Women’s History is Herstory – The ‘hidden figures’ of history
As the Spring Term comes to an end, so too does Women’s History Month. At Haileybury, we have hosted an abundance of activities and events to celebrate and mark the importance of this month. These activities were passionately led by our forward-thinking Lower Sixth pupils, Megan, Donatella, Zoe and Renee, with the support of our dedicated Teacher of History, Miss Craig.
Included throughout the month of March was the screening of various biographical films, the creation of a podcast with teachers as interviewees discussing ‘hidden women’ within their respective fields, a casual discussion event and a flash mob where pupils presented posters of women who changed the world! Additionally, a plethora of related literature was displayed throughout our library to invite our community to expand their knowledge of women’s rights, equality and progress.
Megan, Donatella, Zoe and Renee created a website as a home for their podcast and additional resources, such as reading and media suggestions, and a fantastic project by Lower School 1 that includes posters and video links of female Computer Science pioneers. We strongly recommend you visit the website and explore the wonderful efforts of our pupils.
Miss Craig was also contacted by a Lower School pupil, Nia, who shared her innovative ideas to support a women and children’s domestic abuse shelter in Ghana. Nia boldly set her sights on raising funds for the Ghanaian charity knowing the impact our school community could have on this meaningful cause.
“The motivation for us to initiate the Women’s History Month events is to promote awareness of social inequality against women in multiple different fields, and then stimulating discussions of how we can make it better.”
Megan, Donatella, Zoe and Renee had a range of motivations spurring their organisation of Women’s History Month at Haileybury, such as the realisation that there is a severe underrepresentation of women in the subjects they study. The desire to educate their younger peers as doing this will pave the way for future generations to come. The pupils believe women’s history should be celebrated and taught all year round, it should be normalised, a habit that is part of our culture and a curriculum at every school. It was their aim to ensure it could be accessible to everyone and offer opportunities for the Haileybury community to be involved.
They came together with others to discuss issues and experiences surrounding women’s history, this allowed them to truly bond over the different perspectives and discover their shared views. The girls will be making this an on-going event and are creating a society focusing on equality called the Pankhurst Society which is welcome to all.
Megan, Donatella, Zoe and Renee hope their male peers will get involved in their future plans and become the allies needed for impactful, long-lasting change. It is their aspiration to continue to drive open discussions, uncover different perspectives and destigmatise the cause.
“I have really enjoyed hearing and learning others’ ideas on related topics and I hope we can continue to create open spaces for further sharing of perspectives in the School.”
The four pupils are thankful at how receptive and encouraging their teachers have been in helping them bring their ideas to life, as well as how willing they were to give their time and be involved in their podcast.
Haileybury couldn’t be more proud of what the girls have achieved and all who have been involved in making this Women’s History Month a memorable one.