New feature: Students offer a glimmer of hope

// 24 January 2011

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An encounter with students at an Oxford University festival on gender and equality leaves Lisa Ansell optimistic

Since the Budget last year, I’ve felt a responsibility to speak loudly about the effect of the government’s economic agenda on women. Partly because I am one of those affected, and partly because I know this unrelenting attack on women undermines equality, and that the unpaid contribution to society of motherhood and caring for others is now being punished with destitution and public condemnation.

Alice Heath, Yuan Yang (both women’s officers) and Sophie Lewis (a postgraduate student) organised the Gender and Equality Festival at Oxford University. A coming together of groups from all over the university, the festival asked questions about how we can promote gender equality, the barriers women face and what the future holds for us. When I was asked to address them, I was surprised and flattered, but more than a little worried.

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