At assembly on October 4, 2012, 11 seniors introduced the school community to “Women’s Rights in the World,” the theme of this year’s global studies speaker series. The girls—all members of history teacher Brian Didier’s elective on "Human Rights and Human Culture" last year—took the lead organizing the assembly for Class III–VIII students.
“Our aim today is to give you a general picture of how women are treated in many parts of the world, the obstacles women face and the ‘human rights’ that are so rarely extended to them,” explained Michaela Morrow ’13.
The girls presented on several rights abuses faced by women around the world at various life stages. Using a combination of video, images and statistics, they honestly and sensitively discussed infanticide, sex trafficking, honor killings and the treatment of widows (including child widows). They made a point to explain the cultural norms that underlie these practices and how they are perpetuated.
When it came to the U.S., the girls discussed the media, body image and professional inequality. “Most women still only make $.77 for every $1 that a man makes,” they stated. They also noted the inequality of women’s representation in politics and business. “It paints a picture that we still have a lot to work on,” said DeAndra Williams ’13.
The assembly was designed to spark conversation in upcoming assemblies, advisories, classrooms and, the organizers hope, in the hallways, in the dining room and at home with friends and families.
“We hope that by understanding how women are treated throughout the world, you may be inspired to contemplate, talk or even take action on behalf of yourselves and other women,” said Christina Schiciano ’13.
By bringing these issues to light, the girls set the stage for the next assembly in the global studies speaker series featuring Suzanne Nossel, head of Amnesty International USA, on October 18.