Friday 28 February 2014
Queen Mary’s New Turn Society, who were profiled in January’s QM Student, held their conference, Women in the 21st Century, on Tuesday 18 February. Around 300 people attended the conference, and throughout the day over 50 speakers got involved in debates and discussions centring on key topics effecting women, with titles such as ‘Women and the Development Process’, ‘Violence against Women’ and ‘Women and Capitalism’.
Guest speakers included women and men with a number of different backgrounds and specialities, including academics, journalists, activists, editors, barristers, spokespeople, and politicians.
The day kicked off with the ‘Women: Progress through History’ talk, featuring speaker Nell Beecham who was Women’s Officer and LGBT Officer during her time at York University. Nell set the mood for the day by highlighting the issues that are ‘unique to the modern age’ which have come to light within feminist dialogue. She recognised the clashes within Feminism and applauded the celebration of different viewpoints being expressed throughout the day, describing the new generation of women as ‘beautifully diverse and conflicting’. She ended her brief with the advice to the audience that ‘there’s no one way to be a feminist, but more importantly, there’s no wrong way to be a feminist’.
Live twitter updates and photos of the event were running throughout the day with the link #NTConf14, including updates from speakers, audience members and New Turn’s own organisers.
Carolina Mantzalos, President of New Turn, was very pleased with the turn out to the event, and commented: "It is safe to say that the conference held by New Turn was a great success. The fact that people were able to come together from both outside and within London to discuss such a contested issue demonstrated that the aim in targeting awareness was achieved. Both the audience and speakers were greatly engaged in the events that took place, a degree of enthusiasm I had personally never experienced before, and it was truly wonderful to be part of such an experience."