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Celebrating stories of women in Horowhenua

Stories of, by and about women will be celebrated at this year’s Festival of Stories in an exciting programme of events at Libraries Horowhenua venues across the district.

The festival starts on Wednesday 19 September, marking 125 years since women gained the right to vote in New Zealand, and runs until Sunday 23 September.

Horowhenua District Council Literacy and Learning Programmes Librarian Joanne Dillon (JD) said there would be something of interest for men, women and children alike.

“We’ve put together a diverse and interesting programme, with writing, music, visual displays, films, storytelling, workshops, speakers and more,” she said.

“Our theme is stories of women, but men are welcome too. Come with your partner, to celebrate the women in your life, or just to take part in a session that interests you.”

The festival opens with the Suffrage 125 Women’s Breakfast to be held in Council Chambers at 7.30am on Wednesday 19 September. Proceeds from the breakfast will support Bare Essentials, a charity which combats ‘period poverty’ by providing feminine hygiene products to girls who would otherwise struggle to afford them.

JD said there were some fascinating speakers lined up for the festival.

“We have a special lead-in event at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō on Sunday 16 September, where Wellington Zoo chief executive Karen Fifield will discuss women in traditionally male roles and in society.

“We are also looking forward to hearing from guest speaker Georgina Beyer, who wraps up the festival on Sunday 23 September by sharing stories of her experiences as a transgender politician and what it means to be a woman.”

Other festival highlights include Positively Pink, an evening supper event at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō on Thursday 20 September to raise awareness about the importance of breast screening, and the All Aboard Ladies (and Gentlemen) bus tour of Festival of Stories events to be held in Shannon and Foxton on Thursday 20 September.

There will also be concerts by some of Horowhenua’s female musicians on Friday 21 September and Saturday 22 September. Films, workshops, conversations, storytelling and visual art will take place most days, and three exhibitions will run throughout the festival.

For more information on the Festival of Stories, including the full programme, visit www.tetakere.org.nz/festivalofstories.

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