Posted on 8 Mar '24

How are Universities Celebrating International Women’s Day?

Each year on 8 March, the world marks International Women’s Day, a global celebration of women’s achievements across the cultural, political, economic and social spheres, and a call to action in the ongoing fight against gender inequality.

This year’s theme is #InspireInclusion, which urges representation of women in in all areas of society.

We’ve taken a look at how universities across the world have been celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day, and picked out five of our favourites!

#1 Academic barbies at the University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham’s Geography department will be hosting an interactive ‘in conversation’ event with female academics, inspired by the cultural landmark that was last year’s Barbie Movie. The event will add a new figure to the cast of characters depicted in the film, dubbed the ‘academic barbie’. What are the experiences of the ‘academic barbie’ and what challenges does she continue to face?

The conversation will use popular quotes from the Barbie Movie as prompts, and apply the questions it raises to a real-life academic environment. We loved this creative approach to using popular culture as a vehicle for such an important discussion!

#2 Music showcase at Durham University

A showcase at Durham University’s Music department will feature chamber compositions by Durham students, as well as works of talented female artists whose work has been historically undervalued.

This seems like a fantastic way to combine an evening of musical entertainment with a challenge to the traditional cannon.

#3 Celebrating UNSW Women Trail at the University of New South Wales

The University of New South Wales in Australia is celebrating International Women’s Day with the addition of some new faces to the Celebrating UNSW Women project virtual trail.

The trail is an interactive virtual tool which allows the user to browse a map of campus, with ‘stops’ marked along the way for female trailblazers who have shaped the institution’s history, from each department’s first female graduate to some of its more influential alumnae.

The trail is part of a larger project aiming to increase the visibility of women on the UNSW campus. We were impressed with this longer-term effort to ensure the achievements of women are recognised at the university year-round!

#4 Womxn in Tech speaker series at the University of California, Berkley

The University of California, Berkley, will be hosting a series of virtual lectures by female speakers in tech, challenging the male-dominated history of the industry and inspiring future tech leaders from diverse backgrounds. Talks will cover highly topical issues such as AI ethics and governance, and the application of feminist theory to emerging technologies.

It's great to see that women are taking centre stage on topics that will increasingly impact our collective future.

#5 The Sisters of Mersey at the University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool is taking a historical approach to celebrating International Women’s Day, with a research project studying the women who have shaped the city of Liverpool named The Sisters of Mersey.

The creators of the project have created an online portal where you can learn more about these influential women, as well as an app which includes labelled maps of the city to help you track down important landmarks.

We enjoyed this effort to highlight the often-unacknowledged contributions of historical women in creating the environments we enjoy today.

How will your university be celebrating this year's International Women's Day? You can share how you're marking the occassion on social media using the #InspireInclusion hashtag!

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