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Welcome to Oxford International Women's Festival 2005

eileen | 23.02.2005 16:36 | Culture | Gender | Social Struggles | Oxford

Oxford's 16th International Women's Festival starts on Tuesday March 1st and runs for nearly 3 weeks. This year the theme is clothes - women as workers and wearers. There's a rich and varied programme, mainly free, usually open to both sexes,including a day forum on sweated labour in the garment trade (see posters at More details/posters will appear here shortly.

WOMEN’S FESTIVAL 2005 1st– 20th March

International Women’s Day, March 8th , is marked throughout the world in recognition of women’s struggle for trade union and political rights and better working conditions which took place at the turn of the century and women’s subsequent struggles around the world.

In Oxford, international Women’s Day is celebrated with a major festival of events and activities organised voluntarily by a women’s collective representing a variety of organisations and interests from all over the city. The Festival celebrates the creativity of women as well as raising and debating issues which directly influence women.

This year the Festival’s theme is: The Fabric of Society: Women as Wearers and Workers’. The Festival focuses on clothes, since they are an important aspect of women’s daily lives, regardless of ethnic origin or age. Clothes can be controversial, glamorous, fashionable, boring, useful, but always project an image of who we are and what we are, whether we like it or not. But how much do we know about the clothes we wear, where and how they are made, who makes them, their history, the role of the fashion industry, the department stores and individual retailers, the influence of the media and the image we portray when we wear and chose our clothes? These and other aspects of clothes will be addressed from a women’s perspective during the Festival.

The Festival’s aim is to debate and examine all these issues and make women more aware of the history, the manufacture and other factors involved in designing, making, shopping for and wearing clothes.

Events will include a celebration through dance, music, film, exhibitions and literature; the sharing of these ideas on dress between the different Oxford ethnic communities and generations: dress making; the ethics used to promote clothes in everyday life.
Thus the Festival will facilitate sharing ideas about all the positive aspects of clothes as well as discussions about some of the less positive sides involved in the methods of the mass manufacturing and promotion by the media and fashion industry of clothes.

OXFORD INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S FESTIVAL COLLECTIVE THANK THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR GENEROUS SUPPORT AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: Oxford City Council, UNISON, Oxford Brookes University branch, National Union of Teachers, Oxfordshire branch, T&G 5/625 Branch BMW Oxford Transport, members of the Women’s Collective for their help & support.

Katherine Bradley
37 Aston Street, Oxford, OX1 1EW
Tel (01865) 724 371

Chris Eady