Inaugural Gosport festival promotes girl power message against domestic violence

From the left are Tandy Powell, Maria del Carmen Stones, Christine Purton and Penny OCallaghan with some of the items to swap at the Swish Rail and Maria was even making while you wait alterations  Pictures: Keith Woodland (160999-004)
From the left are Tandy Powell, Maria del Carmen Stones, Christine Purton and Penny OCallaghan with some of the items to swap at the Swish Rail and Maria was even making while you wait alterations Pictures: Keith Woodland (160999-004)
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  • Festival of Women at Nicholson Gardens saw contributions from charities and businesswomen
  • Mayor of Gosport praises the ‘wonderful’ females in attendance
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Women have taken a stand against domestic violence at a new festival dedicated to empowering females.

Charities and female-led businesses joined forces at the Festival of Women, which was held at Nicholson Gardens in Gosport on Saturday.

Organising the festival with female empowerment group Go Women, Jacky Charman believes that girl power is still strong, but there is still some way to go with spreading their message.

She said: ‘This is just to celebrate the women that do so much, and the main aim is to highlight domestic violence because it’s quite a serious issue.

‘Our strapline is ‘‘embracing your femininity without losing your strength’’, because sometimes people think if you’re a feminist then you’re not allowed to like frilly clothes.

‘Well we’re saying ‘‘yes you are’’, but we’re also saying true equality means that we respect men as well.’

Local businesses and anti-domestic abuse charities set up stalls at Nicholson Gardens, which also hosted live music, charity tea rooms and a clothing swap-shop.

The Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Lynn Hook, made an appearance at the festival, and commended the many ‘wonderful’ women involved.

Cllr Hook said: ‘With women in today’s world, whatever it is, everyone helps out together.’

Cllr Hook took time to visit all of the stalls at the festival, and even indulged in a spot of cupcake decorating.

‘It’s nice just sitting down meeting the ladies and chatting with them.’

Havant-based social entrepreneur Ann Carver gave tutorials in financial awareness during the day.

She said: ‘I’m here to enable people to realise that they can spend less and be happier.

‘It’s more about being confident of being who you are rather than thinking that you need all these things to make you that person. You are that person.’

After a successful inaugural year, organiser Jacky is looking ahead to spread a wider message of equality for all genders.

‘We called it Festival of Women and the improvement we should have made is to make it very clear it is there for men. It’s for everyone, but we’re highlighting women.

‘I’m very pleased with the turnout, and it is nice to see such a variety of charities and organisations.’