Women's+ History Month 2021
Intro from your Women's+ Officer
Hello everyone! Welcome to Women’s+ History Month 2021! In case you didn’t know, the month of March is internationally recognised as a celebration of the power of women and their often-forgotten stories both past and present. Our aims this year include spotlighting some brilliant women and some of the milestones in women’s liberation movements. We also want to focus on taking care of ourselves. This past year has been really difficult for everyone and we think this month is a great opportunity to empower each other with discussions around our wellbeing as well as our sexual and reproductive health. For example, Edge Conference this year has a number of events focused on physical, spiritual, and mental wellbeing, so be sure to look at everything they have planned between the 22nd and 26th of March. This Girl Can also falls in March and UEA will once again be encouraging women to get active and celebrate their bodies.
Usually during this time student groups would also take trips to attend marches and events; UEA SU has been holding its own Reclaim the Night event since 2016, for example. Inevitably, this year had to be very different for obvious reasons so all events will be online – you won’t have to leave your house! Instead, we will be promoting a number of charities throughout the month that will be attached to the events we’re holding so we still get the word out and encourage donations! One such charity is Bloody Good Period, who have a society at UEA and with them we will be launching our Menstruation Station in the Library to provide free sanitary products for whoever needs them.
Don’t be shy about posting the wonderful things you or your society or club are doing to celebrate this month too! It’s important to remember that women are not just one homogenous group; we are all the sum of beautifully intricate and intersecting identities that make up who we are. This month should be a month that celebrates all bodies, cultures, sexualities, ages, and backgrounds; it’s so important to platform as many different voices as we can. Check in with your societies and clubs as so many will be holding events to celebrate this month and each one will have a unique perspective to share. Visit the Do Something Different page for Women’s+ History Month for a full calendar of events.
Within the SU there was a lot of deliberation this year over the naming of this month. Gender exists on a spectrum and we want to acknowledge and include those who may not define themselves as ‘woman’ but to whom some of the themes we’ve chosen might apply. The different issues, histories, and information we will be exploring through various events this month don’t necessarily apply to all who identify as women and also don’t necessarily apply exclusively to those who identify as women. Because of this we are committed to keeping the language of certain events, particularly surrounding reproductive health for example, as gender neutral as possible.
‘Women+’ is a term used to acknowledge that gender is not binary, and to be inclusive of those who are nonbinary or gender non-conforming. In the context of Women’s+ History Month, it can mean celebrating not only women, but those on the gender spectrum who also face gender oppression, those who are gender non-conforming, those who identify as women in any way that is significant to them, and those impacted by the issues we explore this month. However, ‘women+’ has its flaws and limitations so we are keen to work with you to explore and identify more inclusive terminology. Please get in touch if you would like to add to this discussion: [email protected].
Have a great month!