The 2019 International Women’s Day comes at a time of ever-increasing momentum surrounding the global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice.
The Defence Studies Department (DSD) is located within the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, which is continuing to increase diversity and inclusion within its Military, and typically male-dominated environment. A host of inspiring women including members of the Military, Civil Service and Contractors are making this happen.
The Defence Academy theme for 2019 is ‘Women and Impact’ and Academics from DSD collaborated with the MOD over the week with a variety of events and activities. The official launch on Monday 4th was a fireside chat with the Rt Hon Baroness Warsi who spoke on the subject of ‘Political Leadership and Importance of Diversity in Society’.
Baroness Warsi said “Every year we have a debate around International Women’s Day; that it’s important to have one day of the year when we focus on the issues faced by women across the world, or whether actually we should be dealing with these issues year round. While there are many people dealing with these challenges year round, what International Women’s Day allows us to do is to focus our attention of institutions, organisations and individuals and both highlight the work that is being done in different countries around the injustices faced by women and also look for ways in which we can work together.”
As part of the celebration, nominations for Defence Academy Women who have made an impact were received over the prior months. An exhibition was put in place for the whole week to showcase those with the most nominations. One of the top nominees was Dr Aimee Fox of the Defence Studies Department, who recently also achieved the accolade of the first woman ever to receive British Army Military Book of the Year Award.
Dr Fox said “As a female historian of warfare, working in a discipline which is largely male dominated; I think events like this really shed light on the amazing work that female scholars are doing and that the female scholars have done to pave the way for women like me to follow on behind them. I think it’s an amazing event to celebrate the work that women do, not just in the Academy but in the Military and broader society around the world.
I was absolutely overwhelmed to be nominated by my Department for being a woman and having impact, it was really unexpected. I think the nomination came from a lot of the engagement I do with the United States and Australia and that my work still has a lot of traction with the modern military. It was a wonderful, overwhelming feeling.”