International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March and like many of my fellow students I am keen to attend most events on campus that offer a free lunch and an escape from the library. However, when it comes to International Women’s Day, I often find that students are unsure or uncomfortable to discuss the meaning behind the day. In the past when rallying support for attendance at these events (as a student rep and not an all-round enthusiastic individual) I have been asked: Are you sure that this is an event for me? I thought it was just for women and feminists? And while these are arguably fair assumptions to make about the campaign, it is important to clarify that it is not a day solely for women, instead a celebration for everyone who supports equality and human rights.
Gloria Steinem a world-renowned leader of the women’s movement and human rights activist famously stated that "the story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights". So, if you identify as a human and value equality then International Women’s Day is most definitely a day for you. LJMU is hosting various events from a Research Café to a discussion panel where the purpose is to celebrate the progression of the women’s movement and the opportunities that are available for education or employment within the University, regardless of gender.
The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #BalanceforBetter and whether you are striving for a balanced diet or balancing studies with a busy work schedule it is vital to incorporate a sense of balance into our everyday lives. The campaign is encouraging individuals to take to social media with a "hands out" pose for a photo or selfie (if you are flexible enough) to share online with the aim of creating a strong call-to-action towards a gender-balanced world.
We don’t know yet what a gender-balanced world will look like but getting involved and supporting campaigns that promote positive messages is the first step towards making a difference. At Liverpool John Moores University, all students are welcome regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion and it is vital that we continue to lead by example. So strike a pose and go along to support an event on campus as it is most importantly, a day for all.
LJMU events celebrating International Women’s Day:
International Women's Day Research Café
8 March, 12:30-2:00pm
Room G23, John Foster Building, Mount Pleasant
International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women in Engineering and Technology
Cherie Booth Building, Byrom Street Campus