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“In refusing to be silenced, we can continue to break down any barriers that remain.”

10 March 2017

Amy Carrington has worked in marketing and events at Garden Court for three and a half years. She joined Chambers in 2013 after completing an MA in human rights and leaves chambers this week. After helping to organise the five International Women’s Day events this week, one of the barristers suggested that she write her own #IWD #beboldforchange piece.

Growing up as the only daughter with three older brothers, perhaps it’s no wonder that I developed a keen interest in gender equality from an early age (!). This has only grown through studying Women and Gender Studies as part of my university degree and, later, through focusing on FGM and trafficking during my MA in human rights.

As a human rights graduate, working at Garden Court has been a dream job. I’ve been surrounded by people who work tirelessly to protect the rights of others, who are never afraid to argue back, to challenge, to push for what is right and to do so with unstoppable energy. My colleagues here are without doubt amongst my biggest inspirations.

My inspiration has come in other forms too including from my American grandmother who volunteered for Planned Parenthood in the 1970s, campaigning for women’s reproductive rights and comprehensive sex education – a fairly radical notion at the time and, in Trump’s camp, still a radical notion today. Additionally, working this week with the young Latin American migrant women of the Sin Fronteras project was also inspirational – to see women in their late teens taking up the fight for gender equality, migrants’ rights and campaigning for the closure of Yarl’s Wood was refreshing and a sign that the younger generation are politicised and energised.

Of course, barriers remain. The fact that the President of a country in which I hold citizenship has bragged about sexually assaulting women makes me sick to my stomach. That his misogyny and racism may free others to act on their own prejudices is truly terrifying.

However, the fact that thousands of women and men around the world marched in January against misogyny, against hatred and division, against the building of walls and the grabbing of pussies, gives me hope. In small acts of every day kindness, in standing up for those unable to stand up for themselves and in refusing to be silenced, we can continue to break down any barriers that remain.

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