Young pupils inspired by DMU's International Women's Day events

School pupils left De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) today feeling inspired to make a difference in the world after spending International Women’s Day learning about some of the great women who have helped change the course of history.

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DMU, which prides itself on its work for equality and diversity and its DMUlocal community projects, invited year six pupils from Medway Primary School, Highfields, and Alderman Richard Hallam School, Beaumont Leys, to join student and staff celebrations.

The pupils were set a task to turn blank wooden cut-outs into representations of inspirational women and they set to work with paints and paper to produce a group of five foot-high figures covering everything from human rights and the Suffragette movement to books and film.

Among the women represented were teenage Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Britain’s youngest ever MP Mhairi Black, Harry Potter star Emma Watson, Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole, former US First Lady Michelle Obama, Leicester Suffragette Alice Hawkins and even Disney character Moana.

Melanie Fowler, Executive Director for Marketing and Communications at DMU, oversaw the official launch with the message ‘never, ever underestimate your own ability to make positive change’.

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Dr Christina Quinlan, Director of the Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice, then talked of the importance of community support to achieve justice.

Mariam Karimova, from Medway Primary, wants to be a teacher when she grows up “so that I can teach other children about the history of people who stood up for their rights”.

She said: “I think it was wonderful to learn about all the different women who stood up for our rights and who were brave enough to do that.

“I also enjoyed painting the figures. In fact that was the best bit. I painted Rosa Parks and learned about lots of brave women.”

Sala Huddeen, also from Medway, said he wanted to be a heart surgeon when he grows up.

“I thought the day was really enjoyable and relaxed,” he said. “Just because I am a boy it doesn’t mean I do not find women inspirational. I learned about a lot of women who have achieved so much.”

Jorja Lockley, from Alderman Richard Hallam Primary, wants to be a special needs teacher.

She said: “I thought today was breath-taking.”

Lauren Brown, also from Richard Hallam, wants to be a professional footballer. She said: “All people should look up to women. It should not just be women who look up to women. Boys can as well.”

Lillian Moran said: “I want to be the first-ever female manager of a men’s professional football team. I enjoyed how we learned that we can look up to women as well as men and be what we want to be.”

Other events today included a female student employability breakfast panel featuring a number of successful women in industry including Adele Brown, Head of Careers and Employability at DMU, and Michelle De Leon, producer and filmmaker.

The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media (CEM) presented the Big Fab Feminist Quiz, celebrating the wonder of women. Entrants were encouraged to bring along sanitary products to donate to the Period Dignity campaign.

Events coming up next week include talks about inspirational women, the inaugural meeting of a new book club, a health talk on managing the menopause and a workshop for women to tackle everyday sexism.

Posted on Friday 8th March 2019

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