International Women’s Week swept across campus once again last week, delivering the student body a series of events aimed at raising funds for, and awareness about, women’s causes in the UK and around the world. Those involved in the week have said that the reaction has been very good and that attendance at the events has been potentially the highest ever.
Heather Williams, President of the Warwick Anti-Sexism Society, told the _Boar_ that the event had a deep significance. “It’s about showing people that sexism is still inherent in society,” she said, adding that people’s misconceptions about what a feminist is were part of what this year’s week was about challenging. The event also brought attention to problems of which people might be less aware, such as abuses of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, as well as raising money for causes like the Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre and domestic abuse support charity, Refuge.
Despite supporting these worthy standpoints, Women’s Week isn’t just about the suffering and oppression of women. “I still think this week is important,” says Heather in the face of those who suggest holding a Women’s Week at all is no longer relevant. “It’s all about celebrating women and raising awareness.” Certainly the week hosted events that are relevant to everyone, such as a mock rape trial highlighting the difficulties of bringing rapists to justice, and a forum held by male feminists, breaking stereotypes about feminism in a debate entitled ‘Real Men are Feminists’.
The _Boar_ lends its support and congratulations to the organisers of and participants in International Women’s Week and their causes. It’s refreshing to have feminism and women’s issues confronted and discussed in an inclusive, progressive manner. It remains important to have these matters in the public arena and with the organisers’ emphasis on bringing people into discussions and encouraging participation can only serve to benefit their cause. We hope that, while Women’s Week may be over, the debates provoked and topics raised will continue to be openly discussed at Warwick.