International Women’s Day #IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge
Monday 8th March marks International Women’s Day – a time for countries all over the world to rally together for gender equality and to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Even in the 21st century there is still significant work to be done in tackling gender inequality; International Women’s Day brings to light both the progress that has been made by those before us, and the issues that still require our attention.
As a female-led team here at Quintessentially Education, this entire cause is particularly close to our hearts, and to celebrate, we have pulled together a list of our favourite influential women within the world of education. See below for their impact on access and learning:
“We can’t afford not to educate girls and give women the power and the access that they need.”
In many parts of the world, educational resources are not readily available, and for young women and girls, education can be virtually inaccessible. Michelle Obama has done an incredible job creating programs and resources for girls living in disadvantaged countries that do not have access to education.
Michelle’s ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative has made huge advancements in providing schools and education to adolescent girls in Africa. For example, programs in Liberia are fighting to end gender violence in schools, as well as providing “second chance” opportunities for women who have become pregnant at a young age.
“Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.”
Maria Montessori pioneered the concept of a child-centred education. Using creative hands-on learning methods and encouraging self-directed activities, Montessori was able to form a unique instructional approach that provided successful results even in students that were considered “unteachable.” Her ethos helped broaden access to education.
Montessori believed that early childhood education should encompass all parts of growth, including social, cognitive, and emotional development. To this day, the Montessori Method is featured in schools all over the world, remaining very popular amongst progressive parents.
“In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It’s their normal life. But in other parts of the world, we are starving for education… it’s like a precious gift. It’s like a diamond.”
Malala Yousafzai’s story of resilience and fighting for what is right is nothing short of incredible. Growing up in Pakistan, Yousafzai became an advocate for women’s rights and education at a young age.
Unfortunately, due to the Taliban rule of Pakistan, freedoms for women were severely limited, with access to education virtually non-existent. Yousafzai was targeted for her advocacy when she was still a young teen herself, but incredibly she survived, despite after being shot in the head by a Taliban soldier at close range. After recovering, she went on to become a prominent activist of human’s rights and educational access for women. In 2014, at the age of seventeen, Malala became the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her amazing work in bringing attention to these issues. She has also written a children’s book on her story called ‘I am Malala’.
Dr Hayat Sind
‘The fundamentals in science never change, so I think a sound introduction to science is what is imperative in schools around the globe.’
This medical scientist was the first Saudi woman to be accepted at Cambridge University in the field of biotechnology, and the first woman from any of the Arab States of the Persian Gulf to complete a doctoral degree in the field. As one of the first female members of the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, she is the co-founder of Diagnostics For All, an NGO that works to provide medical care in remote and impoverished areas. According to Sind, “a true scientist should focus on affordable simple solutions to reach everyone in the world.” She has been appointed as a UNESCO goodwill ambassador due to her work in promoting education, specifically for girls in the Middle East.
Self-betterment and Confidence Coaching
This year’s IWD Campaign theme is #ChooseToChallenge. The campaign encourages women to stand up and challenge areas in their life that require change, be that in the workplace or in their personal life. To challenge those around you takes a huge amount of confidence and self-belief. Quintessentially Education have a number of consultants that can support both women and men gain self-esteem in their career and other aspects of life. See below for an example profile:
Katie has worked in the UK and internationally for nearly 30 years in a wide range of organisations including corporates and the third sector. Katie has specialised in career coaching for many years, helping people of all ages to find the right path no matter what stage of life. She believes that we all have an array of individual talents that can be explored, and she is experienced in using psychometric profiling to help find strengths and make positive progress.
Quintessentially Education supports the empowerment of girls from a young age, but supporting feminism isn’t exclusive to women and the cause is just as important for those of the opposite sex. For further information on how to work towards a gender equal world, see here for the official International Women’s Day website.
For further support, or for any other educational enquiries, please contact Quintessentially Education for more information.