WANT TO ENRICH AND EMPOWER THE LIVES OF WOMEN? Thirteen women participated in a discussion group at the 4th Annual Women’s Gathering (http://vancouverunitarians.ca/events/annual-womens- gathering/) and decided to form not just one, but TWO NEW WOMEN’S GROUPS. One meets on the third Monday evening of the month, and the other meets on the first Friday afternoon of the month. Registration is required. Both groups are now full. Contact Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be put on a wait list or to register for a third Women’s Group (date TBD).
Our intergenerational groups ranges in age from 26-78 yrs. old. Most are in their 30’s and 40’s.
Contact Sheila email@example.com if you are interested in participating.
Sheila has notes from the gathering and some proposed dates for the first meeting.
“I am delighted that we are a diverse group in terms of age and experiences. Should broaden my horizons.” – Bev
“I’m somewhat new to Vancouver and want to join a Women’s Group to get support from women.
I think it’s important to foster that for myself and for other women.” – Cayla
“I thought forming a women’s group would present me with an opportunity to meet with others to construct a safe space to address concerns, challenges and tools for empowerment.
Truly, it is through shared experiences and stories that we grow, reflect and expand who we are. In life and in the context of this group we all shift through life through our interactions with others and thus we assume many roles that include: teachers, mentors, students and leaders.” – Naomi
They were asked:
- Why do you want to join a women’s group?
- What would a women’s group focus on?
Here are some of the responses:
- having a group that supports the 7 Unitarian principles
- enriching and empowering the lives of women
- increasing the sense of self-worth and self-confidence of women
- finding out what current women’s issues are
- Interested in change and with a group of women it’s easier to make change.
- getting support from women and fostering that for myself and for other women
- meeting others with different ideas, cultures, ages
- empowering each other, e.g. equal salaries
- receiving help and guidance from others re guidance with difficult, challenging situations both professionally and personally
- sharing experiences from different cultures…learning about Canadian attitudes and sharing views my background
- discussing: parenting concerns, relationships
- how much sexism we have incorporated within ourselves (perhaps unconsciously)
- how to have a women’s group that maintains an open attitude toward men (avoiding an us vs them attitude).
- being solo in today’s society which doesn’t support being single; being childless in a society which doesn’t support being childless
Structures to consider
- meet once a month
- duration of the meeting: two hours
- have one person in charge of administrative issues
- rotate facilitation of group. Facilitator chooses a topic and facilitates discussion.
- discuss the topic selected by facilitator
- ensure confidentiality, respectful discourse, equal air time for everyone, etc.
Meet at UCV in Hewett Hall. Book the Fireside room (if available)
Some suggestions for logistics:
- Size of the group: maximum 12 per group
- invite other Unitarians and their friends through website, Order of Service, word of mouth
- closed group once maximum number is reached
- as people drop out of the group, it opens to new members