Students join the fight for gender equality
March 12, 2017
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For over 150 years, women have fought for equal rights. This past week, that fight was brought to Carlmont.
Run by the Human Relations Commission of ASB, Gender Equality Week featured a new theme and activity each day, from March 6 to March 10, that supported equal rights for all.
Monday encouraged students to think about and share why they need gender equality. Tuesday’s theme was “Jobs Have No Gender,” which aimed to erase gender stereotypes in different careers. International Women’s Day was celebrated on Wednesday with an activity where students could share why they’re proud to be women or proud of what women have accomplished. Thursday’s theme was “Erase the Negative,” and it discouraged the use of derogatory phrases like “grow a pair” or “you throw like a girl.” On Friday morning, hot chocolate was given out with employment rate statistics, and at lunch, cookies were sold to raise money to buy products for the feminine product drive.
“To me, gender equality means that everyone, no matter their gender, is treated with equal respect and has the same opportunities,” said Liz Boman, a junior and a part of the Human Relations Commission.
Celebrating equal rights and raising awareness about inequality allows all students to see the issue from another perspective.
“I hope this campaign has helped people realize that as a community we are all equal, no matter what the influence from the rest of the world is right now,” said Maddie Standlee, a sophomore who is also a part of Human Relations Commission. “Treating people differently or without respect because of their gender is not okay.”
Many students enjoyed the various activities throughout the week, including Maya Paulo, a senior.
“My favorite part was the wall with the post-it notes,” she said. “Hopefully, this week made the student body more accepting.”
One aspect of gender equality that Standlee believes should be improved is double standards in leadership roles.
“So many girls lose leadership skills and confidence after being told they’re too bossy or assertive, but when guys display the same traits they’re seen as good leaders,” she said. “I think that girls shouldn’t be embarrassed or afraid to be in control, and we should be working towards a community where no one is afraid to step up.”
The gender equality movement has come a long way. Hopefully, as society continues to evolve, equal rights will as well.
“I hope that this week has brought awareness to the student body, and I hope that they can see the issues in our society still, but also see the progress we have made and can continue to make,” said Boman. “I would love to see all countries treat women with more respect, bridge the pay gap, and leave behind gender stereotypes on both ends.”