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Review of Girls Write The Future

On the 27th of February seven Year 12 and Year 13 students were invited to St Edward’s School in Oxford to witness the launch of Girls Write The Future, a charity that strives for gender equality, focusing on providing education for girls around the world. Interestingly, the charity was set up by male student Kian Akhavan who, when in Year 10, experienced first-hand the inequality and deprivation of girls in Kenya, where for every seven boys in school there was only one girl. He decided to take action and raised an incredible 12,000 dollars to fund girls’ education there.

To help promote the launch he invited two key speakers in women’s rights to speak of the injustice they had witnessed globally: Sally Armstrong, an award winning human rights activist, journalist and author, and Iran’s first female judge and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr Shirin Ebadi.

Among other things, Dr Ebadi notably discussed the revolution in Iran in 1979, and how women were drastically affected; for example, the legal age of marriage for women was reduced from 18 to 9, and is now 13. Despite this, only 2-3% of their population actually marry under the age of 18, proving how they disagree with the government.

Sally Armstrong spoke about the Western world’s fight for gender equality through the 1960s and 1970s, and about the bravery of girls in zones of conflict zones. One particular case was the legal case brought by ‘160 girls’; this was started by a pregnant 12 year old standing up for her educational rights by pointing in a village meeting to the man who had raped her. This resulted in more girls who were unable to go to school for the same reason coming forward, initiating a court case in order for them to improve their human rights.

We also watched a short film, Mercy’s Blessing, which depicted the lengths that girls and their families must go to in Malawi (one of the poorest countries in the world) to receive an education.

Overall, the event was eye opening and inspired courage for change. It also emphasised the importance of female education and reinforced Armstrong’s point: that, in order to achieve true equality, both boys and girls “must cross the finish line together”.

Francesca Ferguson, Keeva Heap, Ellie Hutson and Taylor King (Year 13)

Posted: 2017-03-10 09:39:21
Last Edited: 2017-03-10 12:36:37