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Feminist society starts women’s self-defence classes

     The newly formed UCC Feminist Society, in conjunction with the Students’ Union Gender Equality Officer, is hosting a new women’s self-defence course for UCC students which will begin on the 25th of October. It is a six week course with simple and easy techniques to protect against physical assault. The programme has seen a high demand for places with all available spaces now filled. The society hopes to run the course again next term following how well it has been received. The course has been set up by Sian Cowman, the Gender Equality Officer, as part of her work with the Equality Working Group.

     The course is being taught by Taekwondo Master Norman Creedon and requires no martial arts experience of the students.  Sian Cowman, Gender Equality Officer, was inspired to start the classes after feeling nervous walking home on her own and realising that there is no self-defence course for women anywhere in Cork city ‘All that was available were martial arts, or Krav Maga which was super-macho and no fun, and I wanted a practical 6 week course.’ The resulting course is designed to be easy to learn and insure female students feel confident about their personal safety.

     The student’s union also ensures the safety of students on campus with the newly formed Student Community Support, which replaces the student patrol. Deputy SU president Sam Ryan advises female students to take matters of personal safety seriously. ‘This is a particularly important issue for our female students. In the SU we really want to hammer home the point that students, and particularly female students should never walk home alone.’ Ryan also believes the self-defence classes will be an asset to female students. ‘We’re delighted to see these classes being run by the new UCCFemSoc under the leadership of our SU Gender Equality Officer Sian Cowman.’

Heather Steele