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Unveiling the Spectrum: Embracing Diversity in Sexuality and Gender

27 Mar 2023
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By SU Gender and Culture Committee

March 17, 2023 – In a world that champions gender inclusivity and sensitivity, concepts associated with identities, privileges, diversities existing in sexual orientations, gender identities, expressions, consent, and harassment are often ignored and undermined. This can be attributed to the gaps we have in terms of knowledge, attitudes, and practices associated with these sectors, creating a gap in advocacy as well as actions, particularly when it comes to gender issues.

Realizing this and aligning with the campaign #EmbracingEquity, SU Gender and Culture Committee and Gender Equity Movers Society (GEMS) came together to advocate and enhance the knowledge, attitude as well as practices on the issues discussed above, organized the three-session long workshop from March 15- 17, titled “Unveiling the Spectrum: Embracing Diversity in Sexuality and Gender” to mark Women’s History Month 2023.

The sessions were led by three students of Gender and Development Studies, Farheen Masfiqua Malek, Renz Prudenciado, and Saittawut Yuthaworakool. The primary focuses of these sessions were Beyond the Binary: Exploring Power Dynamics (Farheen), Unboxing Gender: Discovering Diversities and Celebrating Diversity (Renz), and Labels or Limitations: Empowering Choices through Consent (Matt).

Participants representing different nationalities and fields of study thoroughly enjoyed the sessions in terms of content relevance, content delivery, and discovering the true selves of the individuals. The participants learned the difference between equality, equity, and justice. Gender is not binary, but there are so many layers to it, what consent really means, and all the dimensions it has. They also learned about the diversity of gender and consent. Some participants requested more programs on violence against men, while others emphasized the need for workshops on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA). 

Participants at the event, Harune Kaneda and Hayatullah Mushwani, shared their positive experiences of the sessions. Harune stated, “I enjoyed all sessions, but particularly making a campaign with a group was most interesting.” Similarly, Hayatullah said how it was interesting for him to learn about gender and sexual orientation.

The trainers also had interesting insights after the program. Renz stated that understanding and accepting diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions are crucial to becoming a good parent and creating a safe space for others. Matt said that he did not expect that his session would turn out to be an extremely fun and interactive experience.

Concluding the event, Prof. Kyoko Kusakabe, Gender and Development Studies, Department of Development and Sustainability, congratulated the organizers, trainers, and participants for addressing sexual harassment and promoting diversity. She emphasized on the importance of such events at AIT and encouraged open discussion about gender and diversity. “Small actions can create big changes. Through fruitful, fun, and stimulating events like this, we can encourage open discussion and promote diversity and inclusivity on campus. Let’s continue to take small steps towards a comfortable learning and working space for all,” Prof. Kyoko added. 

To honor the continuous support at AIT, SU honored AIT President Prof. Kazuo Yamamoto with the title of “Gender Ally of the Year” for supporting the efforts toward Gender equality. Similarly, SU recognized Prof. Kyoko Kusakabe as a “Leading Lady towards Gender Equality” in appreciation of her relentless work towards fostering Gender Equality and inspiring others to do the same for more than two decades.