This year, The Students’ Union annual International Women’s Week, took place from 4 - 8 March. The theme of the week was Body Positivity and Self Love. It was a hugely successful week, celebrating all self-defining women with events to suit all audiences. The week included Vulva Cake Decorating, an International Women’s Day Brunch, Writing Love Letters to Ourselves, Swing Dancing Workshops, a Body Posi Panel and much more.
Through open planning meetings and liaising with the Feminist Society we put together an inclusive, diverse and exciting line-up. All but one of our events were free to attend, the only paid event was our evening Body Posi Panel, which was ticketed at £3. The proceeds, which totalled £190 were donated to Shameless, a mental health movement that supports promotes and defends the mental health and rights of young people in Bristol.
Over sixty women attended the event, which had panel made up of; Maya Spencer Berkley, an activist for people living with a rare genetic condition called Epidermolysis Bullosa, Channel Ambrose, a leading UK plus size fashion and body positive blogger and Emma Tamsin Hill, a YouTuber, presenter and stylist who has just begun her own size inclusive clothing brand. One of the attendees after the event commented, “I felt so empowered, I’m going to a party after this and I feel so much better about it and feel so much better about how my body looks.”
Other events, such as the Vulva Cake decorating had over forty attendees, representing a diverse range of genders, sexualities and nationalities. Guests were given a choice of cakes in different colours and styles and gluten-free or vegan options were available. They decorated and made vulvas using icing and chocolate. After the cake making there was a vagina-themed quiz which helped spread knowledge of the female anatomy, menstruation and breaking down taboos about periods, female masturbation and more. Some of the people in attendance said, “Today was super fun and empowering, I hope this event becomes an annual thing.” “Great event! I loved making vulva cakes and chatting to everyone!” “As a male, I felt included and it was amazing to celebrate with the wonderful women around me.”
We are also delighted to confirm that the campaign was Highly Commended, at the NUS Women's Conference 2019, in the category Women's Campaign of the Year, and Daisy Wakefield, President of The Students' Union Feminist Society, was Highly Commended, in the category Inspirational Women of the Year.
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