Women Who Wander is a unique project engaging women and girls to experience and influence rail use and industry, promoting and publishing their views of rail experiences, use and employment.
We are delighted that Women Who Wander 2018 took first place in the ‘Best Community Engagement Project’ category at the 2018 Community Rail Awards!
The Women Who Wander; North West 2018 booklet can be downloaded here – Women Who Wander Booklet
Working with a number of education facilities and groups, including Girlguiding North West England, Kirkby High School, the University of Manchester, Broadfield Specialist School and Whalley Range High School, we have enabled women and girls to experience rail travel, facilitating discussions and activities around these journeys. They then wrote a piece of writing in a style of their choice, reflecting their views on any area of rail travel, use or employment.
The Kirkby High School group on their writing day.
Students of Broadfield Specialist School undertaking their research trip.
Students from Whalley Range 11-18 High School on their journey.
Manchester University students hard at work.
The final selections of writing pieces to be published were made based on creativity and clarity of writing, that communicates a range of views and opinions regarding women using and working within rail, and are both critical or positive regarding rail, and in any writing format including short story, poem and non-fiction.
The finished booklets of writing were sent to education facilities, to train operators (giving the authentic view of female transport use to those who influence it) and to other transport providers within and around the North West. Booklets are also available in relevant train stations for the public, and can be provided upon request by any interested person or group.
Transport across the country and the North is heavily male-dominated, and we aim to change that by engaging, inspiring and influencing, paving the way for the next generation of strong young women. This project raises awareness of the gender imbalance in rail, and gave the women and girls who participated an opportunity to enhance their writing and life skills and an important experience in influencing transport groups to create change, as well as demonstrating to other young women that their views are valid, and that they have a place both comfortably using and employed within transport.
A reading event took place on International Women’s Day, with the winners of the selected writing pieces reading their work in Manchester Victoria station on 8th March 2018.
This project was funded by the Designated Community Rail Development Fund, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Small Grant Fund and Women in Community Rail.