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Education Honours College

College Tour: Rebecca Gomperts

When:Mo 07-03-2022 20:00 - 21:00
Where:Aula, Academy Building, University of Groningen

College Tour is an event where a high-profile Dutch or International guest is
interviewed in front of a live audience. This event is based on the concept of
the homonym Dutch TV show. The College Tour TV show is inspired by town
hall meetings during United States elections where the majority of questions
are asked by the audience. In the version in Groningen, the audience is
composed of both students and the general public. Everyone gets the chance
to ask their questions to the guest of the night. This format tries to build a
bridge between high-profile personalities and university students.

The College Tour 2022 event is co-organised by Honours College and
Globalisation Studies Groningen. This event was possible because of
sponsorships from the Honours College, Globalisation Studies Groningen and
AOG School of Management.

Rebecca Gomperts
Rebecca Gomperts

Who is Rebecca Gomperts?

Rebecca Gomperts is a Dutch doctor and activist, who has won the Aletta Jacobs Prize 2022 of the University of Groningen (RUG) because of her fight for abortion rights and access to safe and legal abortion for women. Her organizations, Women on Waves, Women on Web, and Aid Access have managed to put abortion high on the political agendas of various countries around the world. Gomperts was even included in Most Influential People in the Time Magazine in 2020. The prize will be presented on Tuesday 8 March 2022 (one day after the College Tour) by the Rector Magnificus of the RUG, Prof. Cisca Wijmenga.

After graduating from medical school, Gomperts worked as an abortion doctor at an abortion clinic in the Netherlands and with Greenpeace as a ship's doctor and environmental activist. The stories she heard during her internships in South America and Africa about unwanted pregnancies and the lack of access to safe, legal abortion inspired her to found Women on Waves in 1999. This organization consisted of a mobile clinic aboard a ship, bringing non-surgical abortion services and education to countries all around the world that didn't have them. The intention behind this organization is to help create a legal precedent in the gray areas of national abortion laws, reach all women who are denied help by their own doctors and physicians, and prevent the dangerous practice of illegal abortions.

The organization Women on Waves faced various challenges, which made it difficult to reach the women who needed its help. Therefore Gomperts founded her second organization Women on Web in 2005. This is an online support service that helps women in countries where there are no safe abortion options to get a medical abortion. Women can ask all sorts of questions, from how to take the abortion pill to advice on contraceptives and even relationship counseling. Instead of delivering abortion pills via the sea, women on the web are using packages and drones to deliver pills and instructions for safe at-home abortions. In the year 2018, Aid Acces was founded, which provides access to medical abortion by mail in the United States and globally for women and trans men who may not otherwise have access to abortion or miscarriage management services.

Angela Maas
Angela Maas

About interviewer Angela Maas

Angela Maas is a Dutch cardiologist and the first Professor of Cardiology for Women in the Netherlands. She discovered that the hearts of men and women are vastly different and therefore require a different kind of care. Maas studied medicine at the University of Groningen and did a specialization in cardiology at the Sint Antonius Ziekenhuis. After that, she worked at various hospitals, including Radboud UMC in Nijmegen. Since 2012, she has been a professor of cardiology for women at Radboud UMC. Maas is an expert in cardiovascular disease in women and the role of female hormones on the vascular system. In the year 2014, Angela Maas founded a research fund called Heart for Women, which conducts multidisciplinary research focused on cardiovascular disease in women. She has received several awards for her work and was named Opzij's Most Influential Woman in Dutch Healthcare in 2019. Moreover, Angela Maas is the elected representative of the Dutch Women’s Council to the United Nations 2020/2021. Maas is a pioneer in the study of the differences between men's and women's hearts and is considered a true cardiofeminist.

Organizing committee

The College Tour 2022 is organized by Honours College Master students Eric Hiddingh, Esmee Mei, Nina Schreuder, Paula Volkers, and Ze Yu. They are supervised by Marloes Viet, Project Manager at Globalisation Studies Groningen.

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