To mark International Women’s Day – a day designed to celebrate women’s social, cultural, economic and political achievements – some of our Sixth Form students hosted an assembly, around the theme of this year’s event: ‘Break the Bias’. They sought to highlight the ways in which we can take action to promote respect and equality, celebrate diversity and forge positive relationships.

George Ogden, Ted Cribbens, Mahdeia Hidary, Lara Huddert-Ouabdesslam and El Harrison produced the assembly following Sixth Form Council Meetings; supported by Miss Boorman, Head of Upper Sixth and Ms Geldeard, Head of Sixth Form.

The event kicked off to the tune of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’, as Miss Boorman pointed out that the singer “helped to finance the civil rights movement; marched with Martin Luther King; and sang at a memorial service for the civil rights leader in 1968. She created music that became the soundtrack for revolutions: the civil rights and women’s movements, and protests against the Vietnam War.

“The song was originally written by legendary soul singer Otis Redding, about a man who demands from his family respect when he comes home from work,” she added. “Franklin’s version was about a woman telling a man that she doesn’t see any reason why he disrespects her.”

Lara then described respect as ‘having a regard for the feelings, wishes and rights of others … and outwardly showing this regard’ while El described her experience of joining the Sixth Form: “We stand out because there are 80 girls to over 1000 boys,” she said. “When you get to Sixth Form, try not to treat the girls any differently than a new classmate.”

George added: “I still find speaking to new people a bit difficult but now it doesn’t matter whether they’re a girl or a boy. I’ve seen the new ideas and perspectives that girls have brought to Trinity … It’s changed lots of my views, biases and perspectives. As a result, I’ve become a different person.”

Ted added: “We need to consciously think about the biases and expectations we have that alter the way we view the world. And we need to change them because they affect every decision we make and every action we take.”

Ms Geldeard, Head of Sixth Form, concluded the assembly by pointing out that showing people respect is mutually beneficial: “If you respect someone else, they’re going to feel valued and will likely be more respectful towards you … There are lots of people that you may like because they have similar interests but those friends where there’s mutual respect are the best kind. You may not always think the same or act the same or look the same, but we can be part of a warm and welcoming community which celebrates our differences.”

“I’ve seen the new ideas and perspectives that girls have brought to Trinity … It’s changed lots of my views, biases and perspectives.”

George Ogden, Sixth Form student

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