As we prepare for our first event, it feels like a good time to share the DivaManc story so far...
DivaManc started when five women from Whalley Range, Manchester got together to discuss how we can make our area better, engage with women on issues that matter to them and improve their experience of living, working caring
So we threw lots of ideas in the mix of what might be an interesting discussion that will engage women locally, but we wanted some tangible results at the end and something that is interesting, exciting and more women should talk about....
As we talked it became apparent how frustrated we all felt about the lack of opportunity for women to engage in devolution in Greater Manchester, commonly referred to as DevoManc, and the fact it appeared to be giving yet more power to white men, and further exacerbating the democratic deficit in the City Region - DivaManc was born.
Upon sharing details of our first event we were inundated with expressions of interest from not only local women but from women across Greater Manchester which was a pleasure as it confirmed what we thought was lacking: how to engage women positively add their voice to how this agenda will be delivered locally.
Our aim is to be inclusive and positively engage with women that live, work, care or study in Greater Manchester Manchester. We want to help create new spaces for women to share what they care about and what they want and share good tools and information so they are empowered to get involved, get their voices heard and take action.
Our ambition is to increase understanding, to bust some of the myths and misconceptions about devolution, to shape it's delivery and future ambition, but most of all to be open and accessible to women from all backgrounds, ages, ethnicity whatever their circumstances are who have to say something about this city and who want to do something about it.
So on Thursday, at our first event, we are hoping to hear what women are interested to know about devolution, what is good locally/in Manchester/GM that we can build on, what excites them about devolution, but also what is it that we are missing and how do they want our city region to evolve and develop. We then want to find ways to make this happen together to effect positive change.
We decided that a 'women only' space would be the most conducive initially for capturing women's experiences and making connections. However, in order to break through and make change across the City Region everyone needs to understand and play a part, whatever their gender. We are keen to ensure that the conversation is one in which both genders can participate, get excited about learn from each other, for the benefit of all.
You don't have to come to this event or future events to get involved. We have been delighted to see both men and women sharing their stories and wishes for DevoManc and DivaManc via the website and signing up to get involved. We look forward to hearing your story and your ideas for a devolution that works for everyone.
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!