International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year; it is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights. We spoke to the president of the Students’ Union, Angelina Cliff, about her experience as a female student president, what she is working on to promote gender equality and women’s liberation within LJMU, and what she has planned in relation to International Women’s Day.
Speaking about her LJMU journey she said: “I wanted to go to university somewhere cultural and creative with lots going on. Liverpool has all the benefits and opportunities of a major city, yet, it is still homely and full of so much character…and characters. It is the friendliest place and I’m so glad I chose to come here. Whilst studying here, I joined the international society. I’m not international but I’m really interested in different cultures and travelling. I have made so many friends from all over the world.”
Angelina was Vice President of Academic Quality in 2018 but says there was a wider range of things she wanted to do that did not fit within the responsibility of that role. She made the decision to campaign to become president so that she could focus more on women’s liberation and diversity within the University. Angelia says her experiences as a student officer have been incredible and that she would recommend the role to anyone who is interested in politics, leaderships or changing the world: “If you are intimidated by the role, don’t be. There is tons of support so you’ll be fine."
"I am very passionate about feminism, female empowerment and gender equality. I believe that a world where genders are equal will benefit everyone. From the increasing amount of female sexual assault survivors to the staggering amount of suicidal men in the UK. My main campaign this year is surrounding period poverty and helping LJMU students who may be suffering silently.
"When conducting research for this campaign I was shocked to find that a number of students either didn’t attend university or have had to go home when they were caught off guard with a period and could not afford to buy products. Sanitary products should be supplied in public bathrooms, like toilet paper, to address this issue. When I brought this research to the University, they were incredibly helpful and very proactive in making change. Working together, we aim to supply free sanitary products to both staff and students.”
Angelina says she is very honoured to follow in the footsteps of many female presidents of JMSU (John Moore’s Students’ Union) and that, for two years running, they have been an all-female student officer team: “We have faced a few negative comments about this and in an ideal world, an even gender split would be great. However, seeing as all-female leadership teams are quite rare, I think being the female president of an all-female team is a big accomplishment.”
Speaking about what she’s most proud of so far in her role as president, she said: “Apart from my period poverty campaign, I am very proud of continuing the work of past officers to ensure their existing campaigns were seen through to the end. I am also very proud of the officer team and the Students’ Union for introducing our six Equality Rep roles, who will be representing students who are trans, non-binary, female, disabled, BAME, international and LGBT+. I am very excited to see how our current reps shape their roles and the difference they can make to our diverse university.”
In celebration of International Women’s Day on Saturday 9 March, Angelina is hosting a fair with RB Music Management. The event will start from 12.00pm finish at 4.00pm at Phase One on Seel Street. She added: “It is for all ages and all genders. It will be full of boss performances from amazing women like MoonCup Theatre, Ugly Bucket Theatre and female musicians from around the city. There will be stalls with lots of female owned local businesses, glitter makeovers and bra upcycling. So bring an unloved bra to get covered in sequins!”
Find out more about International Women's Day, events taking place around the University and stories that celebrate women's achievements at LJMU in our special International Women's Day feature.
If you know a student or group of students, who would like to be featured in our Student Spotlight please email firstname.lastname@example.org.