Next Skill Share

Feminist Skills Exchange, 15h of February, 2-5 , 27/3 Johns Lane

– suggested donation £3


Are you tired of giving boring, impersonal presents? Broke? Trying to escape the tendrils of global capitalism? The you won’t want to miss the Gift-Making Skillshare.

Find out how easy it is to start giving handmade gifts birthdays, Christmas, and everything in between. Make your own sweets, bath smellies and microwavable heat-pad from scratch to take home – minimal skill required.

All ingredients and materials supplied (plus tea and biscuits), but if you have a pair of scissors sharp enough to cut card or thin fabric, please help us out by bringing them with you.

For more information, contact alysonmacdonald at hotmail dot com.

February 11, 2009 at 9:29 am Leave a comment

Message from Scottish Women’s Aid

2009 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of Simone de Beauvoir’s ground-breaking book ‘The Second Sex’ in which she asked the question ‘what is a woman?.  To celebrate International Women’s Day 2009 and the anniversary of the book’s publication, Scottish Women’s Aid is asking what it means to be a woman in 2009.  We plan to create an interactive ‘virtual exhibition’ operated through our web-site, gathering answers from women as well as public figures.

 Beauvoir drew on biology, history, philosophy and anthropology to conclude that during her own time, and previous to it, woman was ‘Other’ to the normal male human being, the second sex, discriminated against, objectified, less valued.  ‘Woman’ she also decided is neither a fixed entity nor intrinsic to the female human being but created by society and is an identity that shifts with time and culture.  In other words, in the words of the book’s most famous line ‘one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman’.

 The book inspired and motivated a generation to agitate for change.  Indeed much has changed since Beauvoir wrote: anti-discrimination legislation has been passed, there are more career and education opportunities for woman etc.  But much still needs to change: the pay gap still exists and women continue to experience violence in the form of domestic abuse, rape and trafficking in large numbers.

We would be enormously pleased if you and your group were to support this by answering the question ‘what is a woman in 2009’, providing a short quote, poem or doodle and if possible a photograph to go along with this. You can email us your contributions or join our facebook page “Scottish women’s aid”  

I have attached an info rmation sheet on The Second Sex for your info rmation.


Ellie Hutchinson

Administration Information Worker


Scottish Women’s Aid

2nd Floor 132 Rose Street



0131 226 6606

Scottish Women’s Aid Charity No SC001099 is recognised as a charitable organisation by the Inland Revenue in Scotland .

The information in this email (and any attachments) is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. If you are not the named addressee you must not use, disclose, distribute, copy, print or rely on the contents of this email and should destroy it immediately. 

Please note that we cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and amended. While every reasonable precaution has been taken to minimise this risk, we cannot accept liability for any damage which you sustain as a result of software viruses. You should therefore carry out your own virus checks before opening any attachments.

The views of the author may not necessarily reflect those of Scottish Women’s Aid.





January 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

Telling our stories – Polish Version

W poszukiwaniu historii kobiet


Istnieją statystyki mówiące, że jedna na cztery kobiety doświadczyła gwałtu lub próby gwałtu w ciągu swojego życia; mówiące, że żadne z gwałtów nie kończą się skazaniem, że skala domowych gwałtów przy użyciu przemocy jest przeogromna, że napastowanie uliczne to olbrzymi problem. Jednak nic nie wskazuje na to, żeby pozostawały one w naszej pamięci; są tak niemożliwie wielkimi liczbami, że często nie wydają się wystarczająco osobiste, aby być odbierane jako realne.

Jednakże, dla tych, spośród nas, które są tą jedną z czterech lub które były bądź wciąż trwają  w związku, w którym ma miejsce przemoc i znęcanie się, statystyki te są aż nazbyt osobiste. W Międzynarodowym Dniu Kobiet (8 Marca), kobiety i popierający akcję mężczyźni, będą maszerować ulicami Edynburga, aby okazać swój gniew na społeczeństwo, które raczej pozwala kobietom żyć w nieustannym strachu przed przemocą, niż przyłączą się do walki z nią. Oprócz tego, chcemy założyć forum, na którym kobiety, które doświadczyły jakiejkolwiek przemocy (gwałtu, wykorzystania seksualnego, maltretowania w rodzinie, skrzywdzenia emocjonalnego, napastowania ulicznego, okaleczenia narządów płciowych) jak i te, które doświadczyły życia w strachu przed przemocą, nawet jeśli chodzi tu jedynie o spacer wieczorną porą, mogą zostać wysłuchane.

Jeśli jesteś zainteresowana/y tym pomysłem, chcielibyśmy zamieścić Twoją historię w magazynie, który stworzymy i rozprowadzimy po Edynburgu, aby jasno dowieść, iż przemoc w stosunku do kobiet jest problemem w naszym mieście i że należy to zmienić. Nie ma tutaj żadnego nacisku; chcemy zapewnić forum dla tych, które zechce opowiedzieć swoją historię. Jeśli nie chcesz, lub nie czujesz się gotowa, nie musisz tego robić. Wybór należy do Ciebie.


