Woodside High School

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International Women's Day 2019

 When we arrived at the entrance of the Southbank centre, we were entranced by the overawing building that we stood in front of as well as the soft welcoming glows of light leaking out from the building within. There was an aura of universal strength of unity when we entered that enabled us to be more thoughtful and insightful of the things that were about to happen.

To begin with there was first a surprise visit from the Mayor of London Sadiq khan in which he talked about the triumphs of women and their achievements taking over male dominating jobs in the subject of transport.

Then there were inspirational speakers that presented strong subjects that reflected the amazing projects that are happening globally. There were speeches from campaigners, actors, singers and the first female prime minister of Australia, Julia Gillard who spoke about leadership, resilience and misogyny. There where speakers who challenged the governmental authority, defied the roles of gender expectations and those who made their weaknesses into their strengths. We then watched performances, listened to songs and heard poems. After that, there was a talk about finance and how for women there still remains imbalances and inconsistencies that undermine their financial security and how there should be financial resilience for all women.

The final event of the festival was a discussion on global feminism of how the voices of women are still being detained within culture and society and what is happening and will happen to reel this consistent issue to a halt.

This festival showed us the possibilities and ideas for the future and to end the day, we went to the Westminster restaurant in which we had our dinner and headed back home to rest and reflect of the possibilities of the future.

It was an extraordinary day, both meaningful and uplifting and it was a great opportunity going to this Women of the World festival. It was built and accelerated as a movement for change. It enabled me to take a frank look at what prevents women and girls from achieving their fullest potential and made me face the harsh realities of the struggle of all women face every day. In addition, I acknowledged that it is a time for change, upheaval and challenge where past injustices have been outed and new realities are being dreamed of. I have also accepted that we can’t change this overnight, it takes a concerted effort to address and change people’s mind universally.

To conclude, I have learnt that the path to a better future had not been easy but if we all work together for the greater good, we can one day have a future where there is peace in any context.

By Sumayyah Hussain, 10Q