Women of the World Festival

On the 7th March Mulberry students took part in the Women of the World Festival at Southbank Centre in celebration of International Women’s Day. We took approximately 30 students each day of the festival, to watch and participate in panel discussions on the topics of feminism, current affairs and religion. Sadika Begum earned a seat on the Paper Review on Sunday,   sitting alongside Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, Shami Chakrabarti, Director of human rights charity Liberty, and Baroness Doreen Lawrence. This was an insightful discussion on recent developments with a particular criticism of governmental and military institutions and the call for greater transparency and stronger checks and balances to enforce justice.   Other students including Kawsara Choudhury and Maria Amrin took part in WOW Bites where they presented to an audience of 50 on why feminism is relevant to young people. This was a passionate delivery breaking down many of the misconceptions about feminism and forcefully presenting equality and social justice as the primary objective for feminists like themselves. Eight Year 10 students were also involved as festival makers and they helped to run the festival over the three days and 6th formers attended an open space event where they discussed gender equality in schools with teachers and educational organisations across the UK. The most exciting and inspirational talk, for many of our students, was hearing from Malala Yousufzai on Saturday 8th. Malala shared her story of growing up in Swat Valley, Pakistan and her current campaign for the education of girls and young people across the world. It was an inspiring talk that motivated our students to be more active in campaigning for gender equality, access to education and causes that they were passionate about. Overall, the weekend was a powerful discussion of what it means to be a woman in Britain and across the world. It helped to empower and challenge young women from Mulberry who all displayed passion for and commonalities with the many issues discussed and people who attended.