Tag Archives: day of the girl

Join us for our workshops and talks!

We are super excited to announce that we will be running the following events at The Guildhall on Saturday and Sunday 10-11th October 2015.

Remember we will still be exhibiting lots of work created by young people from the community!

On Saturday we have the following events taking place…

Talks on Saturday

Workshops on Saturday

11.00 – 12.00

Ian Constance & Amy Pressland

Girls and Sport 

Ian is a sports coach and chairman of Norfolk Women and Girls Football League and Amy is a researcher on media representations of women in sport at the UEA. They will reflect on the challenges that girls face in the world of sport, and how we can get more girls involved.


Throw Like a Girl

In our first activity of the weekend we will be playing games, inventing new sports and thinking about how sportswomen are represented in the media? #likeagirl

13.00 – 14.00

Get Political! Norwich Feminist Network Activist Meeting

What changes in Norwich do you think would benefit women and girls? What would you ask your MP to do to bring about equality? What grassroots activities could we do?

13.00 – 14.30

Rosette Making

We will be learning how to make rosettes in the style of those worn by the Suffragettes.


Hayley Long

Being a Girlbeing-a-girl-hayley-long

Author Hayley Long will talk about writing her book on girlhood as well as giving a short reading from her book for us.


Creative Writing

Join us after Hayley’s talk as we take her advice and try to start writing our own book!

And then on Sunday the 11th, we have the following events:

Talks on Sunday

Workshops on Sunday

11.30 – 12.30

Richard Cvijetc

Norwich White Ribbon Campaign

The role of men in countering violence against women and gender inequality. Richard will discuss his work with White Ribbon Campaign and Norfolk Says No.


Confidence Building

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 12.35.29A range of creative workshops will encourage young people realise their worth and value.

13.30 – 14.30

 Sophie Elliott

Women in Publishing

Founder of feminist magazine Parallel, Sophie Elliott will discuss what its like to make a feminist publication and discuss her success in using kickstarter to fund her projects.

13.30 – 15.00

Zine Making

Join us as we make our own zines and take inspiration from the mobile zine library!

We hope that you agree with us that its going to be our BEST Day of the Girl yet!

dotg no year


Lots of planning at Girl HQ

Greetings from Girl HQ!

We hope you’re having a lovely summer, we’ve been hard at work putting something brilliant together for day of the girl. This year we’re changing it up a bit and will be celebrating International Day of the Girl at the beautiful Guildhall (or as we like to call it, the Girldhall). Just look at how beautiful it is!


B32C6A Norwich Guildhall Norfolk 15th century Medieval English Gothic architecture East Anglia England UK flint stone city landscape


As well as a change of scenery, there’s also been a change behind the scenes. One of our co-founders Sarah has taken a short break while she welcomes a new baby to her family. Congratulations Sarah! As a result we are delighted to welcome Helen and Erica to the organising team. Both have been really involved with the project over the past few years so fit in perfectly – we are very pleased to have them!

This year we are continuing our exhibition of art and creative works from young people in the region and invite anybody who’d like to get involved to get in touch with us: dayofthegirlnorwich@gmail.org

Our theme this year is: ‘Working Together to Create a Brighter Future’ and we’ll be hosting lots of fun activities for those of all ages.

This year there will discussions and creative workshops covering topics such as:

  • Pubishing
  • Zines
  • Politics
  • Norfolk Men Say No
  • Girls in Sport
  • The Suffragettes

We’re hoping to provide workshops that include practical activities such as rosette making (support votes for women!), zine making (have your say!), artwork (get creative!) and if all goes to plan, a ping pong table!

So, watch this space and be sure to follow us on facebook and on twitter as we announce more details in the run up to International Day of the Girl 2015.

Much love from all at Girl HQ!


‘It’s Not Just Make Believe’: Girlhood and Fantasy Fiction – Carolyn Rickards

We are delighted to bring you a guest blog from Carolyn Rickards who hosted a cafe conversation about Girlhood and Fantasy at  International Day of the Girl.


‘It’s Not Just Make Believe’: Girlhood and Fantasy Fiction


From recent blockbuster adaptations of Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood through to the Harry Potter phenomenon, fantasy and fairy tale continue to dominate popular culture.  And children are often immersed in fantasy worlds from a very young age through books, films, television, online and other affiliated merchandise such as toys and games.  They grow up to recognise and understand the meanings and messages inherent within these texts.  Fantasy worlds can provide a unique arena in which to question or even challenge established norms and stereotypes.  However, fantastical stories can also promote more conservative and traditional ideals, particularly around issues of gender.  Given the continued popularity of the fantasy and fairy tale, we should perhaps attempt to address whether such fiction resonates with the interests and concerns of young girls today.

This post was inspired by a lively public discussion which took place as part of the International Day of the Girl Event in 2013.  The aim was to debate and answer some of these questions and we began by talking about the enormous appeal of the Disney Princesses.  Created by Disney Consumer Products chairman Andy Mooney in the late 1990s, the franchise features a line-up of fictional female heroines, including Snow White and Cinderella, who have all appeared in various Disney animated films.  In this period, Disney have also released dolls, costumes, jewellery, stationery and a variety of other products designed specifically to appeal to young female fans.  In a sing-along video starring all the princesses and aired on the Disney Channel in 2006, the cheery lyrics announced:


I look in the mirror and I’m not who I used to be at all

You got me glowin’!



