With a love of subjects such as maths, activities such as sports and career goals ranging from becoming a novelist to working as an engineer, some of the girls at Westside are becoming more vocal about their future and how they will not conform to female stereotypes.
Yesterday was ‘International Day of the Girl Child’ and these were some of the comments the Chronicle heard when talking to students at the annual event to celebrate the day.
This year’s theme was ‘The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030’ and Westside focused on encouraging girls to consider a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields.
Emma Couper, 13, is interested in Mathematics and is passionate about science but wants to be a writer and credits authors such as the Bronte sisters as her main inspiration.
“I do want to be a writer, I am really into literature, I would like to write fiction but I want to experiment in what genres I would write in,” she said.
“I look up to a lot of the writers of the classics, like the Bronte sisters and people like that who were misunderstood in their time,” she added.
Rosie Warne, 13, is not entirely sure as to what her chosen career will be yet but has both an interest and aptitude for STEM subjects.
“Girls are not often associated with STEM subjects,” said Ms Warne and likes to see organisations like Girls in Tech having a stand on events such as the one held yesterday.
Her friends believe she would be a great lawyer as during the debates held in school, she shows her ability to provide evidence immediately and patiently and is always able to articulate her point.
She likes to see days like the International Day of the Girl Child being highlighted not just in her school, but globally, as she firmly believes the female voice is a powerful one which needs to be heard.
The topic of child marriages across the world was also noted and discussed at the school in connection with the day.
Anita Fernanda De Teuma, 13, believes girls should not feel they should marry when they are young, but acknowledges some have no choice.
“Some have been brought up to believe they should marry at a very young age and do as men say, I think women should have more rights,” she said.
On the stereotype of females, she does not agree girls “have to be pretty, perfect and act a certain way.”
Another stereotype that Ms Fernanda De Teuma would like to smash is that of the sporting world, a field often associated and dominated by males.
“I am a really good basketball player, I play for two teams and I really enjoy it, I beat two boys the other day three-nil,” she said.
Alicia Fernandes, 14, feels that “society has labelled women.”
“There is this impression that women tend to exaggerate and are emotional about things and some men don’t take women seriously. That is why most of the political leaders are men, they think that women are not stable and if they hold a grudge against someone they are not going to be fair,” she added.
“Women are strong not weak like boys think,” Ms Fernanda De Teuma states.
Pics by Johnny Bugeja