Last week International Women’s Day hit campus, and the inspiration and empowerment of female student and staff alike could be felt throughout the day.
The theme for International Women’s Day this year is Press for Progress, calling for action to push towards gender equality. The International Women’s Day website states that #PressForProgress aims to encourage motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.
NUSU shared their own inclusive photo of female staff and students on campus during the day, writing: “This is a day to celebrate how far we’ve come in terms of women’s rights, and also to look ahead at how we can improve in the future!”
“This is a day to celebrate how far we’ve come in terms of women’s rights, and also to look ahead at how we can improve in the future”
Newcastle University Students’ Union
There were many ways for students to get involved across campus in the #pressforprogress campaign. The Knicker Revolution event took place at Monument, where underwear bunting was draped over the famous monument of Charles Grey in an act of solidarity and protest against catcalling and sexism.
The NE Women’s Network shared a blog post on the event, writing that “Newcastle has been at the forefront of women’s radical action, from the Suffragettes plotting to break windows as they drank tea in Fenwick’s café in the 1900s, to the first Women’s Liberation conference held outside London in the 1970s, to being one of only four British cities to host a Slutwalk in 2011.”
Newcastle University Team Kenya Society held a series of charity events outside of the Student Union in aid of Team Kenya, hosting a bake sale, a jumble sale and a raffle to the backing track of empowered female anthems.
“All women should have the rights and capability to dream freely and pursue their goals”
Students and alumni of INTO Newcastle University
A film festival also took place throughout the week from the 5th to the 9th of March showcasing films about women, each day focusing on a different theme or group of women, with guest speakers featured throughout the programme.
INTO students and alumni teamed up to produce an inspiring video with the aim of demonstrating that “all women (and anyone for this matter) should have the rights and capability to dream freely and pursue their goals.”
And even those students not on campus on International Women’s Day found ways to share inspiration throughout the day on social media, posting photos, quotes and acknowledgements to important women in history and in their lives.
The general atmosphere of International Women’s Day at Newcastle can be summarised as one of empowerment and growth, in the name of women all over the world in 2018 and beyond.