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Guest Blog: Bristol Women's Voice: Supporting and empowering women across Bristol

Posted: Wednesday 20th March 2019
Blog: March
With over 267,000 women living in Bristol, the city is a thriving hub for female voices. It is key that all women, from all over Bristol, have a chance to be empowered and have their voices heard. What would you like to see happen in your city for women and girls?

I’m Hannah Hier, Youth Mayor of Bristol, a reporter for Bristol Women’s Voice (BWV) and a 16 year old young woman who has grown up in Bristol. BWV is a female run organisation made up of volunteers and paid staff who are committed to raising awareness of women’s rights, as well as supporting and celebrating women from across the city in campaigns and projects.

The overall direction and strategy of BWV is decided by its members but there is also a Board of Trustees that run the organisation from day to day. One important date in our annual calendar is International Women’s Day (IWD); since BWV was established, we have organised a yearly event for IWD to bring women together for workshops and celebrations, as well as working on projects such as Bristol Zero Tolerance and Women of Lawrence Hill.

Every IWD, BWV creates a manifesto that addresses the areas of women’s equality we wish to focus on throughout the year. In the past, this manifesto has included areas such:

  • Fighting women’s health inequalities
  • Challenging maternity discrimination
  • Enabling local women to gain employment in the new Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone
  • Supporting women into employment and education through volunteering
  • Increasing women’s representation in the public sphere
  • Celebrating the centenary of women’s votes

As a reporter for BWV, I’m lucky enough to conduct interviews with inspiring women in the city as well as covering events and projects that BWV have organised or have been involved with.

I was recently part of the ‘Women and Power’ panel at City Hall as part of BWV celebrations for this year’s IWD. The inspiring women, including PCC Sue Mountstevens, Bristol West Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire, ACORN organiser Anny Cullum and founder/ co-ordinator of Talo Hibo Mahamoud shared their experiences of being female leaders in today’s society.

We also discussed a range of other topics including gender equality in the workplace, the responsibilities of the different job roles on the panel, feminism in the political climate and how the media impacts their jobs. It was a fantastic discussion and finished with the audience asking their own questions, bring up very interesting points.

There’s still a lot to be done to support and empower the women of Bristol. Personally, I look forward to carrying on my role as a reporter for BWV and participating in the educational and exciting work that the future brings!

Hannah Hier

Bristol Youth Mayor.

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