I was just checking to see what there was on the site. I’m surprised to see a woman doing a post. There is a shed in my area – it has taken years to happen and although I offered to help I was told volunteers were not needed and anyway I was a woman – this by a woman. Now the shed has opened I found it difficult to get info but finally found out wen it operates. Again I offered my help in doing ‘committee’ type stuff. Again it has been made clear that I am not welcome. Someone seems to have managed to get put in charge and they also seem to be in charge of who is let in and when. I guess it’s not the sort of organisation I want to be part of.
There are many Men’s Sheds in the UK with female members, but most Men’s Sheds exist for the benefits they bring to men’s health and wellbeing. Therefore, it’s really down to each individual Shed whether they invite women, or have separate days for women to join in. One of the best things about Men’s Sheds is they facilitate conversation about subjects that men might usually find difficult to talk about. Some men find it easier to open up when it’s just men, but that’s not always the case.
I know the concepts the organisation is based on – I’m one of the people who refer men to things like this! I also work on the principal of community groups being roots up – where people are invited and they form their own organisation with the help of one or two staff (or volunteers) who know the technical /legal stuff. It’s a shame where I am that from the get go it has been from the top down, lots of hierarchies and people being ‘allowed’ to join.