Today is International Day of the Girl Child – a day dedicated to recognising and promoting the rights and wellbeing of girls worldwide.
The day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011 and highlights the challenges faced by girls around the world and advocates for their empowerment, education, and rights, encouraging them to dream big and pursue their goals.
The UN states, “Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders. An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.”
We caught up with India, Daniela and Nell, three of our Sixth Form students, to find out how they feel our school empowers them to break barriers posed by stereotypes and what opportunities they have taken to stand up in the face of today’s challenges to reach their goals.
When asked how Haberdashers’ Monmouth School has helped prepare her for potential challenges and opportunities that may occur as a young woman in today’s world, India said, “Many aspects of school life have prepared me for this including the support of the co-educational Sixth Form, the support system with my Head of Year and teachers, talks from external speakers in assembly and university talks. The school has given me a safe and supportive environment to try out the way in which I conduct myself and has allowed me to flourish and become more independent and confident in my beliefs and values, so that I can take this learning into the future. “
And how has the school encouraged you to explore your interests beyond the classroom? “This summer I was lucky enough to travel to New York with school to attend the model United Nations conference. This was an amazing opportunity where I was able to meet people from all over the world and be part of an international conference. I am very interested in international affairs, so this was an amazing opportunity to be part of a discussion with peers at an international level and experience visiting the UN headquarters building was a particular highlight.”
Daniela added “I think the encouragement from the staff to think creatively and outside of the box has given us great independence. I’ve harnessed the support the school has given me and as a determined young woman I am ready to take on any new opportunities and challenges I may meet after Year 13. Additionally, before joining the school I was very shy and found it hard to speak up. But throughout my journey here my confidence has flourished and as a result from many opportunities such as participating in the model UN, and speaking in assemblies, I have developed my public speaking skills. Going out into the world after Year 13, I am keen to share my ideas and collaborate with others to make an impact.”
“Looking to the future, I hope to study Mechanical Engineering, and be surrounded by like-minded, motivated students striving to always challenge myself and remain open minded, ready for anything. I aspire to keep these values which the school has taught me throughout my life. I have really enjoyed the warm community at the school, and I am grateful for everything it has given to me.”
Nell, our Head Girl, explained how her experiences at our school have led her to feel empowered to take on leadership opportunities. “Being Head Girl this year has already taught me a great deal, but it is far from the first time I have taken a leadership role. Throughout my Monmouth experience I have been given the opportunity to step up and take the initiative. This has come in the form of school council, where I, on behalf of my peers, was able to stand up and call for meaningful change within our school, and Women’s Forum where I chaired topical discussions on the role played by women in our society. Each of these instances has shaped who I am today and equipped me with the tools needed to be a confident and curious young woman in today’s world.”
She added “Our school has played a pivotal role in preparing me to face the unique challenges and seize the opportunities that come with being a young woman in today’s world. Through a supportive environment and encouragement from teachers and peers, I have gained the confidence to express my opinions and ideas, regardless of gender-related stereotypes. This has been crucial in helping me assert myself in academic and social settings. The school has also emphasised the importance of women’s empowerment, teaching me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. This mindset empowers me to pursue my passions and goals without limitations. Through the relationships I have built at school, I have cultivated a network of friends, mentors, and teachers who offer support and guidance, which is invaluable in facing life’s challenges. Our school has instilled in me the importance of resilience and perseverance, giving me the ability to tackle any obstacles or setbacks that may come my way as a young woman.”
In celebration of International Day of the Girl, we are reminded of the profound impact our school has on empowering young women to break down barriers and embrace opportunities. We are proud of our school’s commitment to fostering an environment where every girl can thrive and reach her full potential.
To hear more from Daniela, India and Nell, head over to the @habsmonmouth Instagram to watch their videos.