We had a great turnout at June’s Women’s Fightback discussion group on ‘feminism and religion’ and welcomed some first-timers to the meeting. We have been running these monthly discussion meetups since January this year, covering such topics as body image and the media, women’s health and the NHS, and the gender pay gap. We take it in turns to introduce the subject of the meeting before launching into some very lively and informal discussion. The meetings are open to all self-identifying women and there is always a great mix of people from different backgrounds with different perspectives.
This month’s discussion was introduced by Hannah Thompson (UNISON LG activist, Tower Hamlets teaching assistant and member of AWL) and we discussed ideas of faith and fundamentalism, politics and religious ideology, and austerity and religious conservatism. We also talked in depth about the recent attacks on reproductive freedom and abortion rights, particularly about how we can organise against these attacks, and about the French laws that banned Islamic women’s covering.
Hannah very kindly has written up the information that she shared during her introduction and it can be read in this blog post here. I thoroughly recommend reading it!
Our discussion group will continue, meeting again on the first Friday of next month, Friday 6th July. We meet in the Royal Festival Hall (Southbank, London) at 7.30pm outside the poetry library on the 5th floor. We normally bring some drinks and snacks which you are welcome to share too. The discussion will be on ‘Sport and Sex: Sex workers organise for the Olympics’. We will learn more about the planned raids and increasing arrests that sex workers are facing during the Olympics period as part of the country’s ‘clean up’ efforts, as well as the plans that sex workers have to fight back.
Sex work remains a contentious issue amongst feminists and so we also hope that this meeting will also be a space in which we can discuss a socialist feminist perspective of it.
P.S. I’ve heard on the grapevine that some Women’s Fightback activists in Hull have had a discussion group recently too…