Written by Issie Baldwin, Year 11
Our world is divided. Men and women are treated differently, minorities are outcast and the disadvantaged lack opportunities to improve their situations. International Women’s Day
symbolises the benefits of female empowerment, many of us celebrating our new privileges that were once stolen from the patriarchy. Yet, this message is failing to be heard in nations that need it most.
Several developing countries are struggling to realise the issue of degrading young girls, forcing them into underaged marriage and restricting education. Numerous countries’ societal norms or religions promote that girls in education is unnecessary and that their existence is more worthwhile tending to the home and family*. Therefore, lowering young girl’s self-worth, belief in their futures and physical health.
Many women are unable to experience their world without a male counterpart, restricting independent freedom and basic human rights. Their lives are dictated by the opinions of the misogynistic patriarchy.
Knowledge is power. Female education has been repeatedly proven to increase average marriage age, income and health literacy*. These factors directly contribute to a well-functioning society, higher GDP and quality of life.
Destroying such discrimination will not only improve the lives of the 596 million illiterate women, but the overall potential of developing nations and all those who live in it.
International Women’s Day is a date that signifies the liberation of many of the world’s women, now we need to work to liberate the women who are still trapped in a world of inequality. Our journey towards equality is far from over. Together, our voices will destroy gender inequity.
* Facts from interview with Kaillee Dyke (Melbourne social worker).
Many of our Senior School students were able to attend several International Women's Day events this week throughout Melbourne:
- IWD Breakfast by the Alliance of Girls' Schools in Queen's Hall, Parliament Building
- Soroptimist Society IWD Breakfast, with guest speaker Carlene Harlock
- Westpac IWD Luncheon