To honor Women’s History Month in March, students taking the Global Women’s Movement elective hosted screenings of Girl Rising for schoolmates and the Ross School community to raise awareness of the importance of educating girls around the world. The film follows nine girls who overcame formidable challenges to become agents of change and inspiration for girls and women everywhere.
“Investing in the education of girls is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty and abuse of women around the world,” said Debra McCall, director of curriculum and professional development and dean of Cultural History at the Upper School.
The main goals of the elective were to raise consciousness about global gender inequality and discrimination of girls and women, and to engage in activism to bring awareness of programs and movements addressing these issues. Students were also challenged to “find their own voice” to advocate for change on behalf of a cause about which they are passionate, such as child marriage, domestic slavery, gay rights, or simply self-confidence in their own daily lives.
“I don't know where to start to express how meaningful and powerful this class is to me. I have been finding my voice and am so much stronger and more confident. I acquired a knowledge that I never expected and developed a sense of activism that will help me so much in the long term,” said sophomore Big Kitty.
Students looked at a range of topics, from the state of girls’ education worldwide and the positive difference even a year of schooling can make, to violence against women, to the “glass ceiling,” to women’s peace movements, to the statistics about the realities facing women today. “The students were blown away to learn the United States is one of only three nations in the world to not mandate maternity leave and one of the few to not offer a paid maternity leave,” Debra said.
Back in January, the class held a "1950s bake sale" to raise money to bring the educator’s edition of Girl Rising to campus. Proceeds from the screenings will be donated to the Girl Rising 10x10 educational fund. The class hopes to break $1,000, and is still accepting donations. Please contact Debra McCall at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to contribute.