Despite it being a Monday evening at the start of October, the room filled with chatter and greetings as women arrived for our Annual General Meeting on Monday 9 October at St Paul’s Learning Centre.
Our co-chair, Clare Meraz and director, Katy Taylor, welcomed attendees and went over Bristol Women’s Voice achievements for 2022/23. Clare and Katy especially recognised and thanks all the volunteers who made International Women’s Day 2023 the largest event to date. You can read our latest annual report here.
We are delighted to have voted in three new trustees to the board: Shruthi Venkatachalam, Sophie Pear and Elahe Karimnia.
Value the Caring Economy
Katy then introduced our panel discussion: Investing in the Caring Economy where we welcomed our panellists, Rosa Hui from the Chinese Community Wellbeing Society; Sue Cohen from Bristol Women’s Commission and Anndeloris Chacon from Bristol Black Carers.
Bristol Women’s Voice and its allies used the AGM as a springboard to launch our new campaign on Valuing the Caring Economy – bringing back the message that Caring is Everyone’s Business and that employers and society, must make adjustments to allow for caring responsibilities to be done well without risking the health and wellbeing being carers who find themselves juggling multiple plates or indeed without putting those who are being cared for at risk.
Caring is Everyone’s Business
Anndeloris Chacon opened the floor by saying:
Caring is just another role in our lives, we don’t have to give up everything to be a carer and carers must take care of themselves.
Rosa Hui, Rosa Hui, shared the barriers experienced by carers (usually women), in the Chinese community. Women are responsible for caring for many of their family members but forget about themselves.
Finally, Sue Cohen reminded us that the economy has historically been largely male-dominant, discarding the contribution of women to the economy and urged that we reassess the value we place on caring in our society.
The floor was then opened to participants who raised points around the difference society places between caring for the elderly and children, the right to flexible employment for carers, bereavement support for carers, and culturally appropriate care homes. We heard personal stories that resonated through the room.
Sue closed the session with these powerful words:
Care has become the cash cow for capitalism.
And this is why, we must campaign for Bristol to Value the Caring Economy.
Find out more about our campaign here – this is page will be updated regularly and will our social media accounts.