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Feminist essay gains national honour

Estelle Stubbs

An A-Level student’s winning essay on feminism has landed her a place at a prestigious British Sociological Association (BSA) event.

Estelle Stubbs is one of two bursary winners to be offered an all expenses paid trip to the BSA’s sold-out Presidential Event in London this month.

The 18-year-old’s 250-word essay, centred around ‘what does feminism mean to you?’, was chosen out of scores of submissions.

Part of Estelle’s essay reads: ‘Feminism gave me the courage to tell an employer I didn’t want to wear heels and a dress for the job role I was applying for, even though it was strongly enforced. I had the knowledge to recognise that it was sexualisation of a job role, which I didn’t feel comfortable conforming to. Therefore, feminism gave me the courage to question why I should do so.’

Estelle, who is studying A-Levels in Sociology, Criminology and Psychology at Sunderland Sixth Form, will have the chance to hear from and meet some of the UK’s most prominent sociologists at the event including Karen Ingala-Smith, the co-founder of Femicide Census and CEO of sexual and domestic violence charity, NIA.

The event which offers informed views on sociologists’ and feminists’ analysis of gender and gender inequality, is to be chaired by BSA president Lynn Jamieson.

Estelle will also have the opportunity to help present at a regional student conference in February, where she will share the knowledge she gained at the BSA event with her fellow peers.

Sharon Homer, Estelle’s sociology lecturer, said: “I was very keen to read her essay which is based around personal experiences of sexism within the workplace. The sexualisation of women in the workplace is a serious issue and it is crucial that young people contribute towards raising awareness of such issues. Attending the BSA conference will allow Estelle to network with others to discuss such gendered issues – this is a fantastic opportunity which will support her knowledge of key sociological issues and also further develop her interpersonal skills.”

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