It is powerful when our boys decide to act on their own initiative. This occurred last week when the President of the Students’ Representative Council, Angus Williams (Year 11), asked me if he could talk to the School at assembly about International Women’s Day.
The following speech was well received by our student body and is a wonderful indication of the maturity and sensitivity of our Kingsmen. Our world needs more men like Angus and those in the SRC.
And now a word from 2021 SRC President, Angus Williams:
Dear Headmaster, Rev Edwards, Staff and Boys
Monday 8 March marks International Women’s Day: the occasion on which we celebrate and reflect on the achievements of women around the world. When occasions like International Women’s Day come around, it is important for us as boys to reflect on the role women play in our lives, and how important it is for us to appreciate how they shape us as individuals.
At The King’s School, we are fortunate to have female role models that support us in all that we do. To our female staff, thank you for your support, compassion and dedication for working tirelessly for the betterment of The King’s School. Thank you for developing a community that understands the need to accelerate global gender equality. Thank you for helping guide us in truly understanding ways that we, as a community, can make a positive difference for women everywhere.
What is also important, is especially appreciating and celebrating the women who have paved the way for us to get to this point in our lives. Thank you, to the teachers, the counsellors and all the administration staff, who help guide us every day. Thank you, to our mothers who nurture us and shape us in becoming responsible and respectful young men in all aspects of our lives. Thank you, to our sisters and female relationships as March 8 is also a reminder to be grateful for these relationships we share and value.
It is also important for us as boys to speak up about respect for women. Sadly, we too often receive reminders about a lack of respect in our communities. We should not just ourselves be respectful, but also remind ourselves and those around us how important a day like International Women Day is.
International Women’s Day is a reminder for all that has been achieved and all that still needs to be achieved so that equality cannot just be a statement said, but a right engendered in us at birth.
International Women’s Day is a reminder to end the attitude that criticises girls for speaking out; to end the culture that punishes women for their sexuality yet praises men for their exploits. To end an Internet where women are routinely harassed and threatened when they go online.
This day reminds us that equality is not just an issue for women, but rather an issue for all of us.
On Monday, and indeed every day, we honour the women of the past: those who stood up for change and fought for the rights that we live and enjoy today. We honour the women of the present: those who are in this room today and those women around the world who use their voice to help make our world a better place for all; and we honour the women of the future: those who will continue to champion and accelerate global gender equality.
As boys that are a part of a School that prepares them for the world, we should celebrate International Women’s Day, and celebrate this day that represents the success and respect for each other as human beings.