York International Women’s Week 2019 is over and the organising group met recently to discuss feedback and review the programme. We are delighted that events attracted even more women than last year, with many organisers reporting capacity bookings, drawing new people to their activities. One event – on transphobia, added to the online programme – garnered a great deal of comment, from very supportive to extremely antagonistic. At the review, the organising group confirmed our commitment to YIWW continuing to operate a trans-inclusive definition of women and encouraging exploration of the many issues and rewards we all face in a respectful and compassionate way. We have also taken on board all the feedback including how this particular event was marketed.
Our 2019 theme of ‘Making ALL women’s voices heard’ encouraged a wide-ranging programme, and participants commented on the diversity of cultures and perspectives represented. One remark – that “we need hope” – reflects the desire of many York women for a YIWW that is challenging and informative and makes a difference to women’s lives: we are proud that alongside sharing and extending knowledge about women throughout the world money was raised for a number of local and global women’s groups. We look forward to next year, and to welcoming even more organisers and participants to this York grassroots event; we would especially like to see more events organised by/with a focus on girls and young women, women with caring responsibilities, disabled women and BAME women.The provisional date for YIWW20 is 7th-15th March, and details for submission will be available in October 2019 on www.yorkwomen.org.uk.