Saturday, 24 September 2011

Feminist Webs

It was with great pleasure that I took part I a residential weekend last Saturday 10th September at a youth centre near Oldham. The weekend was sponsored by Children, England and Children’s Workforce Development Council. The weekend was part of a year long project. At the end of the project the young women involved will produce an exhibition in the Peoples Museum Manchester and also publish a book about themselves and their journey throughout the year.
The two themes they considered over the weekend were “feminism” and” resilience”. They listened to the stories of three resilient women of today, Pauline Pearce who confronted young people looting in the recent riots in Hackney, Helen John, one of the thirty six women who walked from Cardiff to Green ham in 1981 and who has set up a Peace Camp earlier this month outside RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire to protest against the use of Drones and Vedanta Shiva who is striving for a better deal for the starving poor of India. The young women showed a lively interest and a grasp of what is happening in the world around them that I am sure would have astonished Mr. Gove.
They were members of three separate Youth Clubs and came together with a real spirit of friendship and tolerance. Their demeanour, thoughtfulness and eagerness to learn defied any description of feral youth. I am eighty two years old and I found being with them inspiring and a privilege.