Minister for Equality, the Hon. Samantha Sacramento MP has this morning, together with Minister for Education Dr John Cortes MP, addressed Year 13 pupils from Westside School, Bayside School and the Gibraltar College at Westside School on gender equality issues ahead of International Women’s Day tomorrow. This address was first established by Minster Sacramento and Westside School three years ago and is developed each year. This year, Ms Sacramento delivers her address as acting Chief Minister. Ms Sacramento has acted as Chief Minister before, on a number of occasions, in the absence of Mr Picardo and Mr Garcia from Gibraltar and has been the first woman to assume the role of Chief Minister of in any capacity.
The pupils this morning also heard speeches delivered by pupils representing the three institutions, each pupil spoke about what International Women’s Day symbolised for them.
In addition, and building upon the success of previous years, this morning’s address was followed by the presentation of prizes for the Gender Equality Art and Video competition sponsored by the Ministry for Equality. This competition, which was initially a Westside school initiative and which was organized as part of the celebrations of International Women’s Day, has this year been extended to include all three secondary institutions, Bayside School, the Gibraltar College and Westside School.
This year’s competition theme was ‘Press For Progress’ and a wide range of entries of a very high standard were received from all three institutions. In this way, students were afforded an opportunity not only to reflect upon and evaluate key gender issues but also to articulate their views on these in a creative manner.
The Minster for Education, Dr John Cortes said: “Education is all about preparing young people for life. Awareness of the injustice of gender inequality is part of the toolkit that we all need to take our place in society. That is why initiatives like this are so vitally important, and most continue. The initiative to mark International Women’s Day, now in its third year, has become entrenched in the annual curriculum and it is very much something that students look forward to. This is mark of the excellent work done by teachers and the Department of Education who work closely with colleagues from the Ministry of Equality to develop this initiative.”
The Acting Chief Minister Samantha Sacramento, said: “I am very pleased to continue supporting this competition and to see that it has grown in a meaningful fashion to include Bayside and Gibraltar College students. This is very important to engage young people and to include young men in gender equality issues as this also affects them directly, it is important to get everybody thinking of the relevant issues from a young age. I was moved to see the engagement by the students this morning, particularly in their speeches and their expression of the subject matter through art, today was both positive and encouraging. The work that has been undertaken by the teachers who work alongside my Ministry for Equality in developing this initiative is of tremendous importance and is demonstrated in the success of the event, I would like to thank all participants for making this such a success.”