Four Black women who have advanced human rights: IWD2022 special

Blog by Zibah Nwako, University of Bristol and Afua Twum-Danso Imoh, University of Bristol

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at the Annual Meeting 2016 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM/swiss-image.ch/Photo Michael Buholzer/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Around the world, the activism of Black women has been instrumental in shaping social justice agendas and promoting human rights. Their work has improved the health and welfare of women and girls, protected the environment and elevated the voices of the oppressed, both in their communities and further afield.

As researchers who focus on women and children’s wellbeing and rights, we have come across the work of many such Black women. The four introduced here are inspirational – for the changes they brought about, for their work ethic, and for their passion to improve the everyday lives of marginalised or oppressed groups. (more…)

Rent strikes and the continuing relevance of Paulo Freire at 100

Blog post by Dr Lucy Wenham, School of Education, University of Bristol; and Dr Helen Young, London South Bank University

Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, student rent strikes took place in many universities in England. Lockdowns and moves to online learning meant that students were at times required to pay rent for accommodation they were unable to occupy, or which offered significantly reduced amenities. These students were largely first-year undergraduates, in accommodation owned, overseen or marketed by their universities. They often did not know other students even within their accommodation blocks, as the pandemic lowered occupancy levels and movement and mixing was frequently restricted. Nonetheless, these students joined together to resist, to act collectively and to refuse to pay their rent. Their action resulted in at least partial victory, in some places, for some moments. It also resulted in a growing critical consciousness among those involved. (more…)

Mirror Mirror on the wall. Who, is the fairest of them all?


Jessie AbrahamsDr Jessie Abrahams (Lecturer in Education and Social Justice, School of Education, University of Bristol)

As results time for the COVID cohort hits, and anxiety mounts for young people, the four nations of the UK have begun a worrying battle to prove that their system of allocated grades as a substitute for summer examinations is the fairest of them all. In reality- none of them are fair. As many academics have already exclaimed, they are all set up (much like our whole education system), in favour of white, middle (and upper) class pupils and families (see for example: Ingram, 2020). (more…)