The Bristol Feminist Network believes in activism and seeks to support actions which promote gender equality. Over the years we have marched, picketed, lobbied, subverted and protested, have organised workshops, vigils, debates, discussions film nights, club nights, quiz nights, live performance and book groups in Bristol - over 80 events in 5 years!
Many of these actions are awareness raising activities to draw attention to sexism in our society and suggest ways of combating them, to raise understanding about equality issues and to promote local support services. Some events are celebrations of women in the arts and creative promotions of equality messages.
A few of BFN's activities are listed below, many of which are on-going and would welcome your participation. Please contact us to get involved as a volunteer or to tell us about other local projects or campaigns promoting gender equality.
Upcoming actions are also listed on our EVENTS PAGE. You can subscribe to updates on our activist emailing list.
Update on funding cuts to domestic and sexual abuse services in Bristol
A press release highlighting the commitment made by Bristol Council can be read here.
We are therefore very concerned to discover that the Mayor’s proposed budget includes cuts to the services Councillors promised to protect. A £100k cut from Safer Bristol in 2014 and a further £150k cut two years. These cuts come on top of a reduction in Safer Bristol’s domestic and sexual abuse services of £130k which has already happened.
It is not possible to make these cuts without directly affecting the level of service provision, impacting on the safety and lives of women and families in violent situations who desperately need support.
The scale of domestic and sexual abuse is huge. In Bristol every year, between 15,400 and 22,000 women will experience abuse. We believe the Council has a duty to protect their lives and safety and cannot afford to cut funding to the services that support them, which are stretched on smaller budgets and already struggling to meet their needs. Such as Next Link reporting a 24% increase in victims seeking assistance
Last year BFN, like many groups and individuals in the city, were encouraged by the council’s commitment to not cut domestic and sexual abuse support services. We hope that 2014 does not see an end to this important commitment to supporting some of the city’s most vulnerable.
Below is the full list of serving councillors who committed to protecting life-saving women’s services in May 2013:
- Fi Hance (Redland)
- Barbara Janke (Clifton)
- Tess Green (Southville)
- Helen Holland (Whitchurch Park)
- Sean Beynon (Southville)
- Mark Wright (Cabot)
- Gus Hoyt (Ashley)
- Rob Telford (Ashley)
- Estella Tincknell (Lockleaze)
- Danielle Radice (Bishopton)
- Brenda Massey (Southmead)
Our statement on the proposed budget can be read here and can be used as a template letter to Bristol Councillors. Please write to your Councillor to let them know how important domestic and sexual violence services are to our city. Alternatively write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Representations of Women in the Media
Protest against Hooters
Many people objected to the opening of Hooters and protested against the business, the lease by M&S and the licence granted by the Council. Hooters is an American sports style "breastaurant" which requires female staff to dress in a revealing uniform. More details on the campaign in Bristol here.
Reclaim the Night
Public art project
Please click through to read appeals for local volunteers and lend your time to women's organisations and projects.
To support the work of the Bristol Feminist Network, which is totally volunteer led with no regular income or funding arrangements, please donate via below:
One Click Activism
Teaching of positive body image: Petition the Prime Minister to add a new compulsory hour per year to the National Curriculum that will seek to alleviate the rising body image problems in the UK’s 12-20 year olds. Sign the petition here.
Anonymity for Rape Defendants: Support reporting of rape and increased rape convictions by objecting to the government's proposal to extend anonymity to rape defendants. Sign the petition here.