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On Saturday 6th October we held a Festival for Women at the University of Suffolk. The festival was designed to mark the centenary of the first women to gain the vote and look at how far equality has come in the past 100 years and how far we still have to go to reach full gender equality.

Over 500 people joined us for a day packed full of talks, workshops, craftivism, music, drama, poetry and even opera.

Thank you to everyone involved. We are very grateful to everyone who helped make the festival such a success.

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Women’s Voices, Women’s Votes is an amazing group of women’s organisations from Suffolk, which is organising a festival to celebrate 100 years since the first British women gained the vote and the history of that struggle.

The festival is on the 6th of October at the University of Suffolk, is being designed and delivered by women for women. It will be an unmissable FREE festival for women of all ages to mark the centenary of the first women to gain the vote. Come and be inspired, entertained and part of an exciting network of women working for change.

Join us from 9.30am as we unveil the first ‘Suffragette Bus’. Then pick and choose from a range of talks, workshops, music, drama and spoken word performances, crafts, speed mentoring and more. Highlights include those shown below;

  • Join one of our empowerment workshops on topics as diverse as maternity rights, power and privilege and why economics is a feminist issue.
  • Listen to women talk about everything from everyday sexism to stories of local Suffragettes.
  • Speak to an inspiring group of women about their life in politics, talk to women campaigning to end violence against women & girls and get inspired by local women who make real change happen through activism.
  • Have a go at craftivism (where art meets activism) and add your message to our giant art installation.
  • Get valuable 1-2-1 face time with women who want to help you achieve your dream job or project.
  • Learn the heart-breaking stories behind ‘the most beautiful project that shouldn’t exist’
  • Find your voice with our singing and poetry workshops and hear talented artists perform throughout the day, including poet Hodan Yusuf, A.N.G., Girls Where you At?, Original Born Word Goddess and the Reggae Choir.
  • Visit our Suffragette exhibition, check out photos and commentary from our EqualiTeas and schools/youth outreach. Plus listen to interviews with local women. And add your voice to others in our ‘What Women Want’ project
  • Would you have been able to vote in 1918? Visit our polling booth to find out and place your Vote. Plus dress up as a Suffragette and pose for a selfie.
  • Watch the premier of ‘A Sort of Revolution’, a new play by Martha Loader, presented by TUSK. A young couple are about to have a baby, and move into a deceased relative’s house where they discover their family connection to the suffrage movement in Ipswich.
  • Be entralled by storytelling with arias from a new opera: 1000 Songs, a retelling of an Armenian tale in a dystopian near-future.
  • Kids are catered for too, they can get busy in our craftivism space, try our quiz on on the bus or be enthralled by Wonderful Women in Fact and Fiction in our Kids Zone hosted by Ipswich Children’s Book Group.
  • Discover the Suffragette Bus and meet our 100 Inspirational Suffolk Women.
  • Discover who has won our Short Story competition and hear from author Gill Lowe on story-writing.
  • Plus multi-cultural food stalls and market stalls.

Evening Entertainment

La Tour Café, Ipswich Waterfront, 7pm till late

Join us for a free night of feminist fun featuring music and spoken word by local artists and comedy by the hilarious Kate Smurthwaite.

WVWV Festival Timetable Final

In the run-up to the festival, we have several projects running to listen to women’s views on what needs to change to take us closer to full gender equality, celebrate inspirational Suffolk women from the past and present and reward the creativity in our midst today. These events include EqualiTeas with a diverse range of community groups and workshops in local schools and youth clubs, our #100InspirationalSuffolkWomen project, which celebrates a diverse group of incredible women from Suffolk’s past and present and our short story competition on the theme of A Voice for Change.

We’re also holding a think tank as part of the Spill Festival in November and from that we will be working to create an on-going legacy.

Visit this site regularly for updates on events.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for all the latest #WVWVFestival

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