The constant battle for gender equality

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Many people assume that feminism is done, equality has been achieved. But having gotten almost to the end of my third and final year at university, it is apparent that this is not true at all even in day-to-day life as a woman. Most women I know have been victims of or know someone who has been a victim of sexual harassment, much of which is silenced and systematically ignored. It is common knowledge that sexual activity with an intoxicated person is considered harassment or rape and yet this is to be expected in daily student life. This is not to ignore the significant advances Durham University has made recently in aiming for gender equality, such as with the DUASA (Durham University Against Sexual Assault) Society gaining almost 1,200 followers on Instagram and the initiation of the ‘SMV: Consent Matters – Boundaries, Respect & Positive Intervention’ online course.

We must continue to fight for equality globally in any way we can

Speaking more globally, France celebrated on the 4th of March the right to abortion being made a constitutional right. Nevertheless, the overturning of the Roe v Wade has led to more women being unable to have abortions, women continue to be unfairly paid, and education continues to be inaccessible to millions of women around the world. Having met some women in their early twenties in Florida and talking largely about gender equality in the Southern States of the USA, I have learnt that the overturning of the Roe v Wade laws has led not only to unfair treatment of women who are unable to have abortions but this is having serious effects in the everyday lives of women across the Southern States. They were shocked to find out that sexual abuse was not a casual ‘norm’ for me as they discussed how whenever they go out now they need to be particularly careful of what they do, where they go, what they wear, and expect harassment day-to-day. They noted that this has especially been the case since the illegalisation of abortions. They showed me some photos of the feminist protests they went to after the overturning of Roe v Wade however, they were disappointed to see that, with most things, the news moved on and again the mistreatment of women was largely ignored and not properly dealt with.

This shows that gender equality is not a ‘completed task’ and we must continue to fight for equality globally in any way we can. For this reason, this Indigo print is focused on International Women’s Day, delving into the lives and impact of many powerful women, whilst also analysing the history of underrepresented women such as the French Cubist and Avant-Garde painter Marie Laurencin, Durham alumni and musician Ailsa Dixon, and professional female chefs. Our writers have explored organisations that support gender equality, including the HALO Project. Cara Burdon has written an article for Books on the book that everyone should read this International Women’s Day: It’s Not About The Burqa. Read Olivia Glover’s ode to Mother’s Day in her devotion to her mum who has lived through the struggles and wonders of being a single mother. Dive into the poetic narratives penned by Durham’s female students, as they illuminate the intricate tapestry of inequality and what it means to be a woman. Feminism is not only the fight for women but it is the relentless pursuit for gender equality. Join us in this ongoing battle, because this fight is far from over.

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