An equal world is an enabled world. The 2020 International Women’s Day theme is ‘each for equal’. The theme explores topics such as gender equality emanating from a notion of collective individualism; the idea that all individual actions and behaviours collectively affect the larger community among us. Hence, suggesting our own behaviours can be the birth of change and improvement that we wish to see in society.
As a school of young women, we ask ourselves, what can we do in our own lives that can aid the emergence of change to gender-relevant issues that we consider important? During our International Women’s Day assembly, Mrs Owen asked members of the Senior Council to propose their own views of collective individualism within our community. The answers varied from self-image matters, to establishing methods of how to break down the stigma of being a woman in a male-dominated world.
A recurring theme from our discussions of the topic, was the concept of having no apologies and no regrets in our actions. This extended to our speech and the way we communicate with others, being aware to minimise passive, imprecise and disempowering phrases that diminish how we are presented. Mrs Owen encouraged us, as students, to employ empowering communication techniques and notice how our words alter the response from others, and how we feel in ourselves.
On a school-scale, there was a focus on showing pride as an all-girls’ school and how the idea of collective individualism can shape our perceptions of being part of our community. This contributes to the importance of being proud of our school, and showing our fulfillment in a respectable manner.
During our celebrations, students were reminded of the benefits that being a single-sex school has to offer young women; specifically catered-for learning techniques, leadership promotion and empowering students to succeed. As well as what our school uniquely provides, including events such as House Music.
International Women’s Day for students of Canberra Girls Grammar School provides a deeper understanding of the fortunate opportunities we encounter every day. Through our ‘Celebration of Sisterhood’ week following International Women’s Day, students were reminded of the inclusive community and spirit CGGS offers among students.
The sense of community within the school extends to our charitable efforts during the week, donating proceeds to Toora Women; a non-for-profit organisation that offers services to vulnerable women in Canberra.
International Women’s Day is a celebration for students, commemorated through a focus on our own actions to help create the change we wish to see, as well as honouring the opportunities available to us as young women.
Lily Hall, School Captain
Written on behalf of the Senior Council
Photo above: Members of the Senior Council (Isabel, Rachael, Dimity and Lily) on stage with Principal, Mrs Anna Owen, at the International Women’s Day Assembly.
Photo below: Senior Council and Head of School, Mr Peter Milligan, at the British High Commissioner, Vicki Treadell, after celebrating International Women’s Day at the British High Commission. Courtesy Twitter @VickiTreadell