Students promote women’s rights

Emilia Tutun and Julia Lawlor, Staff writers

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Imagine having the reputation of being less capable than a man, or experiencing a gender wage gap. These biases and issues catalyzed the creation of the Women’s Empowerment Club in 2016. In the spirit of Women’s History Month, the Women’s Empowerment Club hosted a symposium to generate awareness and publicity for the club and its cause in March of 2019.

Students and teachers gathered together in the library to present speeches, discussions, and debates. Junior and founder of the club, Bharathi Subbiah described the purpose of the event.

“The goal of this club is to empower the women and men of WHS and educate students and staff about issues that women face not only in our community but worldwide,” Subbiah stated.

Freshman Tally Zeller addressed how the Women’s Empowerment symposium was very beneficial because it informed people who intended the event of important issues.

“I think that the event was successful because the Women’s Empowerment Club decided to have multiple informal conversation tables, so people could interact and have valuable conversations with each other,” Zeller said. “Lots of opinions were shared and respected, and that allowed people to see things from different perspectives.”

Along with hosting the symposium, the Women’s Empowerment Club conducted a variety of discussions and debates throughout the year to promote their ideas. History teacher Michiko Kurata discussed the club’s positive features and culture.

“I think it is wonderful that the club has organized time for young people to come together. It’s completely voluntary and [people] can express [their] opinions or be educated,” Kurata said.

In addition, sophomore Radhika Mishra, explained why she was motivated to join the club.

“It is my first year in Women’s Empowerment Club, but last year I saw the symposium and was stunned. I knew I had to join and be a part of the change. The Women’s Empowerment Club has been successful because of the hard work all of the strong women put in and the determination to make a change in our school,” Mishra said.

One issue addressed in the Women’s Empowerment Club is the injustice between men and women called a gender pay gap. Freshman Ishika Bharath shared her opinions on women in the working industry and stressed the importance of communication

“If [men] are working less, we have to work two times as hard just to get not paid as well as they are,” Bharath said. “Obviously, no one is going to change it unless you speak out about it,”

Junior Leah Lebron described how the Women’s Empowerment Club plans to pursue spreading awareness about women’s rights.

“While we all loved working on the symposium, we have been looking to help women beyond the WHS community,” Lebron said. “The Women’s Empowerment Club will continue to be a space for anyone, boys and girls can promote gender equality, whether that’s through venting about problems they faced based on their gender or just having space where they feel comfortable.”