Our group undertook a project to identify problems faced by women in York, in collaboration with York Women’s Forum (YWF) and York Human Rights City Network (YHRCN). Our aim was to derive priorities for our project partners to focus on within a rights-based framework. We all shared a strong interest in women’s rights and selected this placement as an opportunity to develop a useful means of furthering productive discussions in York.
Across the two weeks, we used our research on women’s international human rights and the city to create a survey. We then conducted the survey across York, committed to having as representative a sample as possible. We collaborated with community hubs and cafés, as well as local organisations like York Travellers’ Trust and Kyra, to reach a variety of people. It was an eye-opening experience to see the realities of the city beyond the tourist/student perspective. It was also particularly rewarding to provide a platform to individuals who are often otherwise marginalised, such as adults with learning disabilities and those caring for relatives with Alzheimer’s. We ultimately produced a report that our partners found very beneficial in developing their work. They encouraged us to disseminate it further; YWF invited us to present the findings at one of their events and YHRCN published the report on their website.
The placement took hard work and a lot of group determination, but it was a great opportunity to develop and enhance many important skills. We carried out desk-based research to inform research approaches, understanding and complying with ethical principles, and adapted communication to different audiences. It was an invaluable experience to take the knowledge and training we acquired in the classroom to a practical project, and enriching to make this small contribution to the ongoing efforts to address gendered issues in local society. As a team, we are immensely proud of what we achieved together. We know that this has been a formative experience – both for the rest of our studies and our careers beyond.
– Sarah, Abisola, Chloe, Claudia and Keleisha