17-year-old School Captain Tessa Kelly from Wade High School spoke about her educational experiences and aspirations for the future in honour of International Day of the Girl.
International Day of the Girl on Wednesday celebrated young women, and aimed to raise awareness of the 130 million girls worldwide without access to education.
Many other countries, especially for girls, don’t have the same access to education.Tessa Kelly
“We are very lucky to have such a high level of public schooling because many other countries, especially for girls, don’t have the same access to education,” she said.
After school finishes, Tessa is going off to university, and is thankful she has the options of doing whatever opportunity opens itself up to her.
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to formal education. There are a variety of challenges preventing girls and young women from going to school – including gender-based violence, lack of body confidence, and social stereotypes.
Tessa says she feels comfortable considering options such as engineering or science, which are stereo-typically male areas of study, and being female doesn’t hinder her opportunities.
“I think we are very fortunate now days, especially in the last few years universities have been not only accepting girls, but also encouraging girls, getting more brains into those fields,” Tessa said.
Gender roles and stereotypes impact on may other areas of every day life, and Tessa has only recently been reflecting on how much we in Australia can take for granted.
“I was thinking the other day how if I wanted to go anywhere, there was no problem getting my license, and then to think about the women in Saudi Arabia, who have only just been allowed to drive, its crazy that they weren’t allowed to drive at all.”