Oxford Union, one of world's most prestigious debating society that has an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford, has invited Mallika Sherwat to participate in a debate. The debate titled 'This House Believes Gender Exists to Oppress' will be held on February 27.
Sherawat will be in the opposition alongside trans activist, poet, playwright and theatrical performer S Bear Bergman, model Jessi M'Bengue and Stephen Whittle, who is an activist with ‘Press for Change’, Professor of Equalities and Law and former President of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health.
This team will debate against Musician, actor and campaigner for transgender rights Calpernia Addams, author, broadcaster and journalist David Aaronovitch and Roberta Kaplan, American lawyer who successfully argued the case against the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) in front of the US Supreme Court in 2013, removing one of the last obstacles to gay marriage in the US.
Speaking about the decision to invite Mallika Sherawat for the debate, a spokesperson from the Oxford Union in a press release said, “We feel that as a figure, who recently was very outspoken about the image of women and women’s rights in a country like India, Mallika would lend an interesting angle to the debate.”
An enthusiastic Mallika said via a press release, "Yes, I have accepted the invitation. A lot of preparation is required. It's a great honour. I come from a small town, so it means a lot to be invited to speak at such an historic venue. I can use the platform to highlight issues like drop in the conviction rate in rape cases across the country.”