Whilst Women’s Day in Derby is about Women, it’s not solely for women. It’s not a single-issue event, it’s not about being anti-men, it’s probably not about any pre-conceived perceptions or notions that women, and men, might have about such a festival. For that’s what it is, a Festival.
It’s a Festival of many dimensions. Celebrating, Participating and Liberating. It’s a Festival that will change the way you think about women, and it’s a Festival that should make you ask questions – but it will also be fun.
The wide expanse of the Market Square in Derby from the Fountain to the QUAD will be full of stalls, activities, music, arts, crafts and sport for the whole of the day on Saturday. It will be a place whereby women from all sections of Derby will be entertaining, showcasing, informing and enlightening.
In the adjacent Guildhall, there will be many “Discussion Circles” throughout the day which will give everyone the opportunity to have informed informal discussions on many subjects around feminism, women’s roles in society, how we are bringing up our children etc. Also on the 1st floor of the Guildhall there will be other groups talking about sexual harassment and consent. Additionally there will be a few sessions for those looking to develop their artistic skills in writing and singing.
This is a Festival that everyone should attend. In many ways, I feel even more so, for young girls and boys – it will provide a different perspective to that of the daily stream of stereotyping that they will inevitably be being subjected to.
For the first year, the International Women’s Day (IWD) team have decided to hold it outside. Although a bit of a weather risk, the benefit of attracting more casual visitors is immense.
The IWD team in Derby is a group of volunteer women with no institutional funding. All funds are raised through sheer hard work; partnering, advertising, sponsoring, good will, and donations. It is also a major project management task particularly for people doing it in their spare time as volunteers.
To support the fundraising, a gig was arranged last Thursday at the Tap pub. The small upstairs venue was overflowing with supporters, and acts, buzzing with an optimistic and vibrant atmosphere. I’m sure that this will be a permanent feature on the fundraising calendar in future years….and in a much bigger room T
This event has not been arranged as a hobby – it is a passion, a commitment, a personal mission to encourage change in the face of too many issues affecting women. This is not about something happening thousands of miles away, this is in our city, in our streets, in our homes, and directly affecting people we love!
A few days later, Vanessa Boon, her fellow trustees, and a few volunteers met in the Market Square to discuss the logistics for the event. To discuss the finishing touches, to “feel” the venues, and to hand out flyers and gather more support.