Women hold up half the sky.
~ Mao Zedong
This year, International Women’s Day is being celebrated on Tuesday, March 8, and the LSE’s Student Union is hosting events all of Week 8 in honour of women’s rights. There are discussions, film screenings, quizzes, and a whole slew of other events. As a woman in a historically male-dominated field, I take any opportunity to champion other women and raise awareness of issues we may face in the workplace. Regardless of gender, going to these events and gaining a deeper understanding of women’s rights is still important because every person has a woman in their life, whether it’s their mom, their sister, or a significant other.
You can view the whole calendar of events on the Student Union website. If there is something that you are interested in, you may want to keep in mind that some of these events require booking. Personally, I am interested in the Women in Research Society’s panel discussion since I am currently on track to pursuing a PhD. Studying a quantitative subject like mathematics comes with a gender imbalance in the field, though I do commend LSE on the fact that while there have been times where I was one of only a few girls in my class, it has been less often than I thought.
However, in those times when there was a clear minority, it could feel isolating and made me second guess myself and my ability. The Department of Mathematics continues the sentiment which is at the core of International Women’s Day throughout the year via their Women in Mathematics seminars, showcasing female professionals from quantitative degrees. These types of events and days like International Women’s Day are important towards making me feel like a bigger community, erasing this feeling of isolation. So, although International Women’s Day is a great way to connect to other women and empower yourself, don’t stop at just one day. Continue to reach out to your peers!
Outside of LSE, you can also celebrate with the rest of London. At Southbank, they’re hosting a Women of the World Festival from March 11-13. You can hear from activists, comedians and artists as well as engage in interactive workshops. For this festival, you will have to purchase tickets. The event’s webpage says that each day will feature different workshops and performances so you can book one day or all three. Personally, I have never attended before and only learned about it this year, but because this year’s event will be in person again, it seems like the festival has pulled out all the stops.
Whatever you do to commemorate International Women’s Day, make sure to ring your mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, girlfriend, best friend… any important woman in your life, and let them know how much you appreciate them.