Reclaim the Night Edinburgh

124 Fernieside Crescent

EH17 7DH

January 8, 2009 at 12:03 pm Leave a comment

Telling our stories

There are big statistics out there, saying things like one in four women experience rape or attempted rape in their lifetime, saying that almost no rapes result in conviction, that domestic violence rapes are sky high, that street harassment is a terrible problem. But these statistics don’t really seem to sink in, they’re such impossibly large numbers, it often doesn’t seem personal enough to be real. However, for those of use who are that one in four, or who have been in or currently are in an abuse relationship, or simply live and walk in fear of violence, the statistics are all too personal. On International Women’s Day (March 8th) women and supportive men will be marching through Edinburgh to show our anger at a culture which would rather allow women to live in constant fear of violence than try to abolish violence against women. To go alongside this, we want to provide a forum where women who have experienced all forms of violence against women can have their voices heard (including rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence including emotional and psychological abuse, street harassment, female genital mutilation, and those who have experiences of living in the fear that violence might happen, even if just when walking the streets at night). If you’re interested in this idea, then we’d love to put your story into a magazine we want to create and distribute in Edinburgh, to make it clear that violence against women is a problem in our city and needs to change. This is not a pressure, we want to provide a forum for those who want to tell their stories, if you don’t want to or don’t feel ready to then don’t. It’s your choice. Feel free to send us your story in whatever language you feel most comfortable writing. (Although we won’t have the funds for video, so BSL isn’t possible.) You can email us your story at Alternatively, if you don’t have internet or want to be more anonymous you can write to: Reclaim the Night Edinburgh 124 Fernieside Crescent Edinburgh EH17 7DH

January 8, 2009 at 12:01 pm 1 comment

Updates from the meeting 17/12

So, I knowe we initially said we would post up our minutes from the meetings, and then totally forgot to do that, so really sorry about that. Here are some updates from our last meeting, feel free to add comments, suggestions, and anything you think you could do to help make this happen.

1. For the march itself, we’re talking about a route of lothian road, grassmarket, candlemakers row, chambers street, South Bridge, ending at Hunter’s Square. It was thought that Hunter’s square would be a good place to stop, as there are more people around there than are in the meadows, and this will give us a chance to have one speech done outside to allow members of the public to listen and be inspired!

After the march we want to book a hall to have speeches, music and stalls. This will (hopefully) allow some networking to happen, and provide a chance to get involved with the amazing things already happening in Edinburgh, and hopefully try to start up some new dreams. We’re considering trying to book Southside Community Centre for this, but if you have any suggestions of your own then please just say.

2. We’re putting together some workshops to raise money for the march, so far on the table for topics are:
– arabic
– knittting
– singing
– crafty things
– Feminism
This should be really great, and it would be amazing to see lots of people there to learn new skills and donate some money. If you want to organise a workshop of your own to fundraise then please do!

3. We’re also planning some workshops for youth groups, looking at violence against women as an issue, and then doing some banner making. We really, really, really need the input of youthworkers and people with an understanding of violence against women, especially as it effects young women, so please get in touch if you want to help with planning, or doing these workshops.

December 22, 2008 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

We’re back!

If anyone still reads this blog, then I thought people would like to know that the planning process for a Reclaim the Night March in March 09 (hopefully on International Women’s day) has begun.  If you want to get involved then you can email us on  We’ll hopefully be updating this blog about what we’re doing, to start us off I’ve copied the minutes from our last meeting below so that anyone who has any thoughts or suggestions on what we’re thinking about and doing can add comments.  Please do add something, we really want our organising process to include as many people as possible, so even if you aren’t able to make it along to meetings (though we would love you to come!), you can still contribute.

Marylou, Rachel and Allyson were at the meeting.

Points of Discussion:

We discussed the importance of being transparent and open about what we are doing in order to gain input from interested people who don’t have time to be fully part of the organising group, for example, putting discussion points on facebook.

Marylou is trying to network with various groups in Leith, in particular trying to think of ways to engage with groups of women from different ethnic groups. Perhaps we could translate our promotion materials into other languages.

Given the march is on International Women’s Day, it might be good to get a speaker from Amnesty International at the march to give us an insite into global violence against women.

We also discussed engaging with young people and elderly people. In particular the idea of going into schools to do assemblies and discussion groups about violence against women and RTN, hopefully in conjunction with Zero Tolerance.

We discussed our ideas about projects to run alongside the march, Marylou wants to organise an art project (perhaps pre-making bannters) and Rachel would like to put together a zine of other stories of the women of Edinburgh.

The bulk of discussion was about an event to be arranged for the end of September to promote the march, network with other groups and try and get more women involved with organising. Hopefully also do some fundraising. We decided:
– would be good to have a social evening, hopefully in the Drill Hall in Leith
– include music, cake, perhaps comedy, recruiting for us and info on violence against women and lots of networking. Any other fun creative things we can think of.
– Creche should be included.
– Best time may be late september to conside with uni’s going back. 

Action Points:
– Everyone should continue trying to network as much as they can with contacts they have.

For event:
– Marylou is going to find out when the best time would be in terms of uni terms and school holidays and then get in touch with the drill hall about dates.
– Rachel is going to email round our old publicity material so we can hopefully use the same logos for our publicity
– Allyson is going to begin investigating the logistics of organising this event, e.g. how to get cake, what fire safety and child protection things we would need.
– everyone in the group should be brain storming about potential activities and people we can invite. 
– Rachel is going to try and restart blog ( to raise awareness, and get in touch with F-word about publicity once we have a date and time

For next meeting:
– Rachel is going to arrange with YWCA to be a key holder.
– we need to set a regular day and time, starting from next week, what day is best. We need to make this decision fast!

Groups we can possibly network with that we thought of at the meeting:
– Damn rebel bitches (at Tollcross community centre)
– Alternatives to Violence Project (to get in with the quaker granny mafia 🙂 )
– Deaf Action
– Sikh Sanjog
– knitting and craft circles

August 11, 2008 at 8:33 am 1 comment

Edinburgh Feminist Network New Blog

Watch this space for news about 2008’s reclaim the night march. In the meantime, come over to Edinburgh Feminist Network’s new blog for more info about what we’re up to..

January 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm 2 comments

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