Campaigner Laura Bates praised a “new wave of feminism” and awareness in Britain’s universities as she visited De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).INSPIRATION: Laura, second left, with drama students Harriet, Natalie and KaneeshaLaura, who founded the award-winning Everyday Sexism Project, has collected more than 50,000 different stories of women’s experiences of sexist attitudes and behaviour.Thanks to Everyday Sexism, the issue of gender inequality has been given a bigger profile. The project has worked with police to retrain officers, MPs to address the lack of women MPs and got Facebook to change content policies relating to comments about rape and domestic violence.Laura was invited to the university by DMU Drama Studies students who organised the event as part of this year’s Cultural Exchanges festival, a celebration of arts, culture and thought-provoking debate.“I started Everyday Sexism partly because I kept finding people talking about ‘post-feminism’, as though it was something that was no longer relevant,” she said. “I wanted to show that there was still a huge amount of work to be done and the stories we have collected and shared show how far we have to go. It seems like there is a really exciting wave of feminism happening today, feminist societies are being started and expanded and the NUS has campaigned on campus consent and zero tolerance.”The event included a panel discussion featuring Laura alongside academics and a performance by drama students Kaneesha, Harriet and Natalie which was based on stories from the NUS's "lad culture" survey and Laura’s Everyday Sexism book.“We are using real-life accounts from the book, those exact words in the performance piece,” said Kaneesha. “It’s been shocking,” said Harriet. “It makes you see things differently and you realise how important this is.” Natalie added: "What Laura has done is incredible."RELATED NEWS: * Packed house for Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy* Visit DMU to see how students organise major events as part of their course* See our Facebook gallery of Cultural Exchanges eventToday (Friday) is the last day of the Cultural Exchanges Festival, which has brought audiences from around the country to DMU for a packed programme of events.Guest speakers have included Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, legendary actress Claire Bloom and composer Steve Sidwell. It has also provided an opportunity for DMU academics and students to showcase their work.
Students describe their experience of the PACE building.
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