‘Striking Women: Narratives from the Past, Present and Future’ event

Banner depicting 'Striking Women' event including time, date and details
Striking Women: Narratives from the Past, Present and Future

On the 13th of March, the ‘Striking Women: Narratives from the Past, Present and Future’ event took place in the Library Exhibition Space and was attended by over fifty individuals, including students, staff, and the wider community. The aim of the event was to provide a safe, informative and interactive space for all to engage with this Women’s History Month event with talks from eight speakers including academics, researchers and members of the local community. The title of this event ‘Striking Women’ referred not only to women who are participating, or have – historically- participated in strikes, but also to all the inspirational and ‘striking’ women who are visible to us globally.

The talks varied from sharing academic research to reflecting on personal experiences. In the ‘past’ section of the event, Dr Liz Oakley-Brown spoke about Margaret Fell, often referred to as the ‘mother of Quakerism’, and this was followed by a talk on abortion rights in Ireland by Dr Deirdre Duffy.

The ‘present section’ included talks from Jo Baker (author), Dr Julie Hearn and Sophie Maddocks (a nurse at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary). These talks provided a powerful insight into their personal experiences of being working women in different fields and how this work - and potentially having to go on strike - has impacted their lives.

The ‘future’ part of the event begun with a talk from Dr Selina Patel Nascimento regarding her research into gender inequalities and the persistence of concubinage systems across the world. This was followed by a panel discussion which included two PhD students: Rachel Odufuwa and Emily Hoyle who discussed their own research and what the ‘future of resistance’ in universities and beyond could be.

Attendees were then asked to discuss several questions or initiate a wider conversation on the future of resistance and what the biggest challenges women are facing in attaining equity, beyond just equality.

Following the event, attendees were asked for anonymous feedback and one attendee stated: “I absolutely loved this event! Each speaker offered fascinating insights into their areas of research, their professions, and most poignantly, their personal experiences as women. I felt safe to express my views with those around me, in the group discussion segment.”

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