University of Leicester celebrates International Women’s Day
Students and staff from University of Leicester and Eva Organization for Women (EOW) are hosting two free events to raise awareness of, and celebrate women’s past and current contributions to society.
On 8 March the University will host a conference and awards ceremony for women who have made an impact in the community, followed by an arts festival on 17 March celebrating diversity.
The events aim to be dynamic and inspiring, where women from all ethnic backgrounds and age groups can meet in a relaxing but stimulating atmosphere. There will be learning and networking opportunities.
EOW is a Leicester-based, not-for-profit organisation aiming to empower women. Its founder, Sadiyo Siad, is a current University of Leicester student.
Sadiyo says: “EOW truly recognises the intrinsic value of all women and girls and is proud to offer events dedicated to them. The events will provide a platform for reflection on both global and local gender issues raising awareness of women’s past and ongoing efforts in an increasingly tough world.
“In addition, the ‘festival’ on Saturday 17thMarch will be a celebration of what has been achieved but also will provide women and their families with a place to come and network, have fun, relax and enjoy the day.”
The conference, ‘Raising Awareness’, with speakers from the University of Leicester and the community, will take place in the Peter Williams Lecture Theatre, Fielding Johnson Building South Wing, Thursday 8th March 2012 (17.15 – 21.00). Talks will include:
- Women’s Commission at the UN – achievements and future plans
- Women’s Health and Wellbeing – present, past and future
- Women’s development and women in business
- New arrivals – issues around settling into a new community
- Girls, Women and HIV - worldwide and local
There will be a photography display from Kevin Night and poetry, both showcasing ‘Women and their Worlds’. EOW will present awards to acknowledge women who have made an impact in our communities.
‘Let’s Celebrate’, The Social and Arts Day, will take place in Queen’s Hall, Percy Gee Building, University of Leicester on Saturday 17th March (11.00 – 16.00)
Come together with women from the local community to celebrate, network and have fun! The day will include workshops:
- Women – an ageing population: needs and aspirations
- The Equality of Women and Men in the 21st century
- Visual Images of the Body Maternal
- Women as Carers
The festival will also showcase women through celebrating diversity in arts and culture and give you a diverse mix of sights, scents and sounds to inspire.
- International fashion show, short story and Art competition and Poetry
- Photography display by Kevin Night, with images for sale
- Performances by guitarist/singer George Simpson, and Leicester Amika Choir
- Complementary Therapists offering tasters; Henna Tattooists
- Luxury cupcakes and food goodies for sale
- Health and Wellbeing check-ups by GPs and advice by EOW members
Both events are free, open to the public and will take place at the University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH.
About International Women’s Day:
International Women's Day (IWD), 8 March, is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national holiday.
Women are still not paid equally to their male counterparts, women still are not represented in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally, women's education, health and safety are still an ongoing issue.
Yet, many improvements have been made and although International Women’s Day is a reminder that gender inequality remains, it is just as much a celebration of the improvements that have been made.
2011 saw the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.
Many countries around the world celebrate International Women's Day when women are recognised for their achievements without regard to barriers of nationality, ethnicity, language, culture, or politics. The occasion prompts us to recall past struggles and achievements but also to look forward to the untapped potential and opportunities awaiting future generations of women.
International Women's Day grew from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the last century with the day being commemorated for the first time on 19 March 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, when over one million women and men attended rallies.
Since its inception, International Women's Day has taken on a new global dimension for women in both developed and developing countries.
The United Nations began celebrating 8 March as International Women's Day, during International Women's Year in 1975. In 1977 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that proclaimed a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace, which was to be observed on any day of the year by Member States with them following their historical and national traditions.
Having a day dedicated exclusively to the celebration of the world's women recognises that in order to secure peace and social advancement and total enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms it is essential to have the active participation, equality and development of women; and it acknowledges women’s contribution to the strengthening of international peace and security.
For women throughout the world, the day holds a wider meaning: it is a time for reflection and review on how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development and it creates an opening to unite, interact and mobilise for real, purposeful change.
About EOW: Eva Organization for Women is a not-for-profit, voluntary organisation, established in 2010 in Leicester, UK. EOW aims to assist in empowering, educating and supporting young girls and women both in the UK and abroad. EOW’s chief objective is to motivate and to encourage women and young girls to break down any barriers that are hindering their success and achievements and provides its services to women and young girls regardless of their race, sexuality, marital status, ethnicity, nationality, religion, creed or political affiliations.
The services that EOW offers are: Education, job searches and training, social justice, development programmes and Public Health awareness. These are to be achieved through well-designed projects and tailored campaigns that educate, heighten awareness, empower and encourage women and young girls to advance their lives. Furthermore, EOW is building a very strong networking system that enables women, in various groups, ages, and communities, to exchange and share their experiences, information, knowledge, wisdom and skills so that they can inspire, support, encourage and motivate each other and become role models for the next generations.
