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UCL events news and reviews


Women’s political participation in Somaliland

By ucyow3c, on 1 March 2017


By Lilian Schofield, UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit 

Reflections from the ‘Women’s Political Participation in Somaliland’ event that took place on the 2nd of February 2017 and was presented by the UCL Development Planning Unit DPU, Somaliland Mission to the UK and Somaliland Focus (UK).


Picture: from left Amina-Bahja Ekman, Michael Walls, Nafisat Yusuf Mohammed, Hodan Hassan Elmi, Malou Schueller and James Firebrace

The concept of women’s exclusion from political participation is commonplace throughout the world. The principles of inclusion and equality occupies a central place in the discourse of political participation. According to the 2011 UN General Assembly resolution on women’s political participation, women all over the world continue to be largely marginalised from participating in politics and face a myriad of challenges and barriers in doing so. For women in many African countries, these challenges are made up of a complex set of factors and often embedded in local tradition, culture and religion. Women in Somaliland are not excluded from some of these challenges and barriers.

Read more at the UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit blog. 

Does gender make you sick?

By news editor, on 18 December 2013


Written by Thea Cassel (UCL Geography 2012), Communications Assistant at UCL

Of the multiple meanings that the lecture title alludes to, Dr Sarah Hawkes (Institute for Global Health) addressed the problems of targeting just one half of the population in relation to global health.

Why, when using the term ‘gender’, do businesses and health organisations actually mean women? And why, when looking at policy responses to global health, do they focus on the group that is in reality the least at risk?

The first thing that struck me as I looked around the lecture theatre was the good turnout of both men and women, as well as a large gaggle of teenagers attending on a school trip.

Does gender make you sick?From previous experience, the mention of the word ‘gender’ quickly equates to just ‘women’ and more often than not it is predominantly women who take an interest in the subject – an issue that was subsequently tackled in the lecture. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, to see a large number of men in the audience.

The lecture began with Dr Hawkes looking back at her initial interest in gender analysis from her work in Bangladesh, where she worked for the largest research organisation in a developing country. (more…)

Is there still a glass ceiling for women in Britain?

By news editor, on 15 February 2013

pencil-iconWritten by Daniel Bowman, UCL Union Debating Society committee member.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a professor. Was the professor a woman or a man? This was a question asked by UCL head of Equality and Diversity Sarah Guise during a debate held by the UCL Union Debating Society on 4 February.

She was asking the question to bring up the issue of gender stereotypes in British society today. Such stereotypes not only affect our careers as students and professionals not only does it, but also influence our conduct on a day-to-day basis.

Katie Hopkins

Katie Hopkins

On the panel were six distinguished speakers debating whether the concept of a glass ceiling is still applicable in Britain today.

The debate follows on from the recent publication of the 2011 Davies Report, commissioned by the government to report on the state of female leadership on boards, which labelled the pace of change “not good enough”.

Proposing that there is a glass ceiling were Sarah Guise, Fiona Hotston Moore, senior corporate partner at Reeves Accountants, and Sarah Veale CBE, head of the Equality and Employment Rights Department at the Trades Union Congress. (more…)

Have we won the fight against homophobia?

By news editor, on 21 May 2012

International day against homophobia and transphobia (IDAHO) is held annually on the 17 May. It commemorates the World Health Organisation’s decision to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders.

To mark the day, Out@UCL asked the university’s Chair of Council and LGBT Equality Champion, Sir Stephen Wall, to give an informal talk about his past experiences.

Stephen opened the discussion by describing how he denied his sexuality to himself for 20 years. It then took him another 20 years to do something about what he called the “cork in the bottle”. Two years ago, he came out to his family.

Stephen began his career working for the Foreign Office where you simply weren’t allowed to be gay. This wasn’t the only inequality. Women had to resign once married and, incredibly, men had to ask for permission to marry!

The format of the event itself was intended as a brief talk by Stephen followed by discussion with the attendees. All of the participants were very open about their own experiences and views. One person commented that when he was a teenager the only gay person he knew of was Boy George – not really the ideal role model!