International Women’s Day at SAC
International Women’s Day in one of the most important events in our Justice and Mercy calendar at SAC. It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate our school identity and the ways in which we empower girls to become people who lead with courage and compassion.
In the weeks leading up to International Women’s Day this year, students in the JAM group considered ways that our school community could celebrate this year. Between them, they made 1,200 purple ribbons in one lunchtime and these were given to all students to wear on International Women’s Day. In the context of International Women’s Day, the colour purple represents justice, dignity and loyalty, and is worn by many people each year to mark the occasion.
The JAM students reflected on one of the main themes of this year’s International Women’s Day, #EmbraceEquity. The words ‘equality’ and ‘equity’ are often used interchangeably, and despite being similar in that their core meanings is ‘fairness’, their true meanings are quite different. It is important for people to understand these differences when it comes to striving for a just and equitable future for all. So, here are the key definitions for those important words:
“Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities.
Equity recognises that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.” (https://www.internationalwomensday.com)
On International Women’s Day, students were invited to write the name of or draw a symbol representing a girl or woman who inspires them on a large banner, inside the words ‘IWD: #EMBRACEEQUITY’. So many students were eager to participate that the whole banner was filled, creating a colourful and diverse collage of words, images and love notes for females our students most admire. There were some big names written on the banner: the likes of Jane Goodall, Emma Watson and Henrietta Lacks. But the majority of names were those of students’ relatives, teachers and friends. A humbling reminder that heroes are present in our everyday, and that we needn’t look too far beyond our immediate circles to find the best version of who we’d like to be.
Another highlight of the week was the annual International Women’s Day breakfast at Adelaide Convention Centre, which was attended on Friday 10th March by our Year 12 SRC Executive accompanied by Principal, Ms Paddy McEvoy, and Deputy Principal – Pastoral Care, Ms Jacqui McIlroy. This is the largest International Women’s Day event in Australia and it raises tens of thousands of dollars for causes supporting females.
This year’s speaker was Caroline Kennedy, an American author, attorney and diplomat, and daughter of the late John F Kennedy, 35th President of the United States. Our Year 12 leaders were delighted to have the opportunity to hear from a notable woman who has dedicated her life to serving the people of her country.
Year 12 Social Justice Leader, Ella, said, “I think it is great that we could attend the breakfast because seeing people who have made a change in women’s representation in various fields gives us hope and inspiration for what we can achieve.”
Hearing from event host and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, was also a highlight. Year 12 SRC President, Crystal, shared that, “Senator Wong gave us some insights into the gender pay gap, the percentage of women in parliament, and that even though progress has been made, there’s still more to be done. Penny Wong said that it makes sense for women to participate in decision making because women represent half of society.”
We are confident that students from SAC go into the world equipped with the courage, compassion and vision to ‘embrace equity’ for everyone they meet in their personal and professional lives.