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International Women’s Day 2015

Published date
06 Mar 2015
Anna Castleton

Taking ‘make it happen’ as the rallying cry for 2015, International Women’s Day “represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women.” Here, some of UAL’s community of influential artists, communicators and cultural leaders share what that vision means to them.

Mariko Mori, shot by David Sims
Mariko Mori, artist
“In the contemporary world of 2015, we, as women, have an opportunity to express our femininity through art and design. I firmly believe that woman’s nature of caring, nurturing and loving can serve to make our world a better place” Alice Rawsthorn photo credit Chris Moore
Alice Rawsthorn, design critic and author
“It has been wonderful to see International Women’s Day gathering momentum over the years to become a time of celebration and mutual support for so many women. We women have achieved so much in recent decades, but we must not forget how much further we have to go to achieve true equality, even in supposedly advanced societies. Nor must we forget the heinous repression of women in so many parts of the world, or the challenge of fostering a more fluid and nuanced understanding of gender identity everywhere.”

Alex Crawford

Alex Crawford, Sky News special correspondent
“Every minute of every day somewhere in the world there is a young girl or woman being abused, being frightened, being trafficked, being overlooked, dying… the scale of these injustices is so enormous they can seem insurmountable – especially to us as individuals… but why not start by making it happen for a young girl, teenager, pensioner who YOU know. We all need to help and do our bit to make it happen. Women need to stick together and help other women – and encourage our brothers, uncles, fathers to join in. Make it happen for someone YOU know today, this year. Help someone at school, encourage someone at college, give a young women an internship at work, help an elderly woman cross the road, write about female issues, research a cure for breast cancer, set up a female taxi company….. anything and whatever is your field of expertise. If you wait, another day goes by in which you haven’t made it happen.

This year, make it happen; make sure feminism is NOT a dirty word but a way of thinking to be proud of and a way of living we should all strive towards in our lives whether we are women or men.”

Frances Corner
Frances Corner, author, UAL Pro Vice-Chancellor
“I am a feminist and fashion enthusiast and for me as Head of London College of Fashion UAL, ‘Make It Happen,’ the theme for International Women’s Day on the 8 March, couldn’t be more appropriate. Raising awareness about the need for greater equality is an issue which is important to every woman on this planet; from equal pay to removing discriminatory practices that prevent and deter women from undertaking what are considered to be men’s jobs; equality is a fundamental human right. The future of the fashion industry – an industry dominated by women, excepting the upper echelons of management – hold real opportunities for greater equality and diversity. Although many women have risen to the top of the fashion industry, and we celebrate their incredible contribution, the job is not done. We need to focus on the future and education plays an absolutely pivotal role in ‘Making it Happen’ and realising the creative and economic potential of thousands of women worldwide.”


Natalie Brett, designer, UAL Pro Vice-Chancellor
“Across the world millions of girls and women are still having to fight for the right to a basic education. Governments have to support the change needed to stop young girls being shot or abducted because they are going to school. Unfortunately the governments that need real change don’t recognise equality. Many don’t recognise women as equals and when there is so called democracy they get imprisoned, persecuted or assassinated. We have to use the media to continue to push women’s issues across the world to the forefront of international consciousness.  As a Pro Vice-Chancellor in a leading University my task is easy in comparison, to ensure equality and to provide influential role models for my students and to change what has been the dominant domain of the white male within some of our subject areas. Today I will be celebrating the work being done by all my staff who are true champions of changing the world in a very small way by educating my wonderfully diverse students, the new voices in design and media who will be the ones who continue to push international consciousness of women’s issues across the world through the voice of their creativity.”

Read more about Alice Rawsthorn

Read more about Frances Corner

Read more about Mariko Mori

Read more about Natalie Brett

Discover more about International Women’s Day