I’m Cinderella at the ball

I’m Alice growing 10 feet tall

It’s not just make believe

Here comes the prince’s kiss

I’m positive the slipper fits

It’s not just make believe






This song captures perfectly the narrative arc of the typical Disney Princess who experiences dramatic transformation in the fairy tale story.  In the examples of Cinderella, Snow White and Ariel, each character goes through some personal change either in their bodily appearance or through the sudden presentation of expensive dresses and fine jewellery (thanks to a certain fairy godmother!).  And it is also clear that this process of transformation is initiated, or at the very least endorsed and supported, by a powerful and highly influential male figure – the prince.  In the lyrics to the song, the fantastical experiences of the Disney Princesses are transposed to the everyday.  The young girl listening or watching at home is encouraged to engage with their highly fictionalised adult lives; to grow up and become a princess themselves.  The message underpinning this song is that the magical stories presented in the fairy tale are really ‘not just make believe’ at all and should be embraced as a normal and expected transition from girlhood to womanhood.

So – one of the questions we discussed was whether the Disney Princesses presented positive or negative role models for young girls.  The opinion in the group was certainly mixed.  It was agreed that the fairy tale narrative would appear to be promoting a certain femininity based on good looks, pretty clothes and conforming to societal norms with an emphasis on the prince getting his newly transformed girl.  The Disney Princess could therefore be seen as problematic; a female figure who is defined by her appearance and countenance, and whose personal story is bound to the fate of the male character all the way through to the eventual proposal of marriage.  However, on the other hand, some people in the group made the extremely valid point that their own daughters, nieces or sisters loved the Disney Princesses from a young age and still grew up into confident, intelligent and independent women.  In this context, the princess character was more associated with the nostalgic past, constituting an ultimately benign figure from childhood.  Such complexities are considered by Bella Honess Roe who recently posted a similar discussion on this topic.  Yet, despite conflicting opinion in the group about the possible lasting effects, most people agreed that the Disney Princesses have the potential to influence young girls.  Disney constitutes a major, multi-million dollar international corporation with a massive global reach.  There were some concerns that if certain representations of gender are problematic, then the extensive marketing campaigns and distribution of merchandise merely acts to disperse such images to a wider audience of children.  In doing so, the princess archetype is provided repeated exposure as a prominent feminine figure across a vast multi-media landscape.  And as the fairy tale continues to dominate popular culture, with Disney’s new adaptation of Cinderella due for a big screen release in early 2015, this particular debate will no doubt continue.  We may then wish to reflect on the significance and impact of the fantasised princess on our own everyday lives…


carolyn 2

Day of the Girl Norwich at the Royal Norfolk Show!

As a couple of Norfolk girls, we were pleased as punch to be invited to the Royal Norfolk Show to engage with even more of you out there! Since partnering with the Girl Guides we’ve been really lucky to work with them and even more lucky to be asked to join their (ahem, award winning) stall at the show.

Along with the activities we also figured this would be a great reason to get some stickers printed up (we had 240 and all of them had been snapped up by sticker hungry youngsters Banneredby lunch on the second day) as well some HUMONGOUS bunting. It was a little too much for Tori:

We got there bright and early on that first Wednesday, to make sure that our stall was spick and span – not least because it wouldn’t be long before the show judges would be coming to assess the tent. We were delighted when the Guides/Scouts tent that were were part of was awarded the  Bonds Challenge Cup – given to the most effective exhibit by a charitable organisation. We were chuffed to bits for them, lots of hard work paid off.

We were warmly welcomed into the Guides tent and some Brownies were our first visitors, and it wasn’t long before our stall was buzzing.


We had lots of fun thinking about what activities we would do on the stall at back Girl HQ, deciding on empowerment bunting and self-esteem fortune tellers. The bunting would get people thinking about what it good about girls, or what some of the good things or bad things about being a girl are, meanwhile the fortune tellers would help the youngsters to reflect on the things that they liked about their lives with the aim of building self-confidence and body-confidence.

The fortune tellers were based on a Guides activity that counts towards their ‘Free Being Me’ badge, and so if you’d like to print one off at home and make one for yourself go ahead! Screen shot 2014-06-27 at 15.43.30You can find it by visiting this link and going to page 47. We asked people to write down four things they liked about their lives, and four things they liked about how they look. Lots of people, us included, found it hard to say what we liked about our looks and bodies. But at Day of the Girl Norwich we think its super important that we can have confidence in how we look, and can be able to find it ourselves, rather than looking to others for it. Our other activity, girl empowerment bunting was a way for everybody to get a chance to say what they liked about being a girl, or if they weren’t girls what they thought was good about girls, or maybe even some things that people thought was not very good about being a girl. We had loads of fun hearing what people had to say!

