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International Women’s Day 2017 urges us to #BeBoldForChange, to take groundbreaking action that truly drives the greatest change for women.
During our Assembly this week, Community and Service Learning Prefect Hannah gave a background to International Women’s Day, which has been held on the same date since 1913 as a way to celebrate economic, political and social achievements of women in the past, present and future. With the theme ‘Empower a Woman, Empower a Nation: planet 50:50 by 2030’, Wenona girls were encouraged to strive to reduce the inequalities that face girls and women around the world. Statistics are sobering: everyday 39 thousand girls become child brides; in the developing world 1 in 9 girls give birth before their 15th birthday; human trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world; in Australia women comprise only 20% of our leading political party and there is an 18% pay gap between the work of full time women and men.
We were privileged to hear from guest speaker and performer, Rachael Beck, during our Assembly. Rachael is an extraordinary performer who has had a long career in stage and TV, with 14 national musical theatre productions under her belt. Rachael is also the Ambassador for Australian Children’s Music Foundation, which provides free, long term music programs and instruments to disadvantaged and Indigenous children across Australia.
Rachael reflected on her lengthy working life in the performing arts industry, one in which only 5% are employed at any time. She considers the key to success is self-belief and asked the girls to think about how they view their own self-worth; “No one is more special or magical than another person. Listen to yourself, back yourself, and lead a life of work that isn’t work but will be an extension of your heart and soul”.
Be brave, you are enough. Be bold and make change.
Happy International Women’s Day.