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International Women’s Day – Embracing equity

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On International Women’s Day, there is so much to celebrate and so many measures that can be taken to make sure women and girls feel a sense of belonging in the classroom. Firstly, what is International Women’s Day? It’s a day dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements and contributions to society, as well as advocating for gender equality. It’s been observed since the early 1900s and is now recognised globally on March 8th each year.

So, why is it important to ensure that women and girls feel a sense of belonging in the classroom? Studies have shown that when students feel like they belong in their learning environment, they are more likely to be engaged and successful academically. Additionally, creating a welcoming and inclusive classroom environment can have a positive impact on students’ mental health and overall well-being. Here are a few ways on how we can embrace equity:


  • Representation: Make sure the curriculum and learning materials include a diverse representation of women and girls. It’s important for students to see people who look like them and come from similar backgrounds in the materials they’re learning from.
  • Language: Use inclusive language and avoid gendered language. For example, instead of saying “Hey guys,” try saying “Hey everyone” or “Hey y’all.” These small changes can help create a more welcoming and inclusive classroom environment.
  • Active listening: Make sure to actively listen to women and girls in the classroom. Encourage them to share their experiences and perspectives, and validate their feelings and ideas. This can help create a sense of community and foster mutual respect among students.
  • Mentorship: Provide opportunities for women and girls to connect with mentors and role models. This can help them feel supported and encouraged in their academic and personal pursuits.
  • Safe spaces: Create safe spaces for women and girls to express themselves and engage in discussions. This can be as simple as designating a specific area of the classroom as a “safe space” or creating guidelines for respectful and inclusive dialogue.


International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women and girls, but it’s important to remember that creating a more inclusive and equitable society is an ongoing effort. By taking these small steps, we can help ensure that women and girls feel appreciated and acknowledged!

International Women’s Day – Embracing equity


Inge Liebenberg




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