Pupils across all age groups – from Lower 1 to Form 7 – celebrated International Women’s Day last week with a range of student-led talks, discussion groups and creative challenges.
In the Lower School, House prefects organised a week of events focussed on inspirational women, including talks from Upper School pupils who also set them a challenge of researching and presenting a short piece on female role models in their own lives and in the public eye. These pieces were judged by the visiting Form 6 and 7 pupils, with the winning entries awarded chocolate prizes and the whole Houses’ efforts being made into engaging and thought-provoking displays.
Middle School tutor groups were also set a creative challenge in response to a short film about gender inequality which still persists in society; they communicated their ideas in a variety of ways from poems to PowerPoint presentations, from campaign speeches to reflective artwork. In the Upper School, students were challenged to consider their perspectives by discussing issues such as #MeToo, everyday sexism, the history of the women’s rights movement, and important women whose work has been forgotten in history.
Housemistress of Ancaster, Alison Petit, says “We really enjoyed the week, and our students could really relate to the questions raised by Izzy and Saffie, our Form 7 visitors.” Head of French and Form 6 tutor, Sarah Angove, adds, “Raising awareness about social injustice is such an important part of what we do at Oakham and the discussion that came out of our tutorial was fascinating – students were open to being challenged and our conversation ranged through everything from safety on the streets to career ambitions.”
11 facts about gender inequity
1) The USA is one of only eight countries that doesn’t provide any form of paid maternity leave.
2) In low-income countries for every hundred boys that gets into a high school only 55 girls do the same.
3) On average, women around the world do twice as many hours as men doing unpaid work.
4) Women across the world currently bear the majority of childcare.
5) 113 countries do not have laws to ensure equal pay for women and men.
6) 104 countries make certain jobs off-limits for women.
7) 39 countries have laws that mean a daughter cannot inherit the same property as the son.
8) 36 countries limit what wives can inherit from their husbands.
9) 29 countries restrict the hours women can work.
10) 18 countries allow men to prohibit their wives from working.
11) 17 countries limit when and how women can travel outside the home.
By Phoebe Smith Stevens F3