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All about women
1:00pm Saturday 10th March 2012 in News
A celebration of all aspects of being a woman in Oxford is about to draw to a close.
More than 40 events have been held as part of the 23rd Oxford International Women’s Festival, this year on the theme of equality and diversity.
They ranged from guided cycle rides, to musical performances, to queer cabaret, to lectures.
Thousands of people – both men and women – have taken part in the events.
Thursday was International Women’s Day and the flagship event, a fair featuring stalls, workshops and performances, was held in Oxford Town Hall.
Among those taking part was Helena Nielsen, who was trying to recruit members for the Oxford branch of Growing Old Disgracefully.
She said: “The idea is to challenge the stereotypes of older women and we thought as a way of attracting people we would design some knickers for the Queen’s Jubilee.
“We’ve also given other people lots of materials so they can join us and do their own designs.”
She was full of praise for the women’s festival.
Ms Nielsen said: “I think it’s amazing the diversity of the women’s groups that are here.”
The last event, a festival wrap-up, will take place on Tuesday at Baby Simple, in Cowley Road, starting at 8pm and featuring music and spoken word performances.
Festival co-ordinator Debbie Hollingsworth said: “It is really difficult to pick highlights because every event is a highlight in its own right and they have all been really successful.”
She said she believed the atmosphere at this year’s festival was even more positive than in previous years.
Ms Hollingsworth said: “There does seem to be a different feel this year.
“Maybe because there has been a lot of doom and gloom and negativity and people are finding things difficult, they are latching to something that’s a bit more positive and a bit happier.”
Ms Hollingsworth said: “We have seen a real mixture of age and culture which is great. We welcome men coming to support us as long as they are coming with the right attitude.
“It has been a wonderful celebration.”
Sporting events aimed at inspiring young women from disadvantaged communities are being held in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of the White Horse to celebrate International Women’s Week.
On Thursday, there was a chance to get involved in volleyball, badminton and tennis. Events continue tomorrow, at Thame Leisure Centre, with badminton at 6pm, and on Tuesday at Didcot Leisure Centre with volleyball starting at 8pm.
The events are part of the Us Girls Games, a project across 20 towns and cities in England aimed at getting more young women active. To find out more contact Lil.Roe@southandvale.gov.uk firstname.lastname@example.org For more details of the festival, visit oxfordwomen.co.uk