I'm a freelance writer who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula. I enjoy finding new things to see and do in the beautiful area that I live in.
For over 22 years, the Reclaim The Night Geelong collective have been actively working to create awareness of women's issues such as family violence and sexual assault, in the hope that they can prevent women from becoming victims of this ever-increasing problem.
This women's community group, while local, is part of a larger internationally based movement, which speaks out against violence and encourages the right to safety for all women and children.
Unfortunately, I had never personally heard of this inspirational group until after the tragic abduction, rape and murder of Melbourne woman Jill Meagher. In the week after Jill's body was found, thousands of people took to the streets of Brunswick, the suburb where her attack took place, in a Reclaim The Night march. The rally was one of the largest in Australia in recent times, as peoples' grief and anger over the incident spurred them to stand up against violence.
WoWFest will be held at Market Square Shopping Centre in central Geelong on Friday 26 October
While the Geelong collective of Reclaim The Night was not primarily involved in the Melbourne march, they still play a strong role in fighting for women's rights. On Friday 26 October they will be holding a Women's Market in the centre court of Market Square Shopping Centre, which will be free to attend and open to the community.
From 6pm, people will be able to browse through over 40 arts and craft stalls, listen to live music, and get involved in face-painting, badge making and dancing. For those interested, there will be information about women's rights groups in the Geelong region, as well as data about violence and safety. There will also be a colourful garden display made up of 'women's rights blooms', which were created by over 100 Geelong women and highlight the theme of the market.
While the premise of the market is to have a good time and purchase locally handmade items, it is also important to remember that this event is intended to raise awareness of violence against women, and encourage and empower women to take a stand for their rights. This is as good a reason, if any, to attend.