The National Council of Women of Great Britain (NCWGB) and the National Council of Young Women (NCYW) held their annual conference in November 2022, bringing together members and experts to discuss key issues related to women’s welfare. The conference served as an important forum for policy-making and debate, with a wide range of speakers and panels covering topics such as women’s safety, physical and mental health, and well-being. The conference was opened by the Deputy Town Mayor of Leamington Spa, Councillor Alan Boad.
The first day of the conference featured a Pre-Conference Interschool session, followed by a workshop on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Eliza Hatch, founder of ‘Cheer Up Luv’, led a discussion on street harassment from a student’s perspective, emphasizing the importance of taking back control and reclaiming public spaces.
The first panel of the conference discussed women’s safety, featuring panel chair Dr. Charlotte Kitchen, Eliza Hatch, Emma Daniell (Warwickshire Deputy Police Crime Commissioner), and Yvonne Champion (Co-ordinator, Local Street Pastors, Warwickshire). The panellists addressed a range of issues related to women’s safety, including street harassment, domestic violence, and online safety.
The keynote speaker for the first day was Dame Lesley Regan, the Government’s first-ever Women’s Health Ambassador for England and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Imperial College London. Dame Regan joined the conference via Zoom to discuss women’s health issues and the challenges facing women in accessing healthcare.
After dinner, the conference was addressed by Tori James, an adventurer and mountain climber who was the first Welsh woman to climb Mount Everest and a member of the first all-female team to complete The Polar Challenge, a 360-mile race to the magnetic north pole. Tori James provided an inspiring and motivational speech about the importance of taking risks and pushing oneself to achieve new goals.
On the second day of the conference, we reviewed our resolutions: The National Council of Women (NCW) are calling for the full ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Combatting Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, without reservations.
In addition to the resolution on the Istanbul Convention, we also showed Support for Public Service Broadcasting in the UK. NCW is urging the UK government to ensure BBC’s wide accessibility across the country without extra payment and sufficient funding, free availability of BBC and other Public Service Broadcasters on DTT, and legislation for securing prominence and fair carriage terms for Public Service Broadcasters on streaming and online platforms.
We also discussed our reaffirmations which included the Protection of Children from the Harm caused by Online Pornography and the use of Thorium as a Source of Energy.
The panel on women’s physical and mental health and well-being included some remarkable speakers such as Jilly Rogers, Alice Brooks, Tracey Smith, Rachel Charlton-Daily, and Louise Corbett. They shared their insights and expertise on how we can improve women’s health and well-being and promote equality.
Our final panel represented Network 18-25, which included Jan Leventhall, Gwenda Kibble, Helena Trenkić, Alice Brooks, and Abigail Hunt. This panel discussed issues relevant to young women and how NCWGB can support them in achieving their goals and aspirations.
After dinner, we were honoured to have Hedli Niklaus, Ambassador for South Warwickshire and Worcestershire Mind and Archers’ actress, as our after-dinner speaker. Hedli shared her experiences and perspectives on mental health and how it affects women’s lives.
On the final day of the conference, we held our NCWGB Annual General Meeting followed by presentations from Tracey Smith, who discussed reflexology, and Sudha Srivastava, the SDG Ambassador, who presented on women’s health and well-being at the forefront of recovery.
We will be sharing videos of our speakers discussing various topics related to the event, so be sure to check back regularly to see the latest content. You can also follow us on social media for updates and notifications about new videos. We hope you enjoy the insights and perspectives shared by our speakers!