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The Courage of Standing Up

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Ksenia Chernaya

The Courage of Standing Up

The Courage of Standing Up

March 8: the meaning of gender equality for preadolescents

“Do you know what the 8th of March is? Do you know the meaning of the expression gender equality?”. This is how the third session of Project Coding Girls in Turi started in a year-two class at the Aldo Moro Comprehensive School in Bruino (Turin). In the week of International Women's Day, Coach Elisa Chierchiello introduced the young students top a short alternative activity, asking them what they hoped for the women of the future. 

• I hope that women never give up, Simone wrote on a yellow piece of paper

• Always be yourself! Don't let anyone else influence you! exclaimed Martina

• Stop violence and feminicides. And keep going, wrote Roberto

• Happiness, always, shared Adele

“It was a moment of intense reflection. I was really struck by how the students showed interest in the topic of gender equality, despite being so young. They shared many stories of violence from news events that they knew about, but also included positive stories of inclusion closer to them, which made me think a lot. Seeing them so engaged and attentive moved me,” explains Elisa. 

“The young people we are lucky enough to meet every day are the engine of change and accompanying them in understanding significant values, such as gender equality, is fundamental to helping them build a more equitable and inclusive society,” adds Elisabetta Gramatica  who coordinates Project Coding Girls in Turin. “Recent data shows that at the current rate, it will still take 131 years to reach full gender equality, but if these twelve-year-olds are our future, the conditions may be better ... perhaps we won't really have to wait until 2154 to reach this ambitious goal,” continues Elisabetta.

Thanks to Elisa for welcoming every challenge with enthusiasm, thanks to Prof. Laura Di Lorenzo and her colleagues from the Aldo Moro Comprehensive Institute for their constant availability, and thanks to our girls and boys for demonstrating, even on this occasion, that they are not afraid to step forward. As Sheryl Sandberg wrote in Lean in: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead: “[..] It is up to us to put an end to the self-fulfilling prophecy according to which «women can't do this, women can't do that.» Raising your hand and saying "It can't be done" is a guarantee that it will never be done. I hope every woman sets her goals and pursues them with enthusiasm. And I hope every man does his part to support women at home and at work with equal enthusiasm. […] The hard work of generations before ours shows us that equality is within reach. We can close the leadership gap now. The success of each one of us can make the success of the next at least a little easier. We can achieve this for ourselves, for each other. If we work hard now, the next wave could be the final one. In the future, we will no longer talk about female leaders. We will only talk about leaders."

Happy 8th of March to everyone!

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