International Women’s Day debate takes off at GCU

Rachel Russell and Emily Thomson led the discussion

Rachel Russell and Emily Thomson led the discussion

Following a scurrilous report in the Daily Telegraph which suggested that female students at Glasgow Caledonian  had been signing up to a sexploitation website, the GCU Association debating society decided to run a debate on this, on International Women’s Day, sponsored by the local UCU.

Featured by STV, the debate clearly struck a chord with students and staff alike. The students had extensively postered and union members leafleted in the morning –

IWD leafleting

Almost a thousand leaflets distributed in less than 30 minutes

although the union sponsored buffet at the debate (which soon disappeared) was perhaps an additional attraction…..

The session started with the replay of the brilliant video on International Womens Day in  Scotland

 produced last year by former GCU multimedia journalists Rachel Fulton and Aimee Beveridge.

Following the video,  Emily Thomson, Equalities Officer for the local UCU, led off the discussion by looking at the increased economic pressures on women including the incredible statistic that 74% of all recent cuts have specifically targeted women. Emily’s introduction can be heard here and her presentation can be downloaded from here

Rachel Russell first of all questioned the concept of ‘lifestyle’ placing it in the context of available choices including equality and sexual inequality. She pointed out the continuing inequality in terms of salaries between male and female graduates and then looked at the significance of sex work and what it was, before looking at the recent t-shirt controversy,

tshirt2

tshirt1and the gendered media discourse about women and sexuality including in the Daily Telegraph.

Rachel’s introduction can be heard here, and her presentation can be downloaded from here.

The event was filmed and access will be made available to the film as soon as it is processed.

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