Contact details for EOW:
Eva Organization for Women (EOW)
Address: 294 Victoria Road East, Leicester, LE5 0LF, UK
Fax: +44 (0) 843 309 1624
Tel: +44 (0) 7961618589
Biographies of the Events’ Participants:
Professor Ellen Annandale is a professor of Sociology from University of Leicester. Her main research interest is in the relationship between gender and health. This research is both theoretical and empirical. Other interests include the social organisation of medical and nursing work, particularly as this concerns gender mainstreaming, health care management, consumerism, risk and trust. Her most recent single-authored book is Women's Health and Social Change (Routledge, 2009), and she is currently preparing the second edition of The Sociology of Health and Medicine (Polity).
Dr Wendi Momen was born in Hollywood, California. She came to the UK in 1969, marrying Moojan, a GP, in 1971. She is a mother and grandmother.
Wendi holds a BSc in Economics and a PhD in International Relations (Foreign Policy of the Gambia). She is a freelance editor working for a number of publishing companies, particularly George Ronald of Oxford.
Her passions are:
- the advancement of women
- sustainable development, environmental protection, sustainable habitats and housing
- business ethics
- service to the community
- combating social injustice, poverty and inequality
Wendi is a governor of London School of Economics, director and trustee of UN Women UK, secretary-general of European Baha’i Business Forum (EBBF), Non-Executive Director of NHS Bedfordshire and NHS Luton (Primary Care Trusts), a trustee of the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby, treasurer and trustee of the Bedford Council of Faiths, and vice Chair and trustee of the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation. She has been a magistrate since 1982, a Soroptimist since 1986 and a member of the National Council of Women and UN Women UK (formerly UNIFEM NC UK) for a number of years. She has been a board member and trustee of UN Women UK since 2006 and is presently its acting secretary. She co-founded the Association of Baha'i Women (UK) and was for more than a decade the liaison with the Baha'i Office for the Advancement of Women. Wendi has represented the Baha'i community and EBBF at a number of United Nations summits and conferences, including the Commission on the Status of Women and is a spokesperson for the Baha’i community on TV and radio.
Wendi is the author of 12 books and a contributor to a number of other books and academic journals.
Jan Macdonald is a retired NHS Administrative Assistant. She is a mother and grandmother to a diverse family. Jan was involved in the organisation of Leicester’s contribution to Women for World Peace (Europe) in 1999 and also with ‘Juggle’, a National Baha’i Women’s Conference in Leicester in 2000. In 2004 Jan was the coordinator for four years of Virtues’ children and junior youth group project on the Northfields Estate; using arts and crafts, drama and games in bringing out the best qualities in young people. Currently Jan is involved with community projects around social cohesion, ecology and sustainability in her local community working with the Parks and Green Spaces. Jan is a Baha’i and is a representative of her Faith on the Leicester Council of Faiths and she is the elected secretary of the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’i community in Leicester.
Catherine Parker is a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She is an experienced Registered General Nurse – having worked in acute medical and stroke care, Nutrition, bereavement counselling and the Hospice movement. She has worked as a Public School Matron, nursed with the Ministry of Defence, and managed a care home for a charity. Prior to her nursing career, she was a local government officer; she assisted in Family Planning services and Well Woman clinics; ran a playgroup and worked in a school library. She has been a voluntary worker for the Children’s Society, Age Concern, Help the Aged, and various youth movements.
She is a freelance writer, proofreader and editor. She assists and advises various charities, including EOW, with their writing and editing requirements.
Janet Couloute After working for a number of years as a Mental Health Practitioner for statutory social work services, Janet Couloute joined the school of social work at the University of Leicester in 2007. She has a particular interest in the application of alternative models of mental health care and effective teaching strategies, particularly in engaging students with anti-discriminatory practice.
The visual arts have remained a medium by which she makes sense of the world. She is currently working on a thesis examining visual images of the maternal body, and their potential to challenge and disrupt traditional perceptions of the female form.
Celia Fisher has worked at Leicestershire AIDS Support Services (LASS) since August 2004. Her current role is sexual health promotion coordinator. Her responsibilities include the Rapid HIV testing at LASS, a non-clinical service delivered by trained staff and community volunteers; HIV, sexual health and Hepatitis training; community development and empowerment for HIV Knowledge and HIV testing awareness;
She has a great interest in HIV and working with women, men and communities to reduce the transmission of HIV and work towards an AIDS free generation.
Celia Jones-Cox is a retired and a busy mother, grandma and great grandma. Celia has 35 years experience of working in the Voluntary Sector in a number of areas including Children’s Play provision, Women’s Equality, Asylum Seeker and Refugee Support Provision, Homelessness, Welfare Rights and Interfaith work. Over the years Celia has chaired many committees and coordinated several projects, the last being Northfields One World (Leicester) which began in her local community in 2001 working around the support, empowerment and integration of New Arrivals to Leicester. She is a member of the Baha’i Community.