Inspire Conference, March 2014

On Friday 7 March 2014, a group of Year 12 pupils including myself, had the opportunity to attend the Inspire Conference at Titanic Belfast. This conference was held to celebrate International Women’s Day, with the theme for the conference focusing on encouraging women to ‘be the catalyst for change’.

The event featured four inspiring addresses given by women at the top of their respective fields. They included civil engineer and MLA Naomi Long; Managing Director of Survitech, Moya Johnston; Tiwonge Tasha Kumwenda from Malawi who is an international voice for Trocraire; and young Apprentice competitor Maria Doran.

Several short dramas, based on the stories of historical females including the Suffragette movement, Margaret Thatcher, Piep Gies and Malala Yousafzai, were performed by pupils of Hunterhouse College.

After the conference, we were invited to the opening of a new art exhibition, entitiled INSPIRE, in the Andrews Gallery. Local pupils and residents created images representing women who have inspired them.

The main messages taken from the event were that self-belief, confidence and determination are qualities that every woman should possess and that we, as young women, have the opportunity to make positive changes in our society to give women equality.

Rae O’Dowd – 12E

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