To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, we organised an event to champion some amazing women and explore whether feminism has a future in our society!
On the 8th of March 2021, International Women’s Day is celebrated across the globe: a day dedicated to honouring the achievements of women throughout history and for women from all different backgrounds and cultures to band together to fight for gender parity and women’s rights. In 2021, International Women’s Day was celebrated with the special 2021 theme, #ChooseToChallenge. To celebrate this day and shine a light on the stories of some amazing women, we decided to put together a virtual event to bring together our community and #ChooseToChallenge the common narratives on female empowerment.
We decided that one of the best topics to question was feminism, a movement increasingly criticised for its lack of inclusivity due to, for example, the rise of TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) whilst also being critiqued for being too loose in its values. However, on International Women’s Day, it was only fitting to accompany such a topic with the appreciation of female empowerment and accomplishments despite the divides in our society. For this, we decided to bring together a formidable panel of 6 women, all from different backgrounds, generations and professions, but all with amazing stories to tell.
For the first part of our event, we planned to have individual interviews with each of the panellists, allowing our audience to really learn about them and their lives. The key to this would be the engaging and enthusiastic hosting led by one of the women of our network. After all of our panellist interviews and a short section reserved for a Q&A, the second part of the event would start – the debate on the future of feminism. As well as a variety of backgrounds, our panellists also represented a variety of views on feminism, with some proudly claiming feminism and others being much more disillusioned by the movement. Thus, our panellists would also be our debate participants, allowing the audience to learn more about them whilst also being exposed to the diversity of opinions surrounding the topic of feminism.
Our event was a resounding success, attracting over 40 people despite the vast number of other events occurring on International Women’s Day at the same time.
Our panellists were incredibly engaged throughout the entire session, leading to a very open and respectful environment which we recognised as vital to the success of the event. Even before the event, during the short period we dedicated to introducing our panellists to each other and to Common Sense, our host ensured that everybody was well-prepared and feeling confident before our attendees joined. During the event, the positive reception by the audience was demonstrated by their constant interaction in the chat, which ensured that the event remained interactive throughout.
Our panellists told us that it was a great event, a verdict clearly shared by our attendees who gave us the following feedback:
[I enjoyed] The diversity of panel members and the incredible stories and voices I was able to listen to today! I felt the event was well-structured too.
It was very informative and I actually felt more empowered by being a part of this.
100% of our attendees said that they enjoyed the event, would attend another event ran by Common Sense and found the event very interesting!