, celebrating, protesting, raising fists]
Save the dates! We’re planning an informative, inspiring programme for International Women’s Day Derby and the 2021 theme is Courageous Conversations follow @WomensDayDerby on social media for more info and opportunities to be part of it >>> #genderequality #IWD #InternationalWomensDay #Derby #Derbyshire #EndSexism #courageousconversations
Join our free singing sessions with IWD Derby Rebel Women’s Choir! We’ll sing uplifting songs that celebrate diverse inspiring women in our fun, friendly, empowering sessions.
No singing experience needed, no need to read music, no auditions, no judgement. It’s not the notes you sing, it’s the joy you bring!
This is a series of 5 sessions. It’s okay if you can’t attend all 5. Dates for your diary: Sat 29th Aug
Sat 5th Sept
Sat 12th Sept
Sat 19th Sept
Sat 3rd Oct
Sessions are hosted on Zoom, where you’ll be able to sing along with Jo, our session leader.
You’ll need to pre-register to attend. Please email your name and any questions and any access needs to email@example.com.
The sessions are for women (self-defining) and girls over 7 years. For safeguarding, we ask that you attend with your child, as we are unable to host unaccompanied children. We ask all attendees to be mindful if children are present. Any person behaving inappropriately would be removed from the Zoom meeting.
This session has been kindly funded by Foundation Derbyshire. Donations (optional) are very much welcomed and will help us continue to fund future sessions. Don’t be put off attending if you can’t donate – we want your voice!
—- About the session leader:
Jo Lewis is a songwriter, musician, and poet.
Jo (she/ her) leads songwriting workshops. She also works as a children’s music tutor, workshops facilitator (music, writing and theatre), and as the community choir leader of IWD Derby Rebel Women’s Choir. She has facilitated singing and noise-making workshops to enable women to raise their voices in activism.
She has contributed to an anthology of women’s writing entitled ‘Talk About Change: Writing As Resistance’ and has previously been active as part of the collective She Speaks UK.
Jo holds a BA in Popular Music with Music Technology.
We want to share some useful helplines & support groups from foodbanks to mental health helplines during lockdown
We recognise that these are trying times, especially for those for whom a ‘stay at home’ policy is not safe. The government has confirmed that domestic abuse victims are permitted to leave home to escape their partners/abusers or to ask for help during the Corona virus lockdown.
Calling the police whilst a perpetrator could hear you: The Silent Solution 999 – is a system for victims of domestic abuse who are scared to be overheard calling emergency services. When somebody calls 999, an operator asks which emergency service is required. If the caller is unable to speak to the operator, the call will be forwarded to an operating system. If the caller presses 55, the system will detect this and transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency.
Other useful helplines:
Childline: 0800 1111
Samaritans – there to listen whatever is troubling your mind: 116 123
Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247
La Leche League: 0345 1202918 (for mums/parents struggling to get formula milk)
Mind mental health support: 0300 123 3393
Age UK: 0800 169 6565
Derby Covid Community Response Hub – matching volunteers and people who need support, including food supplies
Call 01332 640000 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi everyone, we hope you are staying safe and well in these trying times. We hope you enjoy reflecting on good memories from our International Women’s Day celebration – there are some great films and photos on our facebook page.
Whether you marched, visited, spoke, performed or volunteered your feedback is needed to help us evaluate, apply for funding and plan IWD 2021 – a day to look forward to. Thanks for being part of the uplifting celebrations!
Image: Collage of photos of the International Women’s Day Derby 2020 marchers, speakers, Rebel Women’s Choir, poets