Manchester Met hold Women’s History Month pop-up library

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“I am a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.” – Maya Angelou

By Neave Holmes

To celebrate Women’s History month, Manchester Met’s History department set up a pop-up library on International Women’s Day. The library displayed a range of books on female activism and women’s history, written by female authors.

The pop-up library aimed to promote awareness of International Women’s Day and invited staff and students to discuss their opinions on women’s history, feminism and women’s rights. Volunteers at the stand wore ‘Votes for Women’ sashes and encouraged people to reflect on women’s history and the ongoing fight for equality.

International Women’s Day has been celebrated since the early 1900s. It has become a day to promote equality internationally and brings together individuals, organisations and movements to interact and recognise achievements around the world. It heightens a sense of community and team work around the world, strengthening the connection between women despite their differences. It is important to study the past and the persecution of woman, but it is essential to equally remember to celebrate women today.

The event was led by History lecturer Marie Molloy who described a “new wave of female activism in the present day”. She explained, “Even though women have made many achievements, full equality has not been realised and there are still many glass ceilings left to break.”

During the day, attendees were invited to share their opinions. When asked why International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month are important to individuals, MA student Lucy Simpson responded that “International woman’s day is important as it is giving visibility to a thing that’s in progression and not completed”. She added, “Public knowledge shows that it is something people are taking notice of and should be.”

When asked what her favourite book written by a female author was and why, student Hala Othman state, “My favourite book written by a woman is Separate roads to Feminism by Benita Roth. This is because she discusses the history of black, white and Latino women; therefore, she sheds light on diversity of women in the most inclusive way.”

Many expressed the belief that reaching complete equality will take longer than expected, believing motivation is lacking as some people believe society has already achieved it. This combined with anti-feminist groups, has brought some feminist movements to a near standstill. However, International Women’s Day appears to be perceived positively by the public and has increasingly gained publicity over the years. To this day, there is still gender inequality and celebrating International Women’s Day is an opportunity to highlight these issues.

Independent Women’s Day and Women’s History Month can only continue to promote the success of women and influence those to fight for equality. The day showcased International Women’s Day in a positive way and encouraged women to keep on empowering themselves and others.

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