UCL Urban Laboratory


Women's Spaces and Feminist Politics: Yesterday, today and tomorrow

16 May 2014, 9:30 am–5:00 pm

Women's Spaces

Event Information

Open to



Room 126, School of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London, E1 4NS

This one-day conference, organised by the London Women and Planning Forum, Rooms of our Own and Women's Studies without Walls, will explore the role of women's spaces in feminist politics, focusing on women's centres and other women's spaces in the past, present and future.

During the 1970s there were autonomous women's centres in most London boroughs and throughout the UK. They provided an exciting, safe and liberating environment for women to share thoughts and experiences and to campaign for change. Many of these centres were funded by local authority grants but as the grant-giving environment diminished most were forced to close. Some have survived by tendering for out-sourced council services such as domestic violence and rape counselling. Many have struggled against the conflation of feminist demands into a generalised equality agenda. During the past decade a new  generation of feminists has started to campaign against the objectification of women in the media, the expansion of pornography, sexism in the workplace and on the street, the lack of representation of women in public life and the sexualisation of young children. This new generation of feminists is largely organized via social media rather than in physical spaces.

There will be four key sessions:

·         Why "Women Only"?  Speakers on the history of women's spaces, lesbian and separatist issues, cultural and religious diversity issues and requirements for women's safety.

·         Women's Spaces past, present and future. A range of speakers looking at Women's Centres that have closed, those that have survived and ideas for new forms for the future.

·         Virtual women's spaces. Speakers from organisations that organise almost exclusively online; benefits and problems.

·         One hour discussion involving all the speakers and audience chaired by Woman's Hour's Jane Garvey, followed by a Networking session

Please go to Eventbrite to register, and you can see the conference programme here (pdf).
£38 for waged + booking fee  
£8.50 for unwaged + booking fee (if this is difficult for you, please email us).

Includes tea/ coffee throughout the day and a vegetarian lunch. Please email womensspaces@gmail.com if you have particular access and/or dietary requirement.