International Women's Day

Today is International Women’s Day and this event has been celebrated with a series of thought-provoking assemblies.

This year’s theme of ‘Inspire Inclusion’ prompted reflections on what inclusion really looks like, and presentations by senior students challenged some common preconceptions about equality. Did you know, for example, that suffragettes demanded votes only for women with property, or that some suffragettes had links with fascism? These examples were highlighted to recognise that the history of women’s rights is complex and that some of the barriers to inclusion came from women themselves. The point was made that it is only by acknowledging all of the obstacles encountered by women throughout history that we can truly celebrate their remarkable achievements and progress.

One truly inspirational figure highlighted during the assembly was Drusilla Dunjee Houston, a pioneering African-American historian whose work debunked many of the racist notions perpetuated by historians at the time. She campaigned for women’s suffrage, and her mantra, ‘Lifting as we Climb’ is one that resonates strongly with the Weald values of ‘Courage, Compassion and Curiosity.’ Ms Butler encouraged the students to be curious about women’s history, have the courage to look at all sides and have compassion for those that do not have the equalities and freedoms we experience today.

To round off the week’s celebrations we were delighted to welcome Christine Beckton from the Amelia Scott centre in Tunbridge Wells who gave a fantastic lunchtime talk on Amelia Scott's inspirational life and her work in the suffragette movement in Kent.


Presentations by senior students challenged some common preconceptions about equality