The New Year is a time for reflection and hope but, as the news spread that the 23 year old woman brutally attacked in Delhi on 16th December had died of her injuries just prior to the advent of 2013, few of us found it easy to look forward with positivity in our hearts.
However, as thousands of people joined protests in India’s capital and more and more ordinary men and women took to the streets to voice their outrage at the maltreatment of women in the country, hope began to rekindle, there is some comfort in the knowledge that people feel increasingly empowered to stand together in the face of such atrocities and unite to effect change.
Similarly, when Malala Yousufai, the Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls’ education in October last year, was discharged from hospital on 3rd January 2013, it was impossible not to feel inspired by her enormous courage in resisting the insurgent’s efforts to deny women education and other rights. Through her actions, and the revulsion provoked by the Delhi attack, the importance of girls’ education has never been more keenly felt.
It is essential to me that girls receive a well-rounded education that is as much preparation for life as it is for examination success. Equipping girls with the skills they need to succeed in a world of sometimes limited expectation and stereotypes is essential if we are to stand united against the violent oppression of women on a global scale. Real learning is not just about amassing more and more information. It is about supporting girls to achieve their best academically, culturally, socially, physically, personally and morally. We are dedicated to helping girls understand their role in the community and the wider world, to work collaboratively towards positive change and to develop creative and independent thinking skills.
In our determination to be a school that is unafraid to be bold and to take intellectual risks we have developed the girls’ confidence in effecting change. Our girls are able to voice their opinions without fear of reprisal and, more importantly, they are committed to upholding the strength and welfare of their community whether on a local, national or international scale. In response to the appalling treatment of Malala Yousufai and the murdered Delhi woman, our girls’ are looking at projects such as One Billion Rising, a global protest against sexual violence to be held on 14th February. I know that their determination to create a better world for women and girls’ will be heartily supported.