Central Coast Grammar School celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 with a community breakfast.
“More powerful together, the theme for International Women’s day this year, was embraced for its relevance to the school, which proudly strives to build and maintain a cohesive environment that supports girls and young women to be their best,” said Headmaster, Bill Lowe.
The event was also an opportunity to raise funds for Zonta International, a leading global organisation of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
“The school community came together over the weekend of March 9-10 to pack kits for Birthing Kit Foundation Australia, allowing mothers in developing countries the chance of a cleaner, safer birthing environment to reduce childbirth mortality rates.
Student Prefect, Priya Soni, addressed guests and shared her thoughts about the significance of IWD for her personally.
“I’m personally grateful for the role models in my life,” said Priya.
“My mum, a doctor, a professional and a constant pillar of support, has shown me the importance of building a successful career, but also having a family because you choose to,” Soni told the crowd.
“My Aunt Sadhna works with severely disabled and disadvantaged kids and has shown me the resilience of working women.
“My grandma, a vocal advocate of women’s education, graduated from university in the 40’s, and my paternal grandma, Dadima, raised a successful immigrant family despite hostility and racism.
“These women have consistently demonstrated their authority, tenacity and compassion, providing me with exceptional models on what it means to be a happy and successful woman.
“So many of my generation have similar examples to prove why the continuation of feminism is so vital to the progression of our society.
“It’s fantastic that today allows us a time to reflect on and respect all such contributions.
“Feminism is fighting for the equality of genders, not the superiority of women.
“Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that this movement is for everyone,’ Soni said.
Head of Senior College, Denise McDonough, challenged the school body to consider the breadth of significance IWD has in the context of school life.
“Our challenge today, and for each day that follows, is to call out negative stereotypes and gender inequality in all its forms and to celebrate the achievements of women as being equal to those of men, by demonstrating true respect.
“By doing so, we may influence the beliefs and the actions of those we interact or socialise with,’ she said.
McDonough sighted a 2017 study from UNSW, indicating that the biggest indicator of workplace fulfilment for women was respect, which ranked even higher than equal pay and flexible working conditions.
“She encouraged students to continue to build a culture of respect amongst their peers.
“The boys and young men in this room have never had a greater opportunity to show that they are truly young men of integrity and virtue.
“Girls, this is not a passive cry for respect from others.
“You must respect yourselves as well as show respect for other girls.” McDonough said.
Website, Mar 8
Bill Lowe, Central Coast Grammar School