Active Women Survey Results
We believe that in order to take charge of our lives, we need to take an active role in creating and determining the kinds of communities we want to live in.
There is no point sitting around and gripping about the things we don’t like or the things we want, we have to TAKE ACTION!
Therefore as part of a programme of activity intended to encourage more women to become active citizens, we surveyed 200 women in the community.
Our focus was on bme women. Bme communities are less likely to vote and given the low voting statistics, it was assumed that bme women would be less likely to be taking an active role in their communities.
We designed the questionnaire in a way that would jog the memories of women – as many women in our initial focus group did not realise that acting as a good neighbour or being active in the church counted as active citizenship.
We also wanted the questionnaire to encourage women to realise the range of things they could be doing to become more active citizens.
We engaged four interviewers /organisations to conduct our survey.
The places surveyed included:
§ Fluid Space Arts, City Centre, B3
§ Summerfield Health Centre, Winson Green, B18
§ Campaign for Justice Event, Dudley Road, B18
§ Hampstead Hall Community Learning Centre, B20
N.B. Despite our efforts to reach out to Asian women in Summerfield, we do feel our responses are “squewed” toward African Caribbean women (57% of our respondents) as the interviews with the Asian women were limited due to language barriers and unwillingness to participate.
Future surveys will bear these issues in mind.
We were happy to report bme women are much more active in the community than first anticipated.
54% were “good neighbours”
45% were volunteers
22% active in their place of worship
21 % committee members of organisations that support the community
Areas for improvement
Only 10% would write their local councillor –
Over 80% didn’t know who their councillor was
I campaign for…..
Only 8% of our survey group campaigned against injustice
A further 8% campaigned against inequality
I would like to be more active in my community….
§ 69% of our survey said they wanted more information
§ 29% said they did not know where to star
§ 14% they wanted to know more about setting up their own organisation
§ 13% said they would be more active but they did not feel they had the right skills
§ 29% said they wanted to know more about volunteering to gain skills or to “give back”
§ 12 % said they wanted to find out how to start a focus group
§ 9% said they wanted more information about campaigning for local issues
§ 8% said they wanted to know more about becoming a magistrate
§ 7% said they wanted to find out how to write to/contact their local councillor
§ 6% said they wanted to find out how to become involved in politics
§ 6% said they wanted to find out how to become a school governor.
Barriers to involvement…
§ 48% said they were just too busy
§ 29 % said they did not know where to start
§ 13% said they did not have the right skills
§ 7% said they were just “too lazy”
§ Only 3% said they were just not interested!
§ 25 said “what difference could I possibly make”
Who did we talk to?….
Breakdown of respondents by ethnicity:
§ Indian 4%
§ African 6%
§ Caribbean 57%
§ Other bme 8 %
§ White and black Caribbean 2%
§ Other mixed 2%
§ Other white 15%
§ Irish 4%
§ English 2%
Breakdown or respondents by age
§ 18 – 25 11%
§ 26 – 30 5%
§ 31 – 40 14%
§ 41 – 50 16%
§ 51 – 60 13%
§ 61 – 70 5%
§ Rather not say 36%
This survey was delivered as a “taster” for surveys to come – we enclose the questionnaire as other may want to survey their communities to determine interest in active citizens and t find out why more people are not taking an active role in determining the community they live in.
We felt that this survey revealed a lack of know-how or confidence but certainly not a lack of will – as a result our website: www.shaktigharnotforprofit contains a series of “How to” Guides to support you in getting started:
§ how to become a magistrate
§ how to become a school governor
§ how to run a focus group
§ how to develop a questionnaire
§ how to start your own group
§ how to write a petition
§ how to contact your local councillor
It also provides women with easy contact information with local councillors – we voted for them and it is their job to look out for our interests.
In our experience the vast majority of councillors are passionate, concerned and well connected enough to spearhead change – use them!
For more information of our work please contact Siobhan@shaktwomen.com or call 0121 456 5122