Oldham Sixth Form College celebrates International Women’s Day

AN event celebrating the careers of some of Oldham Sixth Form College’s successful women was held to mark International Women’s Day.

The event, on Thursday, March 12, also gave students and staff the opportunity to ask questions about broader issues.

It was chaired by Kashaf, an AS Level student studying History, Law, English Language and Sociology, who said: “I’m excited about chairing this event as it’s a fantastic opportunity around a cause I’m passionate about.

“I’m part of the debating society and also plan to become a barrister in the future, so this is all great experience for me.”

The panel consisted of Jayne Clarke (Executive Principal), Suzannah Reeves (Vice Principal), Kathryn Parkinson (Curriculum Area Lead for Science), and Lewis Entwistle (Curriculum Area Lead for English, Media and Languages).

The audience was given the opportunity to find out about the panel members’ successful careers and also ask questions about the importance of International Women’s Day and conceptions and misconceptions of feminism.

The panel considered a broad range of issues including the portrayal of women in the media, gender stereotypes, whether more can be done for women from minority groups and whether diversity or equality should be prioritised in recruitment processes, amongst many others.

In addition to their perspective as educators, panellists were able to add their own views as parents to the conversation.

It was interesting to hear about how their own experiences had informed their views and passion about feminist issues and gender equality.

The panel collectively felt it was very important to hold events such as this to allow the opportunity to raise and discuss these complex issues, and to acknowledge that though strides have been made, there is still much to do, here and in many other parts of the world.

Discussions such as this can also highlight the layers of expectations women often place on themselves, in addition to those of society.

Ultimately, the panel felt this is not just a women’s issue, but one that affects men too. As attitudes to gender equality continue to change and evolve, it was great to see so many students engage with this issue and participate vociferously in the discussion.

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