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#ChooseToChallenge Part 1

Today is International Women's Day 2021.

The 2020 Oxford Uni fresher cohort marked 100 years since women received degrees. Today the TOG team #ChooseToChallenge with the women of past, present and future. It is by challenging that positive change occurs.

Let me introduce you to some truly inspiring women currently studying at Oxford Uni:

"There is nothing more powerful than a woman who sees the wings she has behind her and is unafraid to use them to take herself to heights people never thought she could reach. That is why we celebrate International Women's Day - to honor the strength and the courage it takes in this world for women to shatter expectations of who and what each of them "should be" in order to become and embrace who each of them truly is." Serene Singh, DPhil in Criminology/Criminal Justice, Christ Church, @serene.singh, @serenegoestooxford

"To be able to say that I am a female scientist currently doing a masters in the world's best institute is truly a privilege and a dream that I never knew I could achieve. Yet as I spend my days in Oxford I remind myself that everyone and anyone can achieve their dreams if they put their mind to it, and I take it upon myself as a female Muslim woman to encourage other women to reach for their dreams. But most importantly to show the importance of their voice and to never be silenced." Munuse Savash, St Hughs College, MSc in Clinical Embryology, @munusesavash

"Fight like a girl." Marta, DPhil Politics, Worcester College, @marta_cecilia_antonetti

"I hope that, through my degree I can not only provide myself with an opportunity to make some change for the better in the world, but also that I can inspire girls younger than me to thrive academically and to aspire to bettering themselves through education as well!" Charlotte ‘Poddy’ Wilson, French, Oriel College, @poddywilson

"A polite reminder for all the young women out there- "No one knows your full potential, including you, and you will never come to know till the time you won't try. So believe in yourself and go for it!" Chitra Yadav, MSc Radiation Biology (Oncology), St Hugh's College, @chitraydv

"Being different doesn’t mean being less valuable. Unfortunately, this is not how women were and are treated in many parts of the world. My vision for the future is that one day, all societies will embrace diversity as a strength and that societal norms and principles will reflect that all people are of equal value. Everybody in this world is precious and deserve the chance to make their dreams come true." Nadja Yang, DPhil Engineering Science. Keble, @nadja.yang

"As a woman, just by receiving an offer to study PPE at Oxford is a striking achievement and involves overcoming countless barriers that men just do not have to face. Every woman who studies here contributes to the slow yet steady breakdown of harmful historical stereotypes of what future leaders should look, sound and act like, and that is a remarkable feat we should be proud of. Yet, upon studying political theory for Prelims, not a single core text was written by a woman. Women at the intersectional cleavages of race, sexuality and gender were even more strikingly absent from reading lists across the board. This is why IWD is still critically needed - as women, we need to stand together to challenge the gender bias present in every level of academia beyond just the admissions stage because women vitally need more women in politics, philosophy and economics" Anna, PPE, Univ College, @annajbodman

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can achieve” - Michelle Obama, Letitia Harris, DPhil in Oncology, University College, @thesciencenarrative

“There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” – Virginia Woolf. I love this quote because I think it really captures how, even in the face of adversity or prejudice, women*’s minds are a powerful place that cannot be constrained by societal pressures." Elisa Smith, St Hilda’s, Geography, @elisaasmith

"Something I love about Oxford is that there are so many different support networks for women including JCR reps, societies focused on women’s experience and of course TOG! Women’s networks have enabled me to meet so many different women from across Balliol, Oxford and alumni. I have learnt so much from these opportunities and hopefully I can pass the advice I have gained on to younger students. For me, the networks that explore women’s place in the legal profession have been particularly valuable. Whilst a huge amount of progress has been made there is still a way to go to achieve equality in the workplace. Seeing so many groups of women coming together to support each other across Oxford gives me a lot of hope and confidence for the future." Katie Bacon, Law, Balliol @baconaiter

‘My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.’ - Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Matilda Pratt, Law, Corpus Christi College, @matildaprattofficial

“A successful woman is one who can build a strong foundation with bricks others have thrown at her.” Millie, MSc EBHC Medical Statistics ,Kellogg College, @miazmillie


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