he whole Hills Road community celebrated International Women's Day this year with a four-day film festival and a talk from Dr. Hayat Sindi, a renowned scientist and advocate for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In addition, the Ramatu Foundation delivered a presentation about obstacles faced by young women in developing countries, and students participated in themed activities in their subjects as well as through the College’s Future Ready Programme.
The film festival, which ran throughout the week, showcased a diverse range of films that explored issues related to gender equality and women's rights. The films included such diverse titles as ‘Mulan’, ‘Little Women’, and ‘Hidden Figures’; films that probe topics such as women's rights, racial equality, and female empowerment.
The celebrations also featured panel discussions and Q&A sessions with visiting speakers and experts on women's issues, providing students with an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations about gender equality and equity.
On 7 March, Dr. Hayat Sindi delivered a talk organised by Afrah Peeran (Year 13) to a packed lecture theatre. Dr. Sindi is a pioneering biotechnologist who has dedicated her career to improving healthcare in developing countries and promoting women's participation in science and technology. She was named one of the BBC’s 100 Women in 2018, is one of the top 10 most influential Arabian women (ranked by Arabian Business magazine) and was the first woman from the Persian Gulf to receive a doctorate.
During her talk, Dr. Sindi shared her own experiences as a woman in STEM and highlighted the challenges that women still face in the field. She emphasized the importance of supporting and empowering girls and women to pursue careers in science and technology and called on students to be advocates for gender equality in their own communities while using their intelligence and empathy to follow their dreams.
he theme of this year’s International Women’s Day was ‘Embrace Equity’, and students spoke up about their hopes for the future on social media throughout the day. Haneefa Mekic, Issy Lea, Bryher Basher, Ascia Ryan, and Serena Blackwood as well as Biology teacher and Head of EPQ, Dr. Nicolle McNaughton, all shared their perspectives on what it means to #embraceequity at @hillsroadnews.
The International Women's Day celebrations were a powerful reminder of the importance of promoting equity and empowering women in all areas of society. By bringing together students, staff, experts, and activists, International Women’s Day provided a platform for meaningful discussions and inspired action for positive change throughout the College.