Friday 31 January 2014
QMEquality is QM's Feminist society, which was founded in 2010 by Wanda Canton, politics student, during her time as QMSU's Women's Officer. The society began small and has continued to grow, with the addition of their award winning event Festival51 opening up conversations and spreading awareness of women's issues within the QM community. They have won the award for the Best Campaign twice for their annual event Festival51, and had a huge surge of interest at this year's Freshers' Fair.
QMEquality discusses and tackles issues of inequality within wider society, with a special focus on problems that female university students might face. Issues of consent, harassment and discrimination on campus are central to their dialogues, campaigns and events. They aim to create a relaxed, safe space for students to come and discuss personal and topical issues regarding gender and inequality. With large financial cuts being made to disproportionately female attended courses,
QMEquality are keen to fight and prevent anything which could unfairly disadvantage women's education and post-graduation life. They are focused on defending and promoting women's rights, and regularly publish statements on current issues, including a recent response to the university's debate on whether or not to ban Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines on campus.
QMEquality are an intersectional group, meaning they believe that racism, sexism, classism, ableism and homo/biphobia exist and can overlap, meaning any one person can be treated unfairly due to a combination of many types of prejudice. The society has weekly meetings in the SU Hub on Thursdays at 2.30pm. While the first half hour is for self-defining women only, the rest of the session is open to all genders and participation and involvement is encouraged so that everyone is given a chance to voice their opinions.
Hannah Roesler, QMEquality's president, "The best thing about QME, in my opinion, is that there's something in it for everyone: whether you want to join us when we go to demos and support rallies and strikes, want to meet other feminists across London and attend a range of events on and off campus, or just talk about the issues you face as a woman and share your experiences as a student and feminist in a safe, relaxed atmosphere, we have it all! Everyone is welcome to join us and the number of amazing women students all across the UK in our fight for women's liberation!"
Festival51, created to honour International Women's Day and named after the 51% of women in society, is their annual festival to raise awareness, spark discussion and help to empower students. This year's Festival will be taking place on March 10 – March 21 2014, and will include talks, self-defense classes, and performances of Eve Ensler's well-loved Vagina Monologues. Last year's performances of the Vagina Monologues were hugely successful and both nights sold out, showing the success not only of the society but the individual women who put it together, directed and acted in it.
They are hoping to carry out campaigns and events throughout the remainder of the semester, including a consent campaign around Valentine's Day and events to celebrate National Women's Day (8 March 2014). Keep an eye on their WordPress, Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with upcoming events and find out ways to get involved!