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York St John celebrates International Women’s Day with inspiring events

Published: 25 February 2022

  •   Events
Lecturer profile photo with arms crossed

This International Women’s Day (IWD), York St John University will host a series of thought-provoking events, including a flash mob and expert panel discussions.  

8 March marks an annual worldwide celebration of the social, political and economic achievements of women. The day is also a call to action and brings to light the challenges that affect women’s equality.  

Did the pandemic impact gender equality? 

On the day, the University will host a panel discussion about the dynamics of gender inequalities. 'Covid: A Wakeup Call to Equality?' asks five experts to reflect on the impact of the pandemic on family life, work patterns and home schooling, and debate whether this delivered a serious wakeup call for gender equality. 

Members of the panel include York St John University’s associate dean in law and policing Dr Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi, whose recent research has examined the challenges of shared parental leave and the impact on breastfeeding.  

She is joined by Professor Gayle Kaufman, professor of sociology, gender and sexuality studies at Davidson College in the US, mental health campaigner Scott Mair, lecturer in healthcare management and entrepreneurship at York St John University Dr Anjali Raj Westwood, and the founder and CEO of the Center for Parental Leave Leadership Amy Beacon, EdD.  

Dr Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi said: “IWD has been celebrated for decades and used to raise issues of gender equality. The Covid-19 pandemic saw families spending more time together with fathers getting more involved in family activities. Is the pandemic a new wake-up call for gender equality? Where are fathers on the gender equality agenda? Join us to explore the issues.” 

Gender, theology and the body

On 9 March, professor of feminist theology at the University of Chester Hannah Bacon and York St John University Professor Esther McIntosh commemorate IWD with online event Forgive us our Fat: Christianity and the Struggle to Resist Sizeismhosted by the Centre for Religion in Society and starting at 5.00pm.

Claiming space through dance 

A flash mob on 9 March at 1pm outside the University’s Creative Centre building will celebrate the life and work of two iconic artists Frida Kahlo and Patti Smith, organised by lecturer in dance at York St John University Elaine Harvey.

Anyone is invited to take part in the flash mob, on the basis they sign up to a rehearsal slot on Wednesday 2 March from 10am to 11am, or 5pm to 6pm, or 9 March from 10am.  

Elaine Harvey said: “The dance is about confidently claiming space ; being seen, being visible. It has an ecstatic quality and is hard to perform without feeling joyously strong. Legendary punk-rock goddess Patti Smith was also inspired by the work of Frida Kahlo and re-staged a famous photograph of the artist which became the iconic cover for her 1975 album 'Horses'.  

“We invite everyone to learn the simple dance, which is largely a series of actions performed with a jacket. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the life and work of two fantastic female artists.” 

Learning from leaders in research 

Three leading Professors at York St John University will share their experiences in research through an online Q&A on 8 March, 1pm till 2pm. Ideal for those interested in a career in academia or early-stage researchers, the session will offer advice and guidance to women embarking on their research journeys.  

Speakers include professor in theory, history and practice of art, and chair of the research degrees committee, Vanessa Corby; professor of creative writing and research and knowledge transfer lead, co-ordinator for the MFA in creative writing, senior fellow of the higher education academy, Abi Curtis; and professor in occupational therapy in the school of science, technology and health, senior fellow of the higher education academy, Alison Laver-Fawcett. 

Register a place for the Research Leadership Roles event through Eventbrite 

And, a group of management students are hosting their first ever fair at the university’s Students’ Union to honour women in business. Attendees can join stall holders in the Students’ Union’s Lounge on Thursday 10 March, 11am to 4pm, to purchase and support local women-owned businesses. 

Find a full listing of York St John events

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