In celebration of International Women's Day, three student leaders, Isha Vemuri '22, MJ Granito '22, and Jessica Jose-Navarrete '22, presented remarks at the Upper School Assembly today.
"The first international Women's Day took place in the year 1908, when 15,000 women took to the streets of New York City demanding shorter work hours, better pay, and voting rights," said Isha, founder and co-president of the Middle Eastern Cultural Club. "Today, COVID-19 impacts our ability to take to the streets and celebrate again, but we still honor the struggle, perseverance, and success of women all over the world."
Next, MJ highlighted brilliant women, including the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice; Oprah Winfrey, philanthropist and actress; Alex Morgan, American soccer player, and our own Elizabeth Gill, a founder of GSB. "We see countless examples of women, past and present, who persevered to overcome obstacles to achieve greatness," said MJ, president of Gill for Diversity. "As we think of our own GSB community, we can remember Miss Elizabeth Gill, who founded The Gill School to provide a strong education with an emphasis on character and values."
In her presentation, Jessica targeted inequities women still face in the workplace, despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that sought to prohibit sex-based wage discrimination. "Women continue to receive on-average, 82-cents for every dollar a man earns, and the pay gap gets worse for Black and Hispanic/Latina women, dropping down to 54-cents an hour," she said. Both the pandemic and the current economic situation have made it more difficult for women in the workplace. "Show your support by campaigning for political change, connect with Women's History Month, and advocate for gender equality," said Jessica, a leader of the newly formed Hispanic Heritage Club.
International Women's Day is a global event celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. March 8 is a day to raise awareness about women's equality, lobby for equal pay, and raise funds for female-focused charities. For more information and resources, please visit internationalwomensday.com.