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From the Archives: 35-37 Cowley Road

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Article in the Backstreet Bugle newspaper (1977, Issue 1, page 1) detailing the opening of the Women’s Centre at 35 Cowley Road. 

Oxford Women's Centre, 1984-1991

The Oxford Women's Centre was set up in 1984 and was situated at 35-37 Cowley Road. It was used as a centre for local women.

The Women's Centre had a café and a crèche, and many women's groups in Oxford met at the Centre. The centre was partly supported by Oxford City Council, but relied primarily on its own fund-raising activities, donations, and rent from groups using parts of the building. Amongst others, groups that met in the women's centre included: the community workers support group, a discussion group, a writing group, new student lesbian group, Oxford Women and Ireland group, lesbian mothers group, women's archive, healing room, rape crisis, women and homeless group, and the claimant's union women's group.

Numerous courses were held at the women's centre, such as assertiveness training and bicycle repair workshops. A women's night bus service also operated for a while on Friday and Saturday nights. A Rape Crisis phone line and a Lesbian phone line were set up and operated from the women's centre to provide information and support.

The Oxford Women's Centre was re-named the Oxford Women's Community Centre in 1988. The Centre had to close in 1991 due to lack of funding.

Text adapted from: OXFORD WOMEN'S CENTRE, [1970s]-1991. Oxfordshire History Centre. GB 160 O20.

The posters, leaflets, and fliers below give a good insight into the types of events and causes promoted at the Oxford Women's Centre.

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Pavement jewellery marking the site of the Oxford Women's Centre.


Article in Lilith (Issue 37, pages 8-10) about the 'herstory' of the Oxford Women's Centre.