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Focus on Solidarity

What do you do when you witness or experience sexism, misogyny or marginalisation? Do you ignore it or do you stand up for what you believe is right? Last summer, my daughter and her friends got together at our home for a final goodbye before they all disappeared into various directions to pursue their different university journeys. Passing through the kitchen I was asked to stop and share what I was doing with my purpose-driven work and my podcast. It was in this conversation that a seed was planted as just a few weeks later I got a request for help from three of Holly’s friends to launch a podcast. In response to their negative experiences at school, two years ago three sixth form students came together in solidarity to set up an online blog with a view to printing off an annual magazine where young people could write articles about their experiences of misogyny and feminism in the academic community. They also set up an Instagram page but quickly became caught up in their A Levels making it hard to find time to create content. Knowing how important their message was and that people needed to hear what they had to say, they rekindled the project at university even though they were spread across the country miles apart from one another. They had the idea of starting a student podcast about sexism. However, they had very little idea of where to start, how to create a podcast or how to distribute it. They reached out to me and this was how the NOUS podcast was launched. Through the solidarity of feminism, Camille Saunders, Kelvina Malaj and Harini Iyer are students against sexism standing up for their beliefs and speaking out about their experiences via their podcast. I invited them to be guests on Focus on WHY. “Don't give up. Stay true to yourself and to your cause regardless of what everyone around you is saying. Don't be scared. Step up, use your voice and then once you've used your voice just shout louder. Don't stop making noise because that's what we need in the world.” Turning their negative experiences into positive ones, Camille, Kelvina and Harini share their insights, stories and thoughts around feminism bringing relevant conversations to the fore. They support one another and they support all the women in the world who need their solidarity right now. “I think that's one of the beautiful things about feminism as a movement is that sisterhood never dies. We just wanted to make sure that everyone can have the same positive experiences of feminism that we've had.” Their purpose is united through their mission and will continue as they seek to achieve gender equality through their focus on solidarity.

ACTION POINT What feeling of unity do you have with others on a topic that you believe strongly in? How can you demonstrate your solidarity today? Amy

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