‘Never limit yourselves because of gender’, the Minister for Equality, Samantha Sacramento, told an assembly of students at an International Women’s Day event.
The winning entries for the International Women’s Day art competition were also announced yesterday, with Ms Sacramento adding that the works would be featured in local stamps.
Winner of art competition was Eliana Medici, second place was Kiarah Gomez, third place was Sara Rumford and highly commended was awarded to Harvey Tavares.
The event held at Westside School saw Ms Sacramento give an address to students from Westside, Bayside and Gibraltar College.
Ms Sacramento encouraged the students to take any opportunities and to thrive to be the “best” that they can be.
“My message to boys is the same as my message to girls, because we are the Ministry for Equality and we want to make sure all of you here have an equal playing field,” she said.
She asked the students as “the next generation to be the pioneers of change”.
“Change cultural issues, change social norms, push those boundaries, don’t get left behind and have no limits and certainly have no limits because of your gender,” Ms Sacramento said.
She added: “I don’t want there to be barriers in anybody’s world.”
“I want to make sure that we as a government do everything we need to, to remove those barriers so that nothing is placed in your way and nothing prevents your progress, and certainly not for women because they are women.”
The Minister for Education Dr John Cortes reminded the students that would be the last time the International Women’s Day assembly would be held in that building, as later this year the boys and girls school would be integrated.
“Significantly this is the last year of a single gender system in Gibraltar and I think that sends a message of equality in Gibraltar about how our education is totalling inclusive,” Dr Cortes said.
Also speaking at the event were Bayside Head Boy Mathew Porter and Head Girl Jasmine Mahtani, Gibraltar College students Matthew Cornelio and Nicola Gee, and Westside student Saray Imlach.
This year’s theme for the art competition was ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change’ and the winning entries will be featured on local stamps.
A Level student Eliana Medici told the Chronicle her first place entry was inspired on the colour scheme of the suffragettes.
Written on her art work was ‘How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited to participate in the conversation?’
“The words are a quote from Emma Watson and I thought it was quite apt on the theme of ‘Balance for Better’,” said Miss Medici.
“Normally I would paint but the shape of her neck and jaw was quite striking so I decided to sketch.”
“I didn’t think I would win this. I enter anything that comes along my way and they said at school I should enter this, but when they said they were going to put it on stamps I was quite overwhelmed.”
Pics by Johnny Bugeja