A panel of inspiring women will be debating ‘Who Needs Feminism’ in a free online event taking place on Thursday 11 March

IN celebration of International Women’s Day 2021 the University of Huddersfield is bringing together a panel of inspiring women for a free online debate, which the public are invited to attend called ‘Who Needs Feminism’ and will be centred around a new book entitled ‘The Futures of Feminism’, that will take place Thursday 11 March. 

The author of The Futures of Feminism’ is Professor Emerita and affiliate member of the University’s Centre for Citizenship, Conflict, Identity and Diversity Valerie Bryson, who will be joined by actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation Kim Leadbeater MBE and the University’s Director of the None In Three global research centre Professor Adele Jones OBE. 

Chairing the webinar will be the University’s Director of Teaching, Learning and Student Experience for the School of Human and Health Sciences, Dr Georgina Blakeley. 

Professor Valerie Bryson has published extensively on feminist theory and politics and insists the discussion isn’t going to be a complicated and academic one. “The event is about new ways of seeing the world, with very practical implications!”, she said. 

In addition to an overview of her new book, Professor Bryson will outline where her ideas have come from and how they have developed over time, introduce the key feminist concepts of patriarchy, intersectionality and care and will identify positive ways in which we can ‘build back better’ as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Extracts from the book will be performed by actress Julie Hesmondhalgh who is well known for her work on TV and in theatre and radio. Julie is an activist and co-runs Take Back Theatre, a Manchester-based company making immediate responses to social and political events. She will also be taking part in the discussion and the Q&A session which will include questions sent in by the public.

An ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation which was set up after the murder of her sister Jo Cox MP in 2016, Kim Leadbeater MBE, will talk about the value of women in the work of the Jo Cox Foundation and across all levels of society - from local community organising to Westminster. Kim also chairs the Batley & Spen ‘More In Common’ volunteer group and is spokesperson for The Great Get Together, an annual weekend of community events held across the UK in June. 

Adele Jones OBE, Professor of Social Work and Director of the None in Three (Ni3) research centre which advocates the global prevention of gender-based violence, will explain the use of intersectionality as an analytic tool to explore the experiences of marginalised survivors of abuse. Professor Jones specialises in international children’s rights and the prevention of violence against women and children. She is the creator and Director of the EU-funded None in Three Project in Barbados and Grenada which laid the foundations for the establishment of Ni3. 

Webinar Chair Dr Georgina Blakeley was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2020 and has previously won the European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities. These came after being shortlisted for the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards in 2017 and 2020. She has also co-edited a book with Professor Bryson entitled: The Impact of Feminism on Political Concepts and Debates’. 

To register for the discussion and if you have a question you would like to ask the panel visit the debate’s Eventbrite page.

More news from the Department of Behavioural and Social Sciences