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New dawn for British feminism as activists go back to school

For immediate release

Over 350 women and men from across the UK will converge in London this weekend (31/7/10-1/8/10) for the first ever UK Feminista (1) Summer School. This sell-out event (2), providing two days of training in feminist activism, marks a major resurgence in feminist activity with some commentators heralding a new ‘heyday’ for British feminism (3).

Delegates at this one-of-a-kind event will receive training in how to set up feminist groups, influence politicians, fundraise and use the media – as well as hearing from leading feminist commentators including Bidisha, Angela Mason CBE (Fawcett Society), and Kira Cochrane (the Guardian). Attendees will also discover what British feminism can learn from the successful campaign to elect Barack Obama as US President, with Democrats Abroad vice chair, Karin Robinson, discussing why grassroots activism was key to that campaign’s success.

The event is set to harness the recent upsurge in interest in this previously unfashionable social movement, which has seen a rush of feminist publishing, national demonstrations, blogs, and activist groups (4).

 

Kat Banyard, Director of UK Feminista and author of The Equality Illusion, said:

“While there have been massive advances in women’s rights over recent decades, there is still a very long way to go: just 22% of MPs are women, 100,000 women are raped every year in the UK, and women are paid on average 22% less per hour than men.

 

“A backlash against gains made in the 1970s pushed feminism into the political wilderness. But the tide is turning. A new movement is gathering pace, and it is brimming with energy and excitement. The days of dismissing feminism as a moribund movement are over. Feminism is back, and it is here to stay.”

 

 

For further information and to request interviews contact Kat Banyard on 07775 855037 or kat@ukfeminista.org.uk

 

 

Notes to editors

(1)  UK Feminista supports and promotes grassroots feminist activism. Our purpose is to end the continuing inequalities between women and men. www.ukfeminista.org.uk

(2)  The UK Feminista Summer School takes place on 31/7/10-1/8/10 at the Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre in London.

  1. A full agenda and list of speakers is available to download on the UK Feminista website: http://www.ukfeminista.org.uk/all-events/3-ukfeminista-event/72-summerschool.html
  2. Over 100 people booked to attend the Summer School in the first 24 hours that registrations were open. The event is now fully booked with over 350 people registered to attend

(3)  See:

  1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/24/feminism-not-finished-not-uncool
  2. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23841968-new-feminism-has-started-the-fight-back-at-last.do
  3. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/7400365/Feminism-is-showing-signs-of-life.html

(4)  Examples of this growth in feminist activity:

  1. In the past 12 months 6 books on feminism have been published: Kat Banyard’s The Equality Illusion: The Truth About Women and Men Today; Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune’s Reclaiming the F Word; Ellie Levenson’s The Noughtie Girl’s Guide to Feminism; Nina Power’s One Dimensional Woman; Natasha Walter’s Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism; and Sheila Rowbotham’s Dreamers of a New Day.
  2. For a map and full list of grassroots feminist groups visit: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?hl=en&gl=uk&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=102532469720084776976.00048732c8db421919feb&source=embed&ll=52.656394,-2.724609&spn=8.9485,22.258301&z=6
  3. On Saturday 6th March an estimated 8000 women marched through central London demanding an end to violence against women as part of the annual Million Women Rise march: http://www.millionwomenrise.com/
  4. The Fawcett Society reports a threefold increase in membership over the last three years: www.fawcettsociety.org.uk