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Candidate for the position of NUS Womens' Conference delegate - black woman's place

Image for Olaoluwa Abagun

Olaoluwa Abagun

Women's Representation? Holla at Ola!

I became an advocate for girls'/women's rights at the age of 13, when I was selected to join the Nigerian Children's Parliament. More than anything else, this experience exposed me to the gross inequalities that exist in our world today, including gender inequality. The desire to make a difference and use my voice to advance the interest of young women/girls has led me here to the University of Sussex, to study an MA in Gender and Development. It is this same desire that motivates me to represent you as NUS Women's Conference Delegate (Black Woman's Place).

I believe that my skills and experiences have prepared me to serve as a stellar representative at the NUS Women's Conference 2019. Prior to studying at Sussex, I have qualified as a lawyer, led a girls' rights advocacy NGO in Nigeria since 2014 and advocated for women and girls' rights at several global platforms - including the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018. For the past 5 months, I have also worked as Democracy Administrator with our Students' Union. This role has given me the opportunity to learn about the University of Sussex Students' Union stance and policies on gender equality, diversity, and inclusion. Particularly, I was excited when 88% of us who voted in the Autumn Referenda decided that our Union should implement a policy on sexual violence!

From their research, the NUS revealed that one in three women students would experience some form of harassment during their time at university. This is highly unacceptable. Getting your vote will enable me represent you at the NUS Women’s Conference, where I will apply my knowledge and skills to engage in debates on issues affecting women students, such as sexual violence. More importantly, I hope to meet and interact with delegates from other universities to learn best practices for the implementation of our recently adopted sexual violence policy. After participating in the conference, I plan to share these best practices to our Union Officers and Staff towards ensuring that all students are safe on our campus - regardless of their gender.