Gender Equality Week promotes celebration of everyone

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Anika Marino

Carolyn Wang, a junior, crosses out sexist quotes.

From March 2nd to 6th, Carlmont’s Associated Student Body held a Gender Equality Week in honor of International Women’s Day. Students organized a week filled with information and activities surrounding gender-based discrimination.

“Gender equality is an extremely relevant global issue that is often overlooked in the everyday busy scheme of life, especially in the Bay Area. Because we live in a bubble, we are unlikely to experience incidents of blatant sexism as we reap the benefits of centuries of struggles over gender equality,” said Maya Litvak, a senior in ASB.

ASB’s Human Relations Commission coordinated the week, centering it around fighting gender inequality and empowering women. The most involved activity was on Wednesday, where participants were able to throw paint at and cross out sexist quotes from world leaders and people in power.

According to the Pew Research Center, around 42% of working women said they have experienced gender-based discrimination in their workplace. Another 25% of women said they earn less than a male peer, rather than the 5% of men who have said they earn less than their female peers. In a 2014 survey, 77% of women said they believe America needs to make equality changes, versus 63% of men.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports that one-in-twenty adolescent girls have been raped. UNICEF also reports that girls between the ages of 10 to 14 spend 50% more time doing household chores than boys of their age.

The Carlmont student body also intends to promote gender equality at Carlmont.

“I think the concept is cool, that is, doing things to celebrate and promote gender equality,” said Kevin Bachelor, a sophomore.

Not only was there passion behind every event, but that passion came from the ASB members themselves.

“I’ve always had a really big passion for gender equality. Ever since I was young, I’ve been really interested in the social dynamics in society, and so participating in this week has always been a big priority for me,” said Azucena Duran, a senior involved in Gender Equality Week.

According to ASB President Jim Kelly, Gender Equality Week’s impact can be felt throughout the entire school but is more concentrated in ASB itself.

“In terms of numbers, it probably impacts a fair number of students. More importantly, I believe that it has a strong impact on those involved with it,” Kelly said.

Duran expressed that she wishes Carlmont does more for gender equality, as do Litvak and Bachelor.

“Although the campus is fairly welcoming, there are obviously still issues, whether it be a student trying to be funny and crack a sexist joke or a statement with sexist undertones, that needs to be addressed,” Litvak said.

Of course, gender inequality does not just include discrimination against women. It can also be discrimination against those who do not fit social norms or the gender binary, such as people who identify as gender non-binary or non-conforming.

Sofia McConn, a sophomore, thinks that Carlmont did well with reducing stigma around gender expression and presentation.

“What I believe the worst gender equality issue that we have is how we use gender as a label to add all these unnecessary labels to gender, for example, teaching boys they can’t be feminine and girls that they shouldn’t be masculine. I feel that gender shouldn’t be used to determine how you will express yourself,” McConn said.

Gender Equality Week