Speak-up Summit on Gender Inequality

Speak-up Summit on Gender Inequality

14 November 2017
Streatham & Clapham High School tackles gender inequality head-on

Girls take part in all-day immersive experience on issues from domestic violence to how to build a fair society

Sophie Walker, Leader of the Women’s Equality Party, met with all girls at Streatham & Clapham High School calling on them to build an equal world in which they are free to be themselves.

Prior to Walker’s talk, the girls, aged 11-18, participated in Feminist Self-Defence workshops with Action Breaks Silence, an international charity that teaches practical tools for girls and boys to live confident and authentic lives.

The SCHS Speak-up Summit was created by the school’s Deputy Head Mistress, Gillian Cross, to encourage a new generation of girls to make a more equal, and therefore safer, world.

In Sophie Walker’s rousing keynote, she pointed to an unequal judicial and political system as well as healthcare and business worlds that ignore and dismiss women as equal participants.  Urging the girls to act together as sisters and build a movement: ‘We have to understand while there is any inequality, there will be no equality,’

Taking aim at the stereotypes and labels that exhaust and limit women, Walker explained that focusing on personal resolve or being a ‘strong woman’ is counter-productive and instead called for change to come from the outside -- urging the girls to ‘never lose sight of what is real and true to you’ and to speak and act up.

Deputy Head Mistress, Gillian Cross, who leads pastoral care at SCHS comments: ‘Our girls are intelligent, confident young women and we strive to promote their innate power in a society that can drain it.  We will not shy away from these difficult but essential topics; through knowledge and courage we are not only empowering our girls but nurturing the future leaders who will create a more civilised world for everyone. ‘

The day also included workshops on emerging brain science that enables girls to retain confident and resilient states of mind as well as looking at how to channel their collective energies towards self-confidence and mutual support.