Tag Archives: extraordinary lives

Where are the women? Founding Bristol Women’s Literature Festival

Words by Sian Norris,

Regular Blogger for Bristol Woman



Four years ago, in 2011, the Bristol Feminist Network and Bristol Fawcett Society collaborated on an event that demanded ‘Where are the Women’. The event was the culmination of research undertaken throughout the previous five years on the representation of women in the media. http://www.rowitm.org/findings.html

Our research had revealed that women’s representation fell into two camps. Either we were highly sexualised, young and smiling with red lips, white teeth and big hair on the covers of magazines, celebrated for our ability to conform to a male-defined idea of beauty. Or we were…not there.

This invisibility of women was noticeable across the media, and backed up by 2010 research conducted by UK Feminista. Music festival line-ups, male dominated. Film directors and writers – male dominated. Plays in theatres written by men, art exhibitions celebrating men, cultural events dominated by men, news pages dominated by men with the exception of a topless woman smiling on page 3. And, of course, literature festival line-ups, literature review magazines and literary prizes – all dominated by men. Women were rarely to be seen. When we did appear, it would be on a panel about women or feminism. Panels with grand titles such as ‘The future of the world’ were a strictly women-free zone.

Continue reading Where are the women? Founding Bristol Women’s Literature Festival

Leaving the numb

by Angelena Lewis

DSC_0887-1-129A woman experiencing abuse lives her life in a state of fear and confusion, unable to predict when the next attack will occur and unable to clearly define who is responsible or why it is happening. She may also become distant from friends and family, and increasingly dependent on her abuser even though his behaviour is offensive. After a while she begins to believe his insults, his version of events, blames herself for the abuse or may even deny it is happening altogether.

Contrary to belief, abused women are not weak or submissive but tremendously strong and resourceful. In fact there have been well -documented parallels between the impact of torture and imprisonment on hostages and victims of domestic violence.  Continue reading Leaving the numb

Going Digital in 2015! Your story contributions required …. !


Yes, you heard it right! This year it’s all change at Bristol Woman and exciting times!

After a lot of thought we have decided that the most engaging and contemporary way of getting our Bristol Woman stories and messages out is by going digital. We will still be covering women’s stories and providing updates on key topics relevant to women in Bristol and beyond. The only difference is that we will be putting these online which will mean we can reach our Bristol Woman audience quicker, faster and in a more relevant way. And do to that we need YOU! Send us in your ideas for stories and topics, your own stories, poems, cartoons, photography. Our core areas of topic coverage, as with our earlier printed magazines, will continue to cover Equality, Business & Leadership, Motherhood and general Lifestyle subjects. If you want to contribute or have some ideas – they don’t need to be limited to our core topic areas – just get in touch with Bristol Woman by emailing editor@bristolwoman.org.uk.

In terms of our plans for a print version of Bristol Woman magazine, we have come up with a plan. We are going to produce one bumper issue of Bristol Woman each November (which marks our birthday – November 2015 is our 2nd birthday). This will be launched on the 25th November – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence – which is also the first day of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence international campaign.

You may also have read that we are considering the possibility of a Bristol Woman magazine app. Watch this space for further updates!

In the meantime, PLEASE send us your story ideas and your stories. All ideas and stories welcome. If you are a photographer, film-maker, illustrator or cartoonist, please also get in touch. We would love to talk to you!

Onwards and upwards! Please help us get Bristol Woman to go digital big time in 2015! Your stories and ideas are what we need! Get in touch! And many thanks for being a Bristol Woman supporter. Cezara, Sian and I really appreciate your stories, engagement, support and ideas.

The Bristol Woman team can’t wait to hear from you! Let us have your stories and ideas!

Bernie Ritchie, Editor-in-Chief, Bristol Woman (2015)

Pensions are a human right

Pensions are a human right that TESCO is happy to drop.

This week, TESCO has announced plans to close its pension scheme. The company said the scheme will be revalued in May and that it would consult on the planned changes in June, before implementing the changes in February, 2016. Not many people think of it that way, but pensions are a human right. How did we get that idea? No other than the UN Declaration of Human Rights Article 25.

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

The UK government has not been doing very well ensuring this right is available to women. Not only are pension schemes and offers largely dictated by employers, they are also discriminatory towards people who have not been in employment for large periods of time, or people who have been in part time employment throughout their lives. Continue reading Pensions are a human right

Our Autumn Issue is out and available

autumn 2015 cover Our Autumn edition of the magazine launched yesterday, and will be available at GP surgeries, libraries, cafes and public buildings across the city over the next few weeks! You will also be able to download a copy onto your iPad or Kindle for digital viewing starting with the 30th of November! Stay tuned for more information.