The Second North East Feminist Gathering

The Second North East Feminist Gathering took place last weekend in Newcastle and was just as successful and fantastic as the first!

As with last year, this Gathering was a wonderful example of what a feminist women-only space can be and can achieve.  It felt like the exact opposite of the usual world in which women operate, where we are second-class citizens. With a feminist ethics at its heart, this space was an oasis from the usual self-checking and self-censorship that that our everyday world entails.  It was an opportunity for intellectual and emotional exchange, an intergenerational exchange that was characterised by warmth and support for one another.  Anyone dubious about the need for, or positives of, women-only space I recommend attend this Gathering!  Same goes for anyone dubious about the need for, or positives of, feminism!

This year’s Gathering felt particularly special as it was located in Newcastle’s West End Women and Girls Centre, a women-only space in a beautiful building, a former Victorian library, a centre that provides an essential hub and services for local women.  This year it was also fantastic to welcome visitors from other parts of the country – word had spread after NEFG12!

Many of our Gendered Subjects group members participated in the Gathering and Julie Scanlon was honoured to give the opening talk ‘Fourth Wave Feminism?’, which looked at the ‘buzz’ around contemporary feminism in relation to the movement’s history.

The organising team did a marvelous job – this was a DIY event on a minimal budget and, yet again, the warmth and energy of the team spread to those who attended and we owe our gratitude to them for creating this space in which we could be ourselves.  It is hard to put into words the importance of this Gathering but here are some opinions that I’ve seen this week:

(If you know of more write-ups let us know – will be happy to add them here!)

Sarah Graham in Feminist Times:  ‘A Weekend in the Activist Garden at NEFG13’

Kathryn Hollingsworth and Elizabeth Sharp: ‘Feminist Activism as a Location of Social Renewal’

@planetcath ‘A Gathering of Feminists in the North East’

Claire Meadows-Haworth: NEFG13


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