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As I’m sure all of you are aware, this week at Falmouth University is International Women’s Week. A week to celebrate women all over the world and their achievements, whilst also raising awareness that we still need to strive towards gender parity. This is an important week to empower and celebrate so in honor of this, Her Campus Falmouth thought it was necessary to ask some women around campus about their female role models, and why they think this week is important. These ladies came out with some fabulous responses and are beautiful examples of why it is imperative to celebrate smart and powerful women, not only within one week, but all year round.

Kym Martindale, Lecturer

“We have made great strides in equality, but we are not there yet, and across the world, women are seriously disadvantaged – lack of equal pay, human rights, etc. – simply because of their gender. The struggle continues. Inspirational women: Annie Lennox – just for being so sassy with Aretha Franklin; and my lecturer at University of West of England, Professor Kate Fulbrook, who got me where I am today, and never lost sight of her values where equality was concerned.”

Meredith Miller, Lecturer

“I’m going with Fannie Lou Hamer and my mom!  I can’t think of a woman with more courage than Fannie Lou Hamer, organising in an atmosphere of violent racial apartheid at risk of her own life.  Here is her wiki, in case you haven’t heard of her: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fannie_Lou_Hamer. As for my mom, I remember well how hard it was for women to live active and full lives in that generation.  The bank wouldn’t even allow my mother to have a bank account in her own name, even though she earned more money than my dad. In that atmosphere, she gained two higher degrees, left an unhappy marriage, raised seven kids and had a groundbreaking professional career.  We need days like today so that we don’t forget these things.”

Tyler Jaye O’Brien, Photography Student

“Lady gaga is my inspiration as she not only has become one of the most powerful politicians but she also isn’t afraid of being who she wants to be. International women’s day is brilliant because it allows people to express themselves and also gets the surrounding issues talked about.”

Nicole Baker, Music Theatre Student

“My Mum is my inspiration because she is made of sass and is the perfect combination of a complete powerhouse who gets whatever she wants, and fills the room with her endless humour, whilst being the most unbelievable, generous Mumma who would happily dedicated her life to making ours the best! I think it’s a great day to honour women everywhere, whether their super power is pushing a human being out of them or running a business, or whatever their achievement. It is also an excellent show of unity as we further push for equality.”

Hayley Turner, Acting Student

“Jennifer Lawrence is a really inspirational woman for me as an actor, because she’s been extremely vocal about the inequality in pay and representation of women throughout the whole performance and entertainment industry. I think this week is important to help educate people on why equality is still such a hot topic and remind everybody that feminism doesn’t mean women are better, but that women should be equal.”

Andrea Hounto, History and Politics

“The woman I look up to the most is Michelle Obama. As a black woman in America, she challenged every possible stereotype (before even becoming the First Lady). Not many people know she attended both Princeton and Harvard, and at one point she was earning more than Barack Obama. I think International women’s day is important because we get reminded almost every day that we are the weaker, and more vulnerable sex. We deserve a day to remind ourselves of our collective strength.”

Emma Gibbs, English

“I actually just read an article from the Guardian about Emma Watson who I would say is my role model – she’s doing a lot for feminism at the moment and trying to raise awareness for equal pay etc. I think she’s a great role model because even though people have called her ‘feminazi’ or whatever she still stands up for what’s right and wants to make positive changes. And in general this week is a great way to celebrate all the women that have made a positive difference in your life.”

Laura Robinson, Renewable Energy

“I hope that one day girls get asked what it’s like to be an engineer rather than what it’s like to be a woman in engineering?”

Dalila Kali Mcfarlane-Martin, Acting

“International women’s week is a time to embrace ourselves and our sisters. It’s imperative that we allow ourselves and each other to truly live our authentic self. I’m inspired by women who are courageous, talented and bold with their work and life decisions. They make me feel capable of achieving anything I put my mind to.”

Ellen Rowley, Textiles

“I remember in my early teens reading about Katie Piper’s acid attack by her boyfriend and was so shocked and horrified and became engrossed in her story. I read her autobiography and everything I could about her because she documented her whole recovery journey and still today I look her up occasionally. She now has her own foundation to help other acid attack victims, has a column in a magazine, presents on the television and is happily married with a daughter. She is beautiful and so inspiring!”

Thank you for giving up a moment of your time ladies! It was super interesting to find out who inspires you, and I’m sure your answers will inspire others too. 

My name is Laura Sherlock and I am the co-editor for Falmouth's chapter of Hercampus. I am currently in my third year of university studying English.
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