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On Wednesday 8 March 2023, to mark International Women's Rights Day, the University of French Guiana, in partnership with the Prefecture of French Guiana, organised a morning of discussions on the changing role of women in society.

Dor nearly 4 hours, students, members of staff and people from outside the University of Guyana were invited to debate on the terrace of the university restaurant. Deliberately provocative, the morning's theme was: is the place of women in the kitchen? Let's talk about it! This set the tone for the morning and provided a relaxed setting for participants and the public alike. The aim of the morning was to explain the social pressures that can be exerted on women, to deconstruct existing and sometimes persistent prejudices, to create debate and to remove the obstacles that can be buried in some women, particularly students.

A morning to get people talking

Led by Ayodele Germa, the morning was divided into three parts.

The first part was devoted to what the experts had to say. A number of people who are 'experts' in their field were invited to discuss the theme of the day and, more generally, the changing place of women in society (on both a local and wider scale). The audience was able to question and debate with the following guests: Isabelle Hidair (Anthropologist and regional delegate for women's rights and equality in French Guiana), Pascale Legendry (Director of Human Resources at the University of French Guiana), Marc Pave (Doctor of History, teacher in preparatory classes for the grandes écoles) and Mylène DANGLADES (Director of the MINEA laboratory and writer).

The second part gave a voice to women through a series of ten testimonials from accomplished women. Twelve women from completely different backgrounds (student, returnee, company director, scientist, sportswoman, etc.) presented their professional and personal careers to the audience. They described their successes, failures, difficulties and advantages as women.

In the third and final part, the audience was treated to a reading of poems set to music by Négrès Comou. The public was also invited to share a lunch with the speakers to continue the discussions.

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