Over the last three years Coventry Women’s Voices have worked hard on a number of key issues affecting women in Coventry with impacts for women nationally. Below is a summary of the work we have undertaken so you can see for yourself the innovative and important projects we have carried out.
Therefore it may come as a surprise to you to learn that we are largely unfunded and most of our work is carried out by our dedicated and committed members on a voluntary basis or very low financial recompense. We are activists who campaign and research the issues that affect women’s lives. We do not qualify for most available funding streams. Our campaigning has focused on issues that do not attract media attention but impact on women’s lives daily. We give voice to women who do not normally have a platform to speak and raise their concerns. To make more of an impact that is sustainable we require funds to support our members to carry out the work. We continue to receive requests, both nationally and locally, to speak at meetings, conferences and workshops about our work. However we often have to turn down requests as we are limited to the amount of work we can do on an entirely voluntary basis to promote both the reports and our toolkit.
Can you help? Do you know of any funding sources or would personally wish to donate towards that can support an organization such as CWVs to continue the ground breaking work we have undertaken? If so please contact: Mary-Ann Stephenson (CWVs coordinator) via firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us on @CoventryWomen.
We have successfully campaigned and lobbied on a range of issues including:
- a ‘nil’ policy for Sex Entertainment Venues,
- persuading West Midlands police to refer victims of rape and sexual assault in Coventry to a local referral centre rather than insisting they travel miles out of the city.
POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER HUSTINGS
During the election for Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) we organised an extremely well attended meeting for women to meet all the candidates. Many women attended the meeting commented that this was the only opportunity they had had to find out who the candidates were or what they stood for. We also wrote and submitted a briefing paper to the candidates detailing the issues affecting women’s organisations in Coventry.
We have published three reports on the impact of the spending cuts on women in Coventry:
Unravelling Equality: A human rights and equality impact assessment of the public spending cuts on women in Coventry
Getting off Lightly or Feeling the Pinch?: A human rights and equality impact assessment of the public spending cuts on older women in Coventry
Layers of Inequality: A human rights and equality impact assessment of the public spending cuts on Black Minority Ethnic women in Coventry
In addition, with the TUC we published a toolkit for grass roots organisations to be able to conduct their own impact assessments. All three reports have had a significant impact in Coventry and nationally. Cllr Ann Lucas, leader of Coventry City Council has described the reports as ‘invaluable’. They have been quoted in Parliament and used as evidence for the UK Shadow report to the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee.
With our three reports on the spending cuts we have shown the devastating impact of the cuts on the most vulnerable women, and developed a method for analyzing the impact of the cuts on a local area which could be copied by other groups.
An Everyday Occurrence: in partnership with Coventry University we researched the extent and impact of street harassment on women in Coventry.
We are continuing to promote the findings of our research into the impact of the spending cuts on women and lobby public authorities locally and nationally about the impact of the cuts.
We are working with Coventry Law Centre, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and the Centre for Human Rights in Practice on research into the impact of benefit sanctions on people in Coventry.
We are working with Coventry Feminists and students and both Warwick and Coventry Universities on the first reclaim the night event in Coventry for 30 years.
We hold public meetings and events on a range of issues – most recently on Size as an Equality Issue.
We continue to campaign and lobby on issues affecting all women in Coventry.
We are open to all women, women’s organisations and organisations that work with or represent women who support our aims