‘My Vote My Voice’ Student Speech. Where are we now?

Madame Chair and fellow participants did you know 70% of the world’s poor are female.  Globally, the average women makes about 77c for every dollar a man makes. 11.4 million women and girls are forced into labour. Why is the case? And how can we change this?

Women are mistreated in many 3rd and 2nd world countries, men however appear to be considered top priority and appear to get all the credit and financial reward for what they have achieved. This is not fair. Lately as the world has evolved more and more women have found their voice. Women like Julia Gillard and Vida Goldstein have continued to inspire young women such as ourselves to pursue our dreams and rights.

The Beijing Conference for Women changed the face of gender equality and was a huge step towards women’s rights. That was 20 years ago and we believe that this generation can take the next step to a fulfilling future for women. Even with the determination of women all over the world we’re not there yet. There are still girls being forced into marriage at a very young age especially women in poverty. There are also girls suffering from domestic violence.

Poverty can be a consequence of war and disagreement, the world needs to unite not only women fighting for their rights but men standing up for women’s rights as well. Feminism can at times be misinterpreted, women aren’t trying to overpower men we are trying to have an equal society. No matter what religion or faith, women deserve better and no girl should be ashamed of who they are or afraid to say they are a feminist.

We feel passionately that together we can ensure that there will be less women living in poverty. Through awareness, education and commitment we have a voice and we can continue the positive change that started 20 years ago in Beijing.

Rachel, Year 6 Student, Methodist Ladies College.

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