Mel Lenehan • Strategic Lead for Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and • Regional Education Manager East Midlands Region • Andria Birch • Projects Development Manager East Midlands Region
An exploration of how adult education can further the collective interests and activities of women within their communities and society. The WEA’s Women’s Learning Programme builds women’s confidence in their ability to learn by working on a specified subject area in tutor directed groups and relates this to their own experiences as a critical component of consciousness raising.
The WEA and Women’s Learning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW8RKUFxTKU
‘Just wanted to say I’m really really enjoying the Gender and Politics course. It’s become the highlight of my week because I get to meet with new (GnP) friends, we have tremendous conversations, our tutor Jill sparks us off, and we are making important connections between our lives and how society is shaped. • It feels like life-changing things are happening, thinking more clearly and differently, and growing seeds of action. What made this possible is the Women into Politics outreach event, crèche and fares, free course, flexible, responsive content, women friendly venue – and of course all the very different women who are taking part. Thanks WEA and more of it !!!’
‘At the beginning of the course the tutor warned us that we’d never look at the world in the same way again and this has proved completely true! I find myself questioning ways in which women are represented, perceived and the judgements that are made of us. • I’ll be honest at first the thought of this seemed quite daunting as I thought I would feel somehow burdened or like life was more of a struggle but it has had quite the opposite effect. I feel that having a knowledge of the structures and practices that perpetuate these views of women, makes me better placed to challenge them and to become part of the change. I’ve found the discussions we have in the group fascinating and they refresh my own ways of thinking.’
The one phrase that sticks out from “Women Leading for a Change” is “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. • The first step in anything new we undertake is always the hardest, but we can all start that journey one step at a time. • Come on women of Nottingham lets get learning! Reach for the stars!”
Where are they now? • One woman went on to join WEA Regional Committee • One woman became a county councillor • One woman is working for a local social enterprise (after being long term unemployed) • All are still active supporters of the WEA and WLP.
A better world – equal, democratic and just; through adult education, the WEA challenges and inspires individuals, communities and society.
‘A better world for women is a better world for everyone, discuss’ • What do we mean by equality? • What are the key issues for women? • What should the WEA be doing about it? • Which partners should we work with?
The big issues (remain): • Violence and Objectification • Childcare • Equal pay • Education • Reproductive rights • Poverty • Mental health and wellbeing
What are we doing about it? • Women’s Learning Programme • Women’s Student Group(s) • National Campaign ‘Women overcoming disadvantage’ • First tweet hour • Project work eg: women into politics, women mean business, women leading for a change, women and mental health and well being, WEA women’s history…
Links and resources http://weawomenslearningprogramme.wordpress.com/ http://womenleadinglearning.wordpress.com http://www.nottinghamwomenscentre.com/about-us/why-women-only-services-matter/ http://thewomensresourcecentre.org.uk/resources/defending-women-only-services-2/
Thank you • weaedi.wordpress.com