Professor presents keynote speech

Posted on 3rd January 2018

The Director of the Institute of Gender Studies, Professor Emma Rees, was the keynote speaker at an International Women’s Conference, held at Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh.

The conference was part of the WomenBeing Project, which is an international platform for discussion, sharing of experiences and knowledge, which supports the empowerment of women through online and offlineevents. It had an international focusand welcomed delegates from 25 different countries to share their research and work on the status of women in the world today.
Professor Rees’s keynote speech was ‘Who broke feminism? The obligation of privilege’. Her talk, about feminism today, shattered some of the myths about feminism and answered the crucial question: ‘Why “feminism” and not “equality”?’ It was based on Professor Rees’s inaugural professorial lecture, and on the book (her third) that she is currently writing.
Professor Rees explored how women are systematically exploited and abused, from Kensington to Kigali, because they
are women. She discussed ideas of ‘choice feminism’, and ‘feminism lite’, and considered the feminist continuum,  demonstrating how the ‘personal’ is, in fact, decidedly ‘political’. We are living in the era of the Women’s March – but, with 200,000,000 women worldwide living with the after-effects of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Professor Rees questioned whether it is also the era that feminism failed. Professor Rees said: “I’ve already done my ‘Vulvanomics’ talk, based on my second book, at over 30 venues in the UK, US, and Europe. I have bookings for this new talk which I first aired at a UN-affiliated symposium in Oxford in December 2016, in 2018, and in the US in 2019.”