Human Rights Conference
Wednesday 4th July at 6.00pm at Compton Verney
An evening of public speaking and reflection to commemorate 1918 and 1948.
Students from Kineton High School’s Amnesty group and Debate club organised an exhibition and evening of speeches to reflect upon women gaining the vote in 1918 and the Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, their impact on the present, and what there is still to work towards.
Year 8 students displayed an exhibition timeline of women's rights they created, and Amnesty also mounted a display.
This year marks an impressive collision of celebrations – the 70th anniversary of the Human Rights Charter, and the centenary of the Representation of the People Act. Both, huge steps forward in equality and humanity, each event carrying its own significance. Votes for Women was achieved in the UK in 1918, the same year Word War One ended. Women had earned their places within the workplace, and with the aid of the suffragette movement, their places within democracy. This act created another crack in the dam holding back equal voting for all in the UK – whilst initially only female land owners over 30 could vote, by 1928 everyone over 21 had the vote. The Human Rights Charter was created three years after the Second World War – as the world reeled in shock from the atrocities committed, a phoenix of hope arose from the ashes: the first official international promise to recognise all humans as equally worthy of basic civil treatment. Whilst both events were, and are incredibly important, it’s necessary to remember that whilst we honour this today, we should also remember that they don’t represent the pinnacle of civilisation. The issues they challenged are still with us – and it is up to us to use the foundations that these documents created to continue to climb the ladder towards equality and justice.
Judges for the evening were:
- Steven Parissien is Director of Compton Verney, Visiting Professor of Architectural History and Visual Culture at Coventry University and is Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford.
- Victoria Weir is the Campus Programme and Student Lead at The University of Law in Birmingham
- Charles Carroll is a freelance voice artist and broadcaster, particularly on the BBC World Service and Radio 4. He is also Visiting Lecturer in Broadcast Journalism at University of Westminster.
"I really enjoyed the evening. The standard was very high and everyone had clearly made a real effort with their research. It was a lovely evening at a beautiful venue."
Amelie: A look at public figures in the development of women’s rights
Noah: “I am nobody’s little weasel”: an exploration of film and feminism
Martha: What does feminism mean? Then and Now
Emily: Each life taken, a life lost
Melissa: How serious an issue is racism in modern day America?
Grace: Is the treatment of prisoners with mental health issues just?
Joshua: Democracy as it currently exists is no longer fit for purpose
"An excellent evening at Compton Verney yesterday evening, to enable students of the school to talk confidently, knowledgeably and passionately on the two topics to a very appreciative audience. Daisy, Amelie, Noah, Martha, Emily, Melissa , Grace and Joshua gave the judges the Herculean task of deciding how to award just two prizes between eight very impressive young speakers. At the end of the evening, Charles's summary of the skills the students have acquired and amply displayed was 'spot-on'."