Friday, 4 March 2016

Letter from Rochdale Women's Group (RBUF)

Dear Editor (04.III.2016),


Rochdale Boroughwide User Forum Women's Group (RBUF) – organise Candle
Light Vigil to mark International Women's Day 2016 on Tuesday 8 March 2016


MEMBERS of RBUF - Rochdale Boroughwide User Forum Women's Group are
organising a candle light vigil outside the Town Hall next week .

The independent non-political mental health service user led advocacy
and support charity are  already anticipating  that other local
women's  groups , partner agencies and women campaigners will be
participating  in their town centre vigil.

The Vigil will take place outside Rochdale Town Hall on 8 March from
8.00pm in support of International Women's Day 2016 & in memory of
women who have suffered all forms of abuse.

'So far we've had pledges of support , assistance and solidarity
e|mails from a number of locally based women’s organisations and
others further afield across Greater Manchester & beyond.

'We want International Women’s Day to be embedded in Rochdale s annual
calendar of events , as it is is already in many of our other sister
towns in Greater Manchester.'

The groups Publicity Officer said:
'... his is a non-political , non-partisan, cross gender ,multi-faith
event open to all who are concerned about the role of women in the
twenty-first century'
, she concluded .

The candle light vigil is being held to mark the end of a day of
women's only events at RBUF's Drake Street Offices  as part of the
international day set aside worldwide to celebrate the social,
economic, cultural and political achievement of women.

Commenting on the local IWD2016  events the RBUF Women's Group
Coordinator Liz Anderson told Northern Voices that  :

'RBUF are proud to host their first IWD event. It could not have
happened without all the strength and enthusiasm of our volunteers,
staff, supporters and contributors.

'The theme hits hard across the board. Our events touch on historical
equality, health and well-being and just as importantly celebration. They
are very important for Rochdale and we need to be seen to in support
of women after our own sad events in the borough. So, please come in
celebration and rememberance.'

The theme of 2016 International Women's day globally is gender parity.

Everyone - men and women - can pledge to take a concrete step to help
achieve gender parity more quickly, whether to help women and girls
achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect
and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or
root out workplace bias.

This can be done at :

Details of a wide range events across the UK can also be found at the
IWD2016 official web page at :

Details of the Manchester women's festival WONDER WOMEN 1918 - 2018
can be found at :

A spokeswoman for the RBUF Women's Group told Northern Voices today that :

“RBUF's Women’s Group was launched in January this year in response to
the fact that latest research indicates in the main it is women who
can face multiple issues relating to mental health and austerity. In
the first instance directly  as individuals themselves , and then
additionally as mothers, sisters,wives, partners or girlfriends of
other people or whole families  struggling with mental health”.

“ Our IWD2016 meeting and educational workshops at RBUF on 8 March is
just the first of a co-ordinated  series of women only campaigns
,events & workshops .RBUF's Women's Group intend to  hold a series of
similar activities throughout the year with partner agencies and other
women s groups who share our aim in challenging the stigma and
stereotypes that seek to dis-empower women and mental health service
users across our borough.”

Another member of the group , (who asked not to be named after enduring
years of DV at the hands of a former partner),  added :

“ Like many we are deeply concerned at any proposed cuts to vital
Domestic Violence services or to any support service who's primary
focus of support is women & children – this would be a shocking
example of short term thinking  to reduce funding at a time of
evident, and increasing need in our communities ".

"The people who make these decisions need to spend some time up on the
estates and in our towns living rooms after pub closing time to see
the brutal & grim reality of daily life for far too many women in our

“At a time of ever increasing domestic violence towards women it would
be an act of great callousness & stupidity for anyone to propose cut
backs to vital front-line services supporting women – or any other
vulnerable person in our townships needing support “.

" These services clearly need more resources and money not less ,or
none at all ", she concluded.

Any women in the community wanting to join the Women's Group please contact :

RBUF Women's Group Co-ordinator : Liz Anderson on 01706 521279 or

RBUF Project Assistant : Nisba Naseer 01706 521279 (direct - 24 hour messages)

e |
t  | @RBUF charity

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