Image description: In the centre is a white cursive banner, with the words ‘Women’s Week’ in pink text. Underneath is the word ‘2020’ in white text. The background contains various images of women protesting, with a pink wash added over all the images.
On the bottom right is a sign graphic which says ’24th August to 28th August’. On the bottom left are three arms risen in protest, behind the UWA Student Guild’s logo, and the UWA Student Guild Women’s Department logo.
By Courtney Withers
Guild Elections are fast approaching, but we still have a few more exciting events on campus before then.
The wonderful UWA Student Guild Women’s Department are hosting their annual Women’s Week Festival this week to celebrate the successes of women and non-binary students on campus. The #womensweek2020 Festival will take place on Oak Lawn from 12pm-2pm, on Tuesday the 25th of August, with the theme activism.
Concerned with activism and intersectionality, this festival will deliver purposeful and diverse messages to students. The Women’s Department believes that activism – standing up for equal rights – is a job for everyone, which is why the department invites all people to celebrate the upcoming festival.
I sat down with Head of Women’s Department Pauline Chiwawa to discuss what the festival has to offer, and why everyone should get around this cause.
Courtney Withers: What’s in store for the Women’s Week Festival?
Pauline Chiwawa: The Women’s Week Festival will be an immersion, celebrating women and non-binary people and causes. There will be over ten organisations at Oak Lawn, with everything from interactive DIY’s, pre-loved clothing stalls, information stalls, and exhibitions supporting women and non-binary causes.
CW: Could you explain this year’s theme?
PC: The primary vision for the Women’s Department in 2020 has been growing knowledge, and creating space for critical reflection on domestic and global women, and non-binary issues, with a focus on the impacts of structures of power including patriarchy, colonialism, racism, nativism, classism, and capitalism. The Women’s Week Festival will be no exception. There are some incredible activities which will be running at the festival, exploring themes like domestic violence, fast fashion, climate justice, the cultural experience as a woman, and LGBTQIA+ visibility.
CW: What do you hope students will get out of the festival/why should all students be involved?
PC: All students are most definitely welcome to drop by the festival 12-2pm at Oak Lawn on Tuesday. This will be an opportunity to see the incredible work different clubs and organisations are doing in different pockets of our campus, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to be part of a collective power celebrating autonomy, resilience, and rededication to a state of equality for all women, and non-binary people, across the intersections.
CW: How can students be involved with Guild Women’s?
PC: The Guild Women’s Department is an incredibly rewarding and incredibly dynamic space to be a part of. Here are ways students can get involved:
- Be a part of the physical and virtual events happening throughout Women’s Week 2020.
- Publish art/poetry/research/journals in our Damsel online blog.
- Join the Facebook collectives and groups connected with us, to engage with people with similar lived experiences: UWA Women’s Collective, UWA Women’s Access Collective. UWA Women of Colour Collective, UWA Women in Social Impact Collective, UWA Women’s LGBT+ Collective, UWA Parents on Campus Collective.
- We will be hosting a national virtual conference in late November. Keep up to date with @NOWSA2020 for opportunities to sign up as an attendee, or to run workshops on something you’re passionate about during the conference!
- Donate clothing you have to our new project: The Women’s Wardrobe: Business Wear initiative which is a wardrobe in the Women’s Room for women and non-binary people to borrow clothing for interviews/networking events.
- Keep up to date with our Facebook and Instagram page for opportunities.
- Contact us if there are projects or campaigns you’d like our department to promote/help you with. We’re here to enhance your student experience.
If you want to get more involved with a group that fosters a safe and welcoming community, join the UWA Women’s Collective; like the UWA Student Guild Women’s Facebook page; and head on down to the Women’s Week Festival!
Courtney may or may not be dreading the Guild Elections and wants to stay in her bubble of reporting campus events (just kidding…).
Picture courtesy of UWA Student Guild Women’s Department