Brisbane makes a stand to rebrand Feminism

LUISA COOLS

Audience and panelists debate changing role of Feminism in society. Image: Luisa Cools

Audience and panelists debate changing role of Feminism in society. Photo: Luisa Cools

Over 80 people united against gender prejudice at the inaugural Gender Symposium hosted by the Australian Institute of International Affairs on Monday night.

Academics, business professionals and students turned out to discuss abandoning common conceptions of gender inequality and debate the topic.

The panelists and audience tackled topics as diverse as the empowerment of women through education, sexual violence in conflict and the rebranding of modern Feminism.

Agreement was reached that changing modern social attitudes towards the empowerment of women needs to begin with altering the gender stereotypes of men.

In discussion with the panel, Professor of political science in the United Arab Emirates Doctor Anne Cullen stressed this distinction.

“The Feminism in which we are exposed to day by day only makes sense to me in this country, it doesn’t make sense to me in Indonesia, Vietnam or the Arabian world,” Dr Cullen said.

“Who told us we were dominant? Is this the white man’s point of view, are we back to something with the colour of the skin? Does that give us the right?

“I am extraordinarily conflicted. I am a global citizen first and everything else falls after that.”

Event organiser Ketevan Datukishvili argues rebranding Feminism and reassessing what it means to society is important in the modern context.

“This kind of event is vital as we create a forum for these issues to be brought to light and educate our community on the state of gender and politics around the globe,” Miss Datukishvili said.

“The forum also brought together like minded people to network, including the speakers themselves who met enthusiastic students passionate about altering social conceptions.”

The Australian Institute of International Affairs promotes understanding of international issues and provides a forum for discussion.

For more information on the organisation please visit http://www.internationalaffairs.org.au.

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