Athough RMS has celebrated International Women’s Day for five years already, this year truly felt like the era for progress.
Perhaps it was the commencement of 100 years since women were first granted the vote in the UK; the millions of people coming together at the Women’s march last year and this year; or movements like Times Up and Me Too, giving those that were silenced a voice. Seeing exceptional and empowering women in the news has certainly made a difference, this was the atmosphere I felt during Great Hall assembly for Year 5-13 last Friday, which celebrated International Women's Day (which was on Thursday 8th March). This empowering assembly was led by seniors in the boarding community and members of the National Council of Young Women.
A key point made was that some things aren’t changing quickly enough. Although we have come a long way since Emmeline Pankhurst fought for the vote, internationally women are still at a disadvantage to men. Pay parity is at a record low, but it’s still at 18.1%; 9% of CEO positions worldwide are held by women (and even less by women of colour), 15 million girls under 18 are forced into marriage every year.
It is hard to digest these numbers, but it is so much worse for the women that live through them. Although it is important to celebrate the achievements of women, we also need to raise awareness for what still needs to be done. I hope the assembly inspired girls to challenge stereotypes and bias, and support the campaign for change.
My time at RMS has provided me the space for self improvement; confidence and courage to highlight these issues and stand up for progress.
Sonu Yr 13