Cambridge Union blasted for lack of Women in Lent Line-up
The Cambridge Union have come under fire for having only 1 female speaker in Lent.
Of the ten guest speakers, including Russell Brand and The Libertines ex-frontman Carl Barat, only one is female: Darcy Bussell, former principal ballerina at the Royal Ballet.
Amelia Horgan, the Women Campaign’s executive officer, was the first to criticise the Union on twitter late last night.
Speaking to The Tab, she said “I’m disappointed by the lack of diversity of speakers this term and find it hard to believe that the committee couldn’t find more than one woman as a headline speaker.”
Lily Tomson, a first year HSPS student, described the line-up as “disappointing and distinctly unimpressive.
The Union should be setting an example to the Uni at large, not dragging behind.”
Despite the criticism, Union president Imogen Schon has said that she is “delighted” by the prominence of female speakers in the term’s debates.
She has been quick to defend the committee’s efforts, saying that it has been focusing on inviting female speakers for the past three weeks, in the hope of addressing the imbalance later in the term.
Indeed, there seems to have been an improvement in female representation in this term’s debate schedule, with at least one woman speaking at every debate. The majority of Union events, however, are still dominated by white, male participants.
Not everyone has been immediately critical.
Hannah Calescione, a first year at King’s, said that she was initially very excited when she saw the people who would be speaking.
“After it was pointed out to me, however, I was extremely sad that women are underrepresented in the line-up and sincerely hope this is not a trend that will continue in the future.”
The Women’s Campaign will be producing a statement later today.