Happening on Campus

International Women’s Day at the University of Nottingham

March the 8th marks the annual International Women’s Day that recognizes social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The theme of this year’s campaign is #PressforProgress.

In the Student Hub of Portland Building, the Women’s Network at the University of Nottingham (UoN) organized a crafts corner, refreshments and a whiteboard inviting students to tell why they are celebrating this day.

A male student at attendance told Impact: “I am here today because I fully support the idea of an international women’s day where people come together and debate issues that women face all over the world.

“I’m a feminist and I’m very proud to say that – we all have women in our life that are important and inspirational to us.”

From 9 am to 5:30 pm, students were able to drop in and take part in a series of sessions such as yoga, a confidence workshop, and discussion table talks which welcomed anyone to share their opinions and experiences.

In an interview with the Women’s Officer, Ruby Harrison, she explained the message the Network wants to spread: “Women are great – and this is what we are celebrating”.

She aims “to use the day to highlight some of the issues women still have and try to move the conversation forward on them.” Regarding the widely discussed topic of sexual harassment at nightclubs, Ruby is determined that this “is something we really need to work on.”

She also emphasized the lack of University support for pregnant students and urged measures to be taken so they are able to complete their degrees.

Under the topic ‘What does the International Women’s Day mean to me?’, the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West, talked to students about sexual harassment, the pay gap, and unconscious bias.

“It was great to have her discussing important issues in an intimate space and pay attention to what we are actually saying,” noted a student afterward.

The day finished with a poetry showcase that engaged students to express their thoughts about this day.

A Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) representative, Nina-Che Bousquet, believes that “we need more equality for women – we still need to develop feminism all over the world.”

According to her, the University offers safe spaces to debate through the feminist society as well as the LGBT+ and Women’s Network.

Pia Schäfer

Images courtesy of Pia Schäfer
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