Gender Equality is a topical issue at Burnside High School
Into Motion is an initiative started by Burnside students in August last year to bring together high school students in Canterbury to discuss gender equality. June 15th in week 7 this term saw the first hui with 80 students in attendance from various schools. Organised by Emma Hollingworth 11SCTH, Dominic Wilson 10SDES, and Piper Pengelly 11NHWN the day was jam-packed with speakers, workshops, and group discussions.
The goals for the day were to engage students in discussions regarding feminism and to spark discussions regarding feminist subjects among Canterbury youth.
Speakers for the day included a feminism 101 presentation by event organiser Piper Pengelly which explained basic feminist concepts such as patriarchy, gender roles, rape culture, intersectionality and a few misconceptions regarding feminism. This was followed by Dr Annie Potts from the University of Canterbury who presented a lecture on eco-feminism. After interval Dhavni Patel a year 11 from Burnside presented her spoken poetry piece, then Donald Pettitt from Canterbury Men's Centre spoke about masculinity and the work he and his organisation does. Our final speaker for the day was the honourable Dr Megan Woods who spoke about her personal experience with feminism and the importance of females in leadership positions.
Between the speakers we had two workshops sessions covering topics such as media representation, youth and the law, stereotypes, values based leadership, and intersectionality.
To top everything off we had a panel discussion on the education system in relation to feminism before lunch. Panelists included our very own Miss Heta and Ms Goodman, Rachel Wilson, and Sean Wheeler- a representative from the Ministry of Education. This was a great opportunity for students to ask questions from uniform to representation in history.
Feedback from the day was utterly stellar. This is the first time something such as this has been run in the South Island and it is easy to say it was a huge success!
The conference was an absolute labour of love and it would not have been possible without help from many, many people. Thank you to those of you who know who you are!
Future plans for Into Motion include having interschool feminist group meet ups, holding annual huis, and much more! Stay tuned!
To read more see the article written about us! https://metronews.co.nz/article/burnside-students-host-feminism-conference#.WylU7ua9U_0.facebook or for more check out our Instagram @IntoMotionHui and follow us on Facebook!
Written by Piper Pengelly