News Article

Reclaim the Night 2022

This year, on March 11th, I attend the Reclaim the Night march, to show that female-identifying and non-binary people had the right to safety when out at night. I wanted to share my experience of the night, and why it is so important we continue to fight for women's rights all across the globe.

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On March 11th 2022, I and many other students; staff, and members of the public, attend the Reclaim the Night rally; march, and vigil. This was our chance, as sisters and non-binary siblings, to make sure we were seen; to make sure our voices were heard, and that in spite of all of the turbulent times we live in, the fight for women's rights was not forgotten.

Reclaim the Night dates as far back as the 1970s in the United Kingdom, following the murder of several women at the hands of the Yorkshire Ripper. Many women took to the streets across various cities to share their outrage, that rather than being offered protection and assurance of their safety, the police encouraged women to stay at home and not go out after dark. This victim-blaming is one of the very reasons Reclaim the Night exists. To shift the focus off of those who are made to feel threatened when going out, rather than those who create the threats. It demands that we do not blame women for wearing a short dress or for being too drunk, but that we educated and create a culture of consent; where everyone understands women have a right to feel safe and to be left alone when being in the streets at night.

The rally began in the ARU Courtyard at the Lord Ashcroft Building. I and the Postgraduate President of Cambridge SU, Anjum Nahar, began by giving speeches about our own experiences as women, and why the event was so important. I was blown away by Anjum's passion for, not just women's issues, but for societal inequity as a whole. The crowd too were amazing, carrying banners and placards; putting to paper their wants in wonderfully creative ways. After our speeches were over, we began moving out of ARU, and made our way to the march!

We began heading towards the Grafton Centre, trying to show as many as we could that we were here and we would be heard. We carried on across Christ's Piece, heading towards the city centre where our final destination was.

For the vigil, we entered Greater St. Mary's, to hear speeches; poetry recitals, and stories. It was both emotive and beautiful. Hearing the many experiences of women and non-binary people, and the fascinating ways attendees wished to express their feelings about the way the world currently is and the state of women's rights was electric. I can scarcely think of a more emotional night I have had.

So with all this in mind, I ask you that are reading to share your thoughts on women's rights; what we can do better at ARU, and what you hope to see changed in the future!



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