Million Women Rise: Please contact us by Saturday at the latest if you are interested in a group booking for the megabus down to London for MWR. The plan at the moment is the 6.50 bus down and the 4.30 bus back, which at the moment will cost about £20. If you going down anyway let us know and we’ll arrange a place to meet as well.

Toy collection for Northern Refugee Centre: If you have any unwanted, but in good condition toys that you would like to donate please let us know by 22nd March. either email in or call Jude on 01142 660434. Ideally we are looking for toys for all ages, that are easy to keep clean and appropraite (ie no guns or anything violent), items such as jigsaws and puzzles are especially welcome!

We are currently investigating a couple of venues that might be more suitable in terms of disabled access, but, as usual, any suggestions are always welcome.

A reminder about Women in Black, 7th march, the War Memorial 1-2pm, wear black. The focus for this month will be on Africa. Jude will be telling us more about this event next week.

There is a protest on Friday (27th) at 3.45 against the proposed station barriers, starting at the city hall moving down to the station. Details here.

Good news… WH Smith have apparently stopped selling Playboy stuff! At the moment it’s all on sale, and we hear that they won’t be replacing the stock. However, Superdrug and Argos are still selling it so we will still be campaigning against it! 28th March will be a day of action on this. (Planning for this will be 17th March, and both the meeting and the day of action are open to everybody.)

Sexism in Universities. We are looking for speakers, if you are interested or know of someone who may be, let us know. It looks likely this event will be either 13th or 20th of May, we should be able to confirm this next week.

News from the meeting:

We need to keep an eye on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill as it goes to the report stage in the House of Commons.

Certain MPs are likely to try to tack on more anti-abortion amendments. Now is a very good time to be emailing and writing to MPs – every letter counts. The Abortion Rights website has a model letter available to download.
At the same time, it is worth contacting MPs regarding the issue of legalising abortion in Northern Ireland. It is currently not legal to have an abortion in Northern Ireland, and soon the power to decide on this matter will be devolved to the NI assembly. Since it is very unlikely that they would ever legalise abortion, now really is the time to make a fuss.

The Family Planning Association has more information, and a link on their website to a petition on the Downing Street website that everybody can sign.

We are thinking about making Abortion Rights our next charity to fundraise for, but this will be formally decided soon.

Discussing the Playboy campaign:

The issue for the moment is the prevalance of Playboy branded merchandise available for young children; specifically, stationary and bedlinen.
This is available most prominently in two large chains in the UK, WH Smiths and Argos.
Our campaign will therfore be focussing on these two stores, although for obvious reasons details will not be posted here as yet. For further information, to submit any ideas for the campaign or to get involved, please contact us. The Bin The Bunny website also has some useful links and information.

Other issues:

As ever, we are looking to develop better links with other feminist groups. If you’re part of one, or know of any that might be interested, drop us a line at the usual address!

An RAF poster has been brought to our attention that specifically mentions equality whilst simultaneously saying that regiments are open only to men. It sounds like a wonderful example of double-think, and we’d like to check this out.

Freshers’ Week at the University of Sheffield has come and gone, and there have been a startling number of posters advertising club nights that feature pornstars, schoolgirls, semi-naked women and other such lovely images! Yet another thing to keep an eye on and try and try and think of a good course of action for.