Happy International Women’s Day!
International Women’s Day is a global day to celebrate the achievements of women across the world. It is also an opportunity for us to reflect on the progress yet to be made in advancing women’s rights and freedoms. This year, the theme is ‘Embrace Equity’.
Currently, only 6% of refugees globally have access to higher education . Many refugee, asylum-seeking, and undocumented young people in the UK are prevented from ever accessing further and higher education simply because they are not afforded the same access to student finance or loans as young people with secure immigration status.
Women and girls seeking safety often face additional barriers to accessing higher education, particularly STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, due to gender stereotypes and discrimination, both at home and in education settings.
Here at Hope for the Young, we are working to embrace equity by ensuring that young refugees and people seeking asylum can access the education, one-to-one support and advocacy they need to move forwards with their lives.
To mark International Women’s Day, Lavin and Nicole, two young women on our Grants & Advocacy Programme, have written about what education means to them and have shared messages of solidarity and inspiration for other young women and girls.
International Women’s Day by Lavin
My name is Lavin and I am a first-year student studying civil engineering.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, I want to take a moment to recognise and celebrate all the amazing women out there who have made incredible contributions to the world.
My wish for you all is to pursue your passions, chase your dreams, and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because of your gender. I hope to see more and more girls breaking stereotypes and excelling in the fields that they are passionate about.
I wish you all success, happiness, and good health. Remember, you are strong, you are capable, and you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Let’s continue to inspire each other and make a positive impact in the world.
Happy International Women’s Day!
– Lavin, Grantee and Civil Engineering Student
Women’s Day by Nicole
Maya Angelou once said, “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it, possibly without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” I truly believe that where there is a woman, there is magic. We are a force to be reckoned with and we have proven countless that we deserve a place in this world.
I thank strong women like my mother, Angela Bassett and Michelle Obama who have given me the courage and the fortitude to keep chasing my dreams to fruition. When I decided as teenager that sciences would be my path, whether I recognised or not, I was walking towards my purpose. In moments of uncertainty and doubt, faced with insuperable obstacles, I always reminded myself that I there was room for me in this world to make my mark.
To any women or young girls thinking of embarking on a career in sciences,
‘You may ask yourself, “What if I fall?”
But my darling, what if you fly?’
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down, we as women together ought to be able to turn it right side up again.
– Nicole, Grantee and Medical Science Student
If you would like help us support more young women seeking safety to access education and achieve their dreams, please consider donating and share our work with everyone you know!