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UoA coming together to celebrate International Women's Day

The University of Aberdeen is planning an International Women's Day event on the 8th of March in celebration of the holiday

By Nour Elshenawy

Photos from The University of Aberdeen

International Women's Day, solemnized on March 8th each year, has been observed throughout the globe since the early 1900s. Its initial goal was to offer a forum for women to advocate for equality and women's rights. It has grown throughout time, and thousands of activities are now organized each March across the world to commemorate achievements , to inspire women, and to honour their successes.

On Wednesday, March 8, the University will hold a special International Women's Day blended event featuring motivational speakers. Following that, there will be a networking session where guests may meet other attendees, interact with colleagues, and peruse booths. Registration is due to open at 9:30, while the event proper is set to take place in King’s College Conference Centre at 10:00, followed by the networking session which will be located in Elphinstone Hall at 12:20pm.

The University is promoting the event as an opportunity to listen to, meet and talk to motivating , aspiring and talented women. The speakers expected are Rosalind Main, Professor Devi Sridhar, Ceewhy Ochogo, and Lyly Fong. Professor Sridhar is a Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. She is the founder of the Global Health Governance Programme and a recipient of the Wellcome Trust Investigator Award. Her achievements include serving on the Save the Children UK board, the World Economic Forum Council on the Health Industry, and co-chairing the Harvard/LSHTM Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola. Professor Sridhar will be presenting a talk on the experience of being a scientist during COVID-19.

The next speaker is Ceewhy Ochogo, who is currently the Student Union Manager of Ravensbourne Students Union. Promotional material for the event describes her as experienced in issues surrounding equality, diversity and inclusion. She is the creator and CEO of Black Impact, a national African and Caribbean student network that aims to help Black students' leadership development and professional goals in the UK. Its main goals are to oppose institutional racism, social and economic inequality, and prejudice in higher education and society in general. The title of her talk is “What’s your flavor? Being a woman of influence.”

The following speaker, Lyly Fong, is a graduate in French and Hispanic Studies, and works as the Corporate Website Manager at Sanofi in Paris, France. Fong is a fellow of the GlobalScot Network and the Scottish Black and People of Colour Writers Network outside of work. She was also the 2019 winner of the Elphinstone Institute's Toulmin Prize for Doric literature at the University of Aberdeen. Lyly’s talk will cast a focus on the Scottish Chinese community and investigates social cohesiveness, racial integration, and community through the stories and experiences of her friends and family.

Lastly, Rosalind Main will be giving a talk on “Body Inclusivity and Social Media: Celebrating beauty from beyond our screens.” Main is an artist, body image activist, and has been a fashion model for over a decade. In 2017 she co-founded the "I Am More Than" Project with friend and fellow model Morgan McTiernan, who shared the same vision of increasing inclusivity and representation in the fashion industries and beyond by amplifying voices and partnering. They have co-curated exhibits, events, and fashion presentations, as well as spoken on national television and radio to discuss key themes such as body inclusiveness and social media. Rosalind has been creating material for BBC The Social on social media, body image, and the creative sectors since early 2022.

When interviewed by The Gaudie on her reason for giving this talk, she answered, 'It means a lot to have been invited to take part in this year’s International Women's Day event at The University of Aberdeen talking about my chosen topic 'Body Inclusivity and Social Media: Celebrating Beauty from Beyond our Screens' - as a model, artist and body image campaigner, having the opportunity to discuss this topic as a guest speaker amongst a panel of inspirational women is brilliant and I look forward to sharing my words to a wide audience both in person and virtually.’


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