Claiming rights, facing fire, telling stories : young feminist activists

There have been encouraging signs over the last few years that feminist youth work is re-emerging. Feminist Webs has been central to this welcome shift and is now in a new home.

The Feminist Webs archive was packed up by some willing volunteer and has moved into the new Birley Campus in Hulme  (Manchester Metropolitan University), following the closure of the Didsbury Campus.

Janet Batsleer, who oversaw the move, said ‘It’s great isn’t it! We have had the archive in an office for years, and now it is in the new building, in archive shelving, and feels like its more integrated into the University and more accessible for the public.’

The archive is going to be opened up once a week from September by Alison Ronan who said, ‘I hope it will make it easier for anyone who is interested to be able to come and have a look at it, and to start doing more exciting things with it’.

She concludes:

Shifting the frame of how we work with young people is also essential. Funders must continue to respond more directly to the priorities identified by young people, not focus solely on protecting them. Young people need to be given space to have their own voices heard and influence how funding is spent. The pulse of youth engagement and empowerment is in their ability to take action that changes the world around them, and this area continues to be underfunded. 

When we ask ourselves how change is made throughout history, we know it is made collectively, often through diverse movements coming together. Young people, and in particular, young women and girls are a crucial part of strengthening and revitalizing movements and building progressive change. Today there are more than 1.8 billion young people (aged under 24) around the world, making up one quarter of the world’s population. It is clear their mass is the future. 

And, given our Campaign’s emphasis on Story-Telling, there’s a designated page, Our Voices, featuring young women’s personal stories as a powerful tool for social change.




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