Welsh charity Safer Wales is marking this year’s International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month with the launch of a new feminist library.
Safer Wales, an independent charity whose mission is to support, protect and empower groups of people who are often invisible in society, has launched an all-Wales feminist library to mark International Women’s Day. The #femlibsaferwales campaign will see feminist books and resources made available to people anywhere in Wales, free of charge.
The project is part of the Champions of Wales programme, which Safer Wales delivers to young women engaged in its youth services. Champions of Wales is a girls’ rights movement working to change perceptions and attitudes towards girls so they can live free from gender inequality. Run in partnership with Plan International UK and three other organisations, the programme will support at least two hundred young people over three years, enabling them to build skills, confidence and an understanding of girls’ rights and gender equality.
“We aim to ensure Wales is a place where girls are heard and feel empowered. We know that reading can be transformational in empowering young people because it helps them understand women’s history, rights, and inequalities that unfortunately persist today,” explained Rachel Brydon, Youth Development Lead at Safer Wales. “The idea for the library came from talking to the young people we work with. Many of them are from vulnerable groups and told us they don’t use libraries, yet they have a huge interest and appetite for learning about gender equality. We decided to pull together a list of books and resources and post them out to young people, and the idea just grew from there.”
Safer Wales prides itself on the accessibility of the feminist library; anyone living in Wales can register as a member by filling out a simple form, and the books can be borrowed, delivered and returned free of charge. The library’s collection is suitable for both young and old readers, and features a wide range of feminist resources, from comics and graphic novels to fiction, poetry and audio content.
“We want the feminist library to grow and become the go-to resource for anybody interested in women’s rights, equality and feminism. We are adding to the library all the time, so if there is anything people wish to read, listen to or watch, or if they have suggestions for any additions to our collection, we encourage them to get in touch,” said Brydon.
To develop the feminist library, Safer Wales has teamed up with the Director of Cardiff Book Festival, Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival and Co-Director of Pontypridd Books, Cerith Mathias. Mathias will help curate an extensive list of books and resources, drawing on her interest in feminism and vast literary knowledge. “The idea that even just one young girl is unable to access the huge wealth of writing by, and about, women is a devastating one,” said Mathias. “Reading and literature are key in empowering and educating women and girls of all ages. By sharing experiences, we feel valued and understood, and that can only lead to positive changes for women the world over.”
Share your borrows from Safer Wales on social media using the hashtag #femlibsaferwales.