Radar met with the Gender Equality Society and we are excited to introduce the brand new society on campus. Only a few weeks old the Gender Equality Society became Facebook live on the 6th of January and is set to become an official society when there are ten paying members.
The founder of the Gender Equality Society, 1st year Journalism student Rebecca Anderson, was happy to talk to Radar about the formation of the society and why she believes there is a need for it on the RGU campus.
What inspired you to start up the Gender Equality Society?
I have always had an interest in gender equality. I grew up in an African country when I was younger where I saw first-hand a great deal of oppression. On the other end of the scale, males had to compete with standards of success and not being able to reach such high standards often led to mental health issues. It is not just an issue for females.
Do you think Trump inspired the creation of the society after bringing issues of gender equality to the forefront in the US elections?
I think the US elections did have some influence subconsciously. I think it brought back my passion, especially since I have seen and experienced so much.
What made you decide to create the society even though RGU already has Feminism and LGBT+ societies?
Gender equality is the viewpoint that everyone should receive equal treatment and not be discriminated against based on their gender. LGBT+ is the belief that you should be treated equally regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity. The Feminism society is more for females and for female equality.The Gender Equality Society is not specifically for male or females.
Do you think gender equality is an important issue we all need to address, even on our campus?
Before I set up the Facebook page I done a lot of research and did notice that there are still gender equality issues in Britain today. For example, there is still a pay gap – although not as significant as before it is still there. There is a misguided way of thinking that females are ‘emotionally fragile’ while males are the more ‘educated sex’. Women should be the ‘homemakers’ while men should be the ‘breadwinners’. Even in education, there are stereotypical ‘male’ degrees such as engineering and medicine and ‘female’ degrees like fashion and nursing. Those who don’t conform to these stereotypes still often face some form of discrimination. The society would be a place to celebrate all the people who have overcome adversities and any inequalities they have experienced. There has been a great amount of interest in the society so far, a mix of different genders, cultures, and nationalities proving there are people passionate about the subject. It shows there is a need for a society like this on the campus.
What do you hope to do with the society? And where do you see it going?
I want to get more people interested and talking about the issue of gender equality and I hope the society becomes educational for all members. I’d love to show movies such as The Colour Purple and talk about them and how they portray the issues. We would celebrate International Women’s Day, International Men’s Day and other holidays. I want this society to help break down any gender inequalities and make sure everyone has substantial representation in RGU. There are already more than 40 likes on the Facebook page, I hope the society continues to grow and can become an official society soon.
When is your first meeting?
Our first society meeting will be on Tuesday the 28th February at 3pm in the RGU:Union Room. The meeting will be an introduction to the Gender Equality Society and will also be an opportunity to elect members of the committee; President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Events Secretary/PR. Everyone will be given a chance to vote for who they want to represent them.
You can check out the Gender Equality Society on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RGUGenderEquality/?fref=ts