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Blackfen School for Girls

Blackfen School for Girls

Raising aspirations - releasing potential

3rd Annual Gender Equality Conference

On Thursday 12th March 2015, GCSE Citizenship students in (10P/Cz1), held Blackfen School for Girls, 3rd Annual Gender Equality Conference.

On Thursday 12th March 2015, GCSE Citizenship students in (10P/Cz1), held Blackfen School for Girls, 3rd Annual Gender Equality Conference.

The event was part of our action for our GCSE Citizenship coursework and was based on the topic of “Gender Discrimination in the UK”. This topic was chosen after students were inspired by the Emma Watson video which she did for the “HeForShe” campaign. Students hoped to try and challenge what is seen as, stereotypical views towards women, inequality in employment opportunities and raise awareness about gender based violence.

Using the “Question Time” format, students invited guests from politics, business, voluntary sector and celebrities to attend the event. We were very lucky to have the following guest panellists attend:

During the event some of the following points were raised and students felt it important that these are shared with you:

  • In the UK for every £1 a man earns women earn 81p. This is lower that the the EU average which is 84p.
  • The Fawcett Society, who helped to bring in the Equal Pay Act 1970, said that although the law has changed the potential for women, the implementation of the legislation is still not sufficient.
  • “No Pay Day” takes places annually and is an event, to highlight in the calendar year, when a women ‘stops’ earning whilst a man continues to be paid. In 2014 this was from the 4th November.
  • CAFOD informed us that 70% of the 1 billion poorest people are women and globally only 20% of all politicians are women.
  • CAFOD also stated that in South East Asia 80% of women are not getting the correct pay or benefits that they should be entitled too.
  • The White Ribbon Campaign explained how they are the largest organised group of men who want to end violence against women. So far they have persuaded 55 council to sign up as “White Ribbon Councils”. 
  • Bexley Women’s Aid informed us about how the media represent women in a very belittling women and focuses on them as “objects” e.g. Page 3.
  • Bexley Women’s Aid also said the way women in power are written or described about it “masculine” in its terminology and we focus on what our female MP’s or TV personalities look like rather than what they have achieved. Only 22% of our MP’s are women and only 3 women hold cabinet positions in the coalition.
  • Finally, CAFOD added in that this was an issue even within their own organisation and have now changed the wording of their job descriptions so as to not “discourage” women from applying.

What we would like you to do is write to your local MP, Councillors and the Mayor of London to raise these concerns and help try end gender discrimination. We hope to convince Bexley Council to become a “White Ribbon Council” and have our politicians respond to the points listed above and get them to tell us what they plan to do about it.

For further information about any of the issues raised within this news story please contact Mr Gullis - email: jgu@blackfen.bexley.sch.uk or follow us on Twitter @BSfG_HeForShe.

Reporters:  Molly Wright, Emily Boon & Gemma Cooper