BRADFORD will host the UK's biggest feminist conference this weekend, featuring talks from local and international activists.

The 2019 FiLiA Conference started yesterday with a free film screening and will continue over both Saturday and Sunday, with issues such as domestic abuse, sexual assault and gender disparities on the agenda.

The conference, held at The Bradford Hotel, aims to, "Unite women around the country in defending women's human rights and building sisterhood and solidarity", according to FiLiA trustee Julian Norman.

"Holding the conference in Bradford this year has given us the opportunity to build connections in this fantastic city and to contribute to its rich feminist history."

Some of those taking to the stage include Pragna Patel, director of Southall Black Sisters (SBS), who, "Explores the ways in which SBS's 'Bradford connection' has shaped the organisation's brand of secular, anti-racist and anti-fundamentalist feminism", according to

Also there will be Megan Armitage, a 19-year-old university student from Halifax, who is the great-granddaughter of Bradford Suffragette Lilian Armitage. Lilian spent 14 days in prison for storming parliament in 1907 as part of the Suffragette movement.

FiLiA have also built connections in South America and activists from Brazil - including Tatiana Nascimento, Alane Teixeira Reis and Ellen Cristina Acioli Fernandes - will be addressing patriarchy and racism.

Marie Laguerre, a French-Lebanese architecture student, will also be present. She was assaulted on the street by a man in 2018 and the video she recorded of the incident went viral. Speaking on the subsequent media attention, Marie said she, "Used this opportunity to raise awareness about violence against women and sexism in general" and it also led to her being featured on the BBC's '100 Women 2018' list.

A free screening of the documentary '3 Seconds Divorce' – which boasts international film festival awards – took place at the hotel last night.

3 Seconds Divorce was shot over 3 years and tells the story of Lubna, an Indian Muslim woman who fell victim to 'triple-divorce' – a Sharia tradition which allowed Muslim men to legally divorce their wives by simply saying the word 'divorce' three times.

The Indian Parliament finally approved a bill that made triple-divorce a criminal offence in July 2019.

There are several different types of divorce in Islam. Although triple-divorce is one method, a type of divorce known as 'Khul' differs in that it is initiated by the wife, rather than by the husband.

Triple-divorce is banned in most Islamic countries, including Pakistan (who banned the practice in 1961), Turkey (1926), Egypt (1929) as well as Bangladesh and Sudan amongst others.

The trailer for 3 Seconds Divorce calls the documentary, "The story of the biggest revolution led by Muslim women in the history of India", while director Shazia Javed, who is Canadian and of Indian descent, said, "So many women were affected by the practices of instant and oral divorce."

"We need to ask ourselves how our silence might enable oppressive practices like this. The film is my attempt to amplify the voices of the women who, even though they are in vulnerable situations, are speaking up."