EMMIR students presenting during Human Rights Week.
EMMIR Cohort 8 students Tinyiko Sithole and Eihlam Elgamal hosted presentations during Amnesty International's Human Rights Week in Stavanger, Norway on Friday, 8th of March. Speakers from various fields partook in the event all week at the University of Stavanger campus.
Tinyiko Sithole presented about the Doek, a traditional headwrap or scarf worn by women, and what it signifies in the South African context, where Tinyiko is from. For centuries, African women's hair and bodies have constantly been monitored... numerous authors state that historically, the head wrap was imposed on black women as a "badge of enslavement". Tinyiko talked about the significance of the Doek in South African cultures while she explored the relationship between the Doek and gender identity. Her presentation also illustrated the revolution of the Doek amongst contemporary South African women.
"I think it is essential for everyone to advocate for women's right or human rights in places that we occupy, it does make an impact regardless of its measure," says Tinyiko, "a change in perception is an impact on its own, and a good start."
...a change in perception is an impact on its own, and a good start.
A second presentation by Cohort 8 student Eihlam Elgamal focused on what is currently happening in Sudan, her home country. "As Sudan is witnessing a revolution against the current authoritarian regime, it was important for me as a Sudanese to let the world know about what is happening in Sudan", says Eihlam, who presented about "violence against Sudanese women and their role in the ongoing revolution".
Moreover, the Human Rights Week was a very good opportunity to show that collective solidarity is important and that fighting for a certain oppressed group is a step to liberate all people who are suffering.
Human Rights Week gave students such as Tinyiko and Eihlam the opportunity to present about important topics such as these. Eihlam enjoyed Human Rights Week, organised by Amnesty International, as "there were interesting events and lectures dealing with issues like rape, LGBTI+ rights, and the exploitation of labor in the fashion industry" she says. "Moreover, the Human Rights Week was a very good opportunity to show that collective solidarity is important and that fighting for a certain oppressed group is a step to liberate all people who are suffering".
Photo Credit: Oliver Wedemeyer