BES funded Seminar Series ‘Women and Social Justice’.
Thursday 21 February 2013
In the first seminar on 21 February Dr Pam Lowe (Aston University) and Geraldine Brown (SURGE) presented papers on ‘Exploring the concept of sexual exploitation’. A number of interesting and thought-provoking issues were raised regarding sexual exploitation. Getting the balance right between acknowledging agency and offering protection from harm was a focus of the discussion and contributions of the issues raised by Pam and Geraldine came from social workers, youth workers, those offering services to survivors of rape and sexual assault, people that informally have an interest in the lives of girls and women.
Seminar 2 explored sexual harassment and unwanted attention. The Coventry University/Coventry Women’s Voices led project used quantitative and qualitative methods to capture data from staff, students and other women regarding experiences of unwanted attention and harassment. The research launch event, ‘An everyday occurrence: women and street harassment’ (4 March, Herbert Art Gallery), jointly organized with Coventry Women’s Voices, attracted widespread publicity and had a ‘tweet reach’ of approximately 43,000. One of the organisers appeared on Coventry and Warwickshire radio and the event was reported nationally in Women’s Views on News. Discussions at this event were broader than ‘street’ harassment and focused heavily on girls and women’s experiences of unwanted sexual attention, abuses of power within sexual negotiations and sexual assault – all of which are underpinned by potentially different understandings of ‘consent’. Discussions have already led to new and strengthened links between Coventry University, Coventry Women’s Voices, voluntary sector organisations, Coventry City Council and Aston University.