GCSE students take to stage for gender equality campaign

Cabinet Member Martin Phillips with Amy Williams, Elena Brooks, Emily Critchlow and Jessie Trueman
Cabinet Member Martin Phillips with Amy Williams, Elena Brooks, Emily Critchlow and Jessie Trueman

A group of Aylesbury High School students have taken to the stage to campaign for gender equality.

The four year 9 girls took the nerve-racking challenge of speaking up for a campaign on the issue before an audience of senior Buckinghamshire County Councillors and officers at an event held on Thursday, March 10.

They were given centre stage at County Hall in the room where the Cabinet normally meets, at the invitation of Martin Phillips, Cabinet member for community engagement and public health.

Before an audience of around 30, Emily Critchlow, Elena Brooks, Jessie Trueman and Amy Williams presented the case for men to take action against inequalities faced by women and girls worldwide.

The students based their presentation on HeForShe, a solidarity campaign for gender equality initiated by UN Women.

It was all part of their Citizenship GCSE, for which they are required to help raise awareness for a pressure group.

Emily said the group was delighted with the invitation to present their case at County Hall, because of the opportunity to speak to councillors and officers who influence community life.

She said: “The feedback was fantastic. We made so many contacts, who’ve invited us to speak at other events, which we’ve accepted.”

Deputy head Nette Hamnett said: “They are clearly very passionate about all aspects of the campaign and the county council invitation was a good opportunity for them to generate discussion about these issues.”

Martin said: “This was such a good opportunity for us as a council to engage with some of our younger residents. And we tried our best to host the students as close to International Women’s Day on March 8 as possible.”