Celebrating International Women’s Day 2021
UCD College of Social Sciences and law hosted a special webinar event to celebrate International Women’s day 2021 with a panel discussion on the theme 'Giving a Voice to Women on the Margins'. The event was hosted by Professor Judith Harford, College Vice Principal for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion who warmly welcomed Ms Sabina Higgins who gave the opening address to attendees. Ms Higgins emphasised the importance of the affiliation to United Nations Women (UN women) and also working collectively towards the objectives of achieving the UN Sustainable Development goals in particular Goal 5 pertaining to Gender Equality and Goal 4 of Quality education.
Speakers on the panel included Professor Aisling Swaine (UCD) whose research focuses on feminist legal theory, gender peace and security and women's experiences of armed violence, Emma Penney, post-doctoral fellow in UCC whose research focuses on working-class women's community writing and Dyuti Chakravarty, doctoral student in UCD School of Sociology whose research examines women's movements for bodily autonomy in India and Ireland.
A common thread in the discussion was centred around access to education based on social class. The importance of “what counts as knowledge” was discussed by all speakers on the panel in relation to the politics of knowledge production and an understanding of feminist knowledge that exists within nations. Professor Swaine emphasised the importance of having frames of understanding and constructing knowledge like gender equality, critical theory, colonial theory and class theory. She stressed it was important in third level education to have these classes available for students and she encouraged the use of “knowledge of the everyday” in relation to shared stories, shared experiences and for these elements to also count as knowledge and for universities to support and recognise this.