Message from the Principal
Last Sunday, 8 March, was International Women’s Day. This year’s theme was “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. This theme is aligned with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Adopted in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, the Beijing Platform for Action is recognised as the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere.
The United Nations 63rd Session on the Commission on the Status of Women on 11 March 2019 in New York reported the following statistics:
- 740 million women currently make their living in the informal economy. They have limited access to social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure that could increase their productivity and income security.
- More than 50 per cent of urban women and girls in developing countries live in conditions where they lack at least one of these basic human needs: access to clean water, improved sanitation facilities, durable housing, and sufficient living area.
- Women do 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men, and only 41 per cent of the world’s mothers with new-borns receive maternity benefits.
- The global gender gap in access to old-age pensions stands at 10.6 percentage; in 2016 68.4 per cent of men, above retirement age, had access to a pension compared to 57.8 per cent of women above retirement age.
- One in three women are likely to face violence in their lifetimes, but public services, urban planning and transport systems are rarely planned with women’s safety and mobility in mind.
- Critical infrastructure, such as safe sanitation, is lacking in 23 percent of the world’s schools, disproportionately affecting adolescent girls with menstrual hygiene needs.
In her closing remarks at the UN's official commemoration for International Women's Day in New York on 8 March 2020 UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said: "Together we will build the society that we want and together we will make the changes that we want to make. It is not yet time to rest. We have a lot of work to do".
At Mt St Michael’s we are so blessed to have a College that was established by the Sisters of Charity. These incredible women have provided us with amazing role models who have gone to the margins, advocating for change and continue to inspire us today. I would proudly like to acknowledge the fantastic work being done by the student led initiative “Sisters Empowering Sisters”. Their aim is to educate fellow students on gender inequality faced by many around the world in hope that they are better equipped to contribute and create an empowering, equal world for all. Congratulations to all involved!
In faith and love