Over the course of the next few weeks we’ll be uploading pictures of these pieces of bunting onto our GirlsRoar twitter feed, so be sure to follow us to join in with the conversation!

Lots of our visitors were female, but what was great to see was a number of boys taking part. Our fortune teller activity was, we felt, especially important for boys. Many boys found it difficult to articulate what they liked about themselves, especially in terms of their bodies. We might sometimes forget that the focus we place on girls’ appearance might also make boys think that its ‘girly’ to think about their appearance, whereas we think its important that everyone has body confidence.

We had a brilliant time at the show and there are some people that we’d like to thank for making it such a great experience. The first is to Alice Flowers who was with us with both of the days and managed to have enough energy despite both being an overnight camper AND cart race competitor! Our daily volunteers, BJ Epstein, Erica Horton and Sanna Inthorn (all of whom got to enjoy their very first Royal Norfolk Show), thank you for all of your help. Lots of thanks to Girl Guiding (and the Scouts) for letting us be a part of your family for the two days of the show.  And of course, a BIG thank you to all of you that came to see us!

Over and out from some very tired women at Girl HQ!

The Girl Ambassador Programme

So, it’s been a busy few weeks at Girl HQ and we are super excited that the Evening News has covered the project.


press cutting


The article talks about our Girl Ambassador programme – but what is a Girl Ambassador and what do they do? We thought that it was important that girls were at the centre of this project – it is by them, for them and about them. With this in mind we set about trying to realise our idea of building a network of girls across Norfolk. These girls would help to lead the project and make sure that we’re heading in a direction that is relevant and useful to girls.

Girl Ambassadors will act as leaders within their communities (these could be schools, youth groups, villages or even just a few friends who are interested in the project). The Girl Ambassadors will be the main point of contact and will help to share the vision of Day of the Girl Norwich and celebrate and raise awareness of what it means to be a girl.

Because Norfolk is a big place and not all of it is served by public transport, we needed something that was more than just meeting up – although this is one aspect of what we are trying to do. Much of how we communicate as a network will take place online – using blogs and social media to set the agenda and co-ordinate the events.



We know that girls have got lots to say  about what is good but also not so good about being a girl and what we hope to do with the Girl Ambassadors is to make sure that this project creates that space effectively.

Girl Ambassadors will play a big role in making GirlsRoar a lively place for discussion and sharing. GirlsRoar is our online initiative which we really hope will be led by girls from our community. You can find us on Twitter (@girlsroar) – so follow us and send us your tweets. Your tweets can be about something cool that has happened to you or something that annoys you or about anything else girl related!! If you’re not on twitter you can always #girlsroar on instagram and whatnot.

So, send us your thoughts, your pictures – or whatever else you’d like to share! We can’t wait to build a space that is really led by you!

If you would like to write or do something for this blog then get in touch – we’re always looking for enthusiastic girls who want to have their voices heard!

Over and out for now, from Tori and Sarah at Girl HQ!




We’re Online!

Day of the Girl Norwich is two and a half already, oh how time flies! It feels like it was just yesterday the UN announced that it was recognising the day, aiming to “raise awareness of the situation of girls around the world” for all UN Member States and international organisations as well as civil society. It feels like only yesterday we sat down for a chat and thought, ‘Hey! Norwich could do with joining in on the fun!’, and it feels like only yesterday that we sat down to write this blog post – oh, hang on, that was only yesterday.

Day of the Girl Norwich has grown so much since that first year and that’s in a large part because we (Tori and SarahDSCN0584) are so passionate about making sure everyone from across the community can be involved in som
e way. One of the reasons we’re so passionate about celebrating day of the girl both on the UN recognised day (October 11th), but also across the year, is because we fundamentally believe that girls matter, and at the moment girls are still getting a raw deal (they’re being disadvantaged not just because they’re female, but because they’re young and female).

It’s really easy to see why we need an International Day of the Girl when we consider these sobering facts:

And you just need to take a look at the inspiring things that the people we’ve met have said in our photo essay to see why getting people talking about girlhood is so important.


We have been so inspired by the things that young people have had to say about what it means to be a girl, and there have been so many highlights from the past couple of years. We have been humbled by the sheer enthusiasm for the project from the local community and we have spoken to so many different people, from all walks of life, who want to share their stories with us. Last year we had a schools symposium that we held in The Curve at The Forum alongside our exhibition, and it was wonderful to bring girls from the community together so that they could realise that they are not alone in experiencing the pressures of being young and female, to look  and act the ‘right’ way. If we’ve helped just a few girls gain strength through our activities, and helped a handful of people reflect on the issues that face girls – as well as celebrating how brilliant girls are – then we’ve achieve our goals.

We’ve got a really exciting calendar of events coming up in 2014, which will include more collaboration with schools from across the region, having a stall at the Royal Norfolk Show,  visiting schools to give assemblies and helping young people from across the world celebrate NORJAM 2014 – very exciting!!

Be sure to watch this space and follow us on Twitter for more information!

Over and out from Tori and Sarah at Girls HQ!