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Society Spotlight: Gender Equality Society

Find out more about our brilliant Gender Equality Society, why they decided to run the society and which women have inspired them!

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The Gender Equality Society Committee Members

Why did you want to take part in leading the society this year?  

Sophie: I’ve been a part of the Gender Equality society committee since it was re-established back in 2021. Having been both an Inclusions officer and President, both roles allowed me to be active within student communities and engage with causes that I’m passionate about.  

Max: As last year’s Events Planner, I enjoyed engaging with such a diverse group of people so much last year that I was very enthusiastic to rejoin as the Vice President this year. The society provides such a strong sense of community to so many people and I’m so grateful to be part of providing that safe space alongside our other committee members. 

What are your favourite events you’ve run so far?   

Sophie: My personal favourite event so far was our 2023 charity fair entitled, Still I Rise Zine Festival. This was the biggest event we have ever ran and required so much time and effort to pull off the final event. As a society we created feminist artworks and writings, combined them into a magazine and sold them at the fair, along with members personal artworks and other societies products. In total we raised £314 for IKWRO – a charity supporting Middle Eastern & North African women living in the UK. 

Max: Our 2023 Zine Festival is definitely the most impactful event I’ve engaged in, watching our society come together and work so hard to create such a stunning piece of art is one of the proudest moments as a committee member so far. Everyone’s effort paid off so well! I also really enjoy running the Bar Crawls as it’s always so much fun interacting with new members and learning what they would like to get out of the society while showing them some of the safest bars in Coventry to go to. 

What do you enjoy most about your role?   

Sophie: As President I really enjoy meeting new students each semester and being able to watch the society grow with new people and ideas. Encouraging students to join the committee or take the lead on projects is really gratifying as I have experienced how beneficial this can be to growing confidence. 

Max: I love seeing all of our members bond through the society and forming real friendships even outside of the society, we have a very tight knit group of people every year and they’re all so incredibly different, but it forms such a fun group dynamic. This also encourages me to learn so much from each person’s point of view in terms of how everyone experiences being a woman or a feminist, providing me with an even greater understanding of the community. 

What is the significance of International Women’s Day to you?   

Sophie: International Womens Day is always a time to celebrate the women in your life that are important to you, as well as the achievements and advances of Women everywhere. However, I always prefer to use IWD to highlight events currently happening around the world that impact women and may not get exposure otherwise. In the past as a society, we have run food and resource drives as part of our celebrations, allowing people to give back whilst they celebrate the day. This year CUGE are running a series of fundraisers throughout the month of March, collecting money for both Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, and to support Palestinian Women. 

Max: International Women’s Day is a day devoted to not only commemorating women for all their various achievements, but also recognising the issues and challenges that every woman has to face on a day-to-day basis, regardless of the societal barriers that prevent us from doing so daily. In fact, the basis of IWD almost gives us a guideline to what everyone could be doing every day to help empower women and give them recognition where they have historically lost it. The day is also so important to the society as it kicks off our most important month of the year, bringing about all of our fundraising events that we’ve worked hard to deliver. 

Tell us about a woman who has inspired you:  

Sophie: My go-to feminist icon has always been Frida Kahlo. As a woman in the arts its always important to have representation and inspiration like within Kahlo’s work, which is centred on her experiences as a woman. Whether about her experiences as an indigenous Mexican woman, battles with her health, and her profound political beliefs, her strength and skill has always been an influence on my own work.  

More Locally however Zarah Sultana is a brilliant example of an inspirational woman. As Labour MP for Coventry South since 2019, Sultana has consistently championed the rights of working-class people in Coventry and never fails to recognise the concerns and needs of local people. She is an outstanding example of an MP that is genuine and heartfelt; many of her campaigns being causes that are close to her home and to many others. She is currently fighting in parliament for the rights of Palestinian people and to end the occupation, refusing to be silenced by the current government or members of her own party who refuse to speak up. 

Max: I absolutely adore the English fine artist, Tracey Emin. Her vulnerable piece, My Bed, in which she displayed what her bed looked like after a depressive episode has been one of the most impactful pieces of art that’s stuck with me since the moment I saw it for the first time. It breaks down societal standards by displaying something that many would brand as disgusting so unashamedly and showing that this is what real people, real women are like. Emin also has a very personal Instagram page where she documents her daily life as a person with a stoma bag, each day trying to normalise living with this condition for other people that deal with it daily, after suddenly having an intestine rupture in 2020 while undergoing a surgery to treat her bladder cancer. 

Find out more and join the Gender Equality Society here.



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