Inspirational campaigner speaks at sixth form event to mark Elimination of Violence against Women Day

Inspirational campaigner speaks at sixth form event to mark Elimination of Violence against Women Day

Students heard powerful accounts from a variety of speakers as New City College Havering Sixth Form held an event to raise awareness on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

International campaigner Payzee Malika told how at 16 she was forced into marriage to a much older man and how her sister was a victim of an ‘honour’ killing. She now spends her time working to bring about a change to women’s rights and she went on to urge students to speak out, help change society and make a difference to the world around them.

Also speaking to the students were Met Police Chief Inspector Louise Jackson and Dan Allchurch from Talk Consent. Louise spoke about the work being done by the police and how everyone can help to make women feel safer if they are out at night and Dan gave an explanation of what consent between two people really means.

Students heard about high profile cases of violence against women, such as the murders of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa and most recently Zara Aleena – who was walking home from a night out in Ilford – as well as being educated on the more prevalent issues of coercion, control, cat calling, cyber bullying and sexting.

As part of the event there were also interactive activities and information stalls run by visiting charities and organisations such as Sex Ed Matters, Forward, Respond, East London Rape Crisis Team, the Met Police and Talk Consent where students could design badges, tote bags and keyrings. Students were given tutorials on the importance of the day and were able to express what it meant to them.

Safeguarding and Enrichment Manager Emma Wood, who organised the event, said: “The students found the speakers very interesting and the whole event has educated them to realise that if they call out bad or disrespectful behaviour, they can help to make a difference and change the society we live in so that women and girls are able to feel safe – both in their homes and on the streets. It is important as a college that we can come together and make a stand to learn how to stop violence towards women.”

The sixth form’s Deputy Principal, Phil Hall, said: “The event was a triumph! I was so impressed by the well-balanced range of exhibitors, activities and such high-profile guest speakers which maximised student engagement with the topic.  Our students were a credit to the college throughout the day and we had some lovely feedback from our visitors about their maturity and engagement.”

Global campaigner Payzee Malika said: “I was honoured to be here at New City College today to speak with these amazing young people and to hear feedback from them about how we can all be involved in these important conversations around eliminating violence against women and girls.”

The Havering Daily came to the sixth form to report on the event. See their video and story here