Students from St Mary’s School, Cambridge, the only all-girls school in Cambridge, celebrated the United Nation’s (UN) International Day of the Girl (11 October) by declaring their individual support of girls’ rights to education.
Girls from the Junior School and Senior School joined like-minded followers around the world showing their support for the special day by raising their arms and proclaiming ‘Because I am a Girl’ in support of the Plan UK campaign. The ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign aims to support millions of girls in securing the education, skills and support they need to transform their lives and the world around them, and coincides with International Day of the Girl.
Viola B, Year 9
Each student had her photo taken holding a proclamation such as “I can be me because I am a girl”; “I can play football because I am a girl”; “I can wear jeans because I am a girl” and “I can be inspirational because I am a girl”. Head Girl, Jemima C., and prefect, Heidi A., ran a photo booth at the Senior School capturing the girls with their statements of solidarity, which included: “I can get an Olympic medal because I am a girl” and “I can be the Prime Minister because I am a girl”.
The International Committee and the Democracy Committee also organised a number of school events at the Senior School to raise funds for Plan UK, one of the largest children’s charities in the world, by marking the day in alternative ways. The students held a teacher quiz where contestants had to guess which teacher had their hand in the air in a photograph. Continuing the theme, a bake sale selling cookies in the shape of the hand also raised funds for Plan UK.
Lethando M, Year 4
Charlotte Avery, Headmistress at St Mary’s School, Cambridge said: “October 11 is not just a day; it’s a movement. Since the UN pronounced October 11 as International Day of the Girl four years ago the day has highlighted how everyone comes together to stand up for girls’ rights 365 days a year. These international awareness days are part of a greater profile-raising agenda. Year on year we, as an international all-girls school, show our support for this special day but the issues raised by International Day of the Girl – access to education, women’s rights to work and equal opportunities, to name a few – are all on-going issues which need to be addressed on a wider scale to bring about social change.
Jemima C., Head, Girl, Upper Sixth
“Social prejudices across the globe continue to prevent girls from gaining an education; at St Mary’s School, Cambridge we do all we can to articulate a strong vision for independent and healthy young women whether that’s through supporting women’s rights initiatives, including International Day of the Girl, or through inspirational role models in our school community.”