8 March 2021
International Women's Day (IWD) is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women which takes place annually on 8 March. This year, SOAS marked the day by honouring some of the inspirational women who work and study on our campus.
Nominations for 'Most Inspirational Women of SOAS' were invited from the campus community. Three anthropologists landed in the top 10!
Sara Lloyd-Knibbs, a student on the MA Social Anthropology, also serves the SOAS student body as Mature Students' Officer. As one of the top three nominees, she was profiled in an interview by SOAS Spirit Editor Maliha Shoaib. Watch the video here
Also in the top ten are two members of the Anthropology faculty: Mina Sol, Lecturer in Anthropology, and Naomi Leite, Reader in Anthropology.
Each was asked to reflect on what International Women's Day means to them.
Mina Sol said: On this International Women's Day I want to pay tribute to the women who filled my childhood home (the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, great aunts, and surrogate aunts). They were under-educated, talked very loudly, made uninhibited fun of their men, and always seemed to be chopping or frying in that old kitchen. Only four of these incredible women are still frailly alive. I salute your generous, cheeky, and resilient hearts. And I salute all such incredible women around the world who have inspired you, dear reader.
Naomi Leite said: IWD reminds me to redouble my activism. I grew up in an activist family and attended many large political demonstrations with my mother and grandmother as a child—for gender parity, immigrant rights, the environment, anti-war, etc. As an adult I've found my activist niche in the smaller spaces of face-to-face interaction, in encouraging students who doubt themselves—not just female students; any student whose origins or inclinations or life experiences suggest they should curtail their dreams, that their voice won't be heard or doesn't matter—and nurturing their belief in their own ability to effect change. In this I follow in the footsteps of a generation of female scholars and leaders whose example, acceptance, and evident belief in me shaped my future. We need female public figures to emulate, of course; but if in those smaller spaces I can similarly inspire students to envision a future in which they thrive and shine as thinkers and leaders, I am honouring those great women who went before.
The Department of Anthropology and Sociology congratulates these three inspirational women!