A brief introduction
Our English word, ‘women’ comes from an earlier old English word, ‘wifmon’ meaning, ‘wife-man’. This word functioned as a synonym for wife and, being so very old, is a terribly outdated way of understanding the role of women in 2021 and beyond. This is because it is clear that women are far more than just wives nowadays.
Women are countless things; astronauts, doctors, mechanics, prime ministers, presidents, record-breaking top athletes, scientists, artists, architects, writers, philosophers, politicians, teachers; I’m sure you know that the list goes on and on… But actually, it’s not just ‘nowadays’, they have always been these things. Unfortunately, we live in a world that rarely acknowledges that women have, and will always have, equal potential to men, and in fact (all too often) stifles their achievement. There are too many things that we don’t know in terms of how women have shaped our world. We need to acknowledge the women who paved, and continue to pave, the way for all women globally. Honouring Women’s History Month is just one of the ways that we can show our appreciation… but what exactly is Women’s History Month? And why only a month?
A brief history
Women have been contributing to society and culture from day one, but it took about one thousand, nine hundred and eighty-two years (since we started keeping records of dates) for women to even begin to be given any real sort of this acknowledgement… and they were given a ‘generous ‘one week’ to do this… Umm.
Half a decade, later, after having realised that a mere seven days was probably an insufficient amount of time to condense half of all human achievement into, The National Women’s History Project fought vehemently for a modest three extra weeks to properly honour our women… It was a fight to even get a single month, and this fight for more time, more opportunities, more money, more recognition, more respect more rights and more freedom, rages ever on.
Should anyone, anywhere, ever have to fight this hard simply to exist as an equal? Women’s History Month is just the start, it’s not that we’re trying to pigeonhole the whole of Women’s history into a single month, rather, we are taking this month to intentionally remember and celebrate the achievements of women, until such a time where that recognition in society becomes an everyday thing. Right, you’re a clever, kind, hard working, passionate and driven pupil who practices courageous advocacy and sees this unacceptable reality - what can you do to help honour Women’s History Month?
All students from Year 7 to 13 will be looking at women’s history during the non-examined curriculum. We will be looking at some inspirational figures who have shown our school values, whilst also reframing the narrative of women’s history.
Students will be able to be involved in Missing Pages, our virtual book club, which will focus on female writers this month.
They will also be able to create a piece of writing or art about a woman that acted bravely, acted kindly, aimed high or kept learning.
We’re looking forward to sharing work created during the month!
#iwd2021 #choosetochallenge #womenshistorymonth
Slightly ironic that women are often forgotten in world history given that the present day would not exist were it not for them… but okay. Actually, it’s far more than just ironic. It’s unjust. That means that, as a school, we are going to do something about it. We’re going to use our values to explore and illuminate fantastic female figures both in history and in our present day-to-day lives. We are going to intentionally shine a light on women who aimed high, kind women, brave women and women who kept learning and you will be given the freedom to tell their stories in any way you wish! Be it an astronaut or an auntie, we want to learn about, and celebrate, the women who have inspired you, and share with you some incredibly inspiring women. So, your challenge this month is as follows:
Step 1 - Pick one of our values.
Step 2 – Pick the title that matches the value you chose.
Step 3 – Think of a woman you know who best presents your chosen value.
Step 4 – Complete a ‘project’ on your chosen woman; make sure that the title of your project is the exact one below:
1. ‘A Woman Who Aimed High’
2. ‘A Brave Woman’
3. ‘A Kind Woman’
4. ‘A Woman Who Kept learning’
While you can answer these questions anyhow you like, you may want to consider:
• A good ol’ essay
• A book or film review
• a drawing or painting • an article or report
• An interview with a parent or family member
…Or anything else you can think of to celebrate a role model in your life! Be creative!