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Day 36, Ramneet & Miika, Students (North Delta Secondary School)

October 29, 2012

It started out like this.

It was the second week of September and Mr. Hundal, our Social Studies 8 teacher, told us there was something fundamentally missing from our textbook. We were all quite surprised at the remark. He asked us, “ladies and gentleman, does anyone know what is missing from our textbook?”

There were many guesses. Some people guessed that the information wasn’t true; someone thought that not all the information was there, or there was only one perspective. We were getting close. (We were currently studying the early middle ages.) Some people thought that the attackers or the victim’s perspective was missing from our textbook. We were close but not quite there.

One Thursday morning, when no one could answer his question, Mr. Hundal decided to tell us. “Out of this entire textbook, more than 1000 years of history, there are only about 7 pages that are dedicated to women’s contribution.” No one expected it, yet, it seemed like an obvious answer. We spent at least half an hour on the subject having a very serious discussion.

After this, Mr. Hundal told us that he was going to assign something that should never have to be assigned. We needed to complete a research project about women’s contribution in history. Now, you might be thinking, “It’s good that these kids are being educated about women’s contribution to history. What’s the problem?” He also answered this. “We shouldn’t need to go out of our way to find out what women have done and how they’ve effected our modern day society.”

And so our class began to research. One student researched Benazir Bhutto, a women who fought for years trying to get more legal rights for women. She had to fight for something that men easily had. Another student studied Rosa Parks, an African-American woman who stood up for African-American civil rights. Oprah Winfrey made a positive impact on men and women alike. Kim Campbell was the first female Prime Minister of Canada. But is there a day that is dedicated to any of these women? Or some sort of acknowledgment of their impact on history?

But why is studying about women’s contribution so important?  We have learned how women have had to fight to earn the same legal rights as men, including the right to vote. In class we discussed how women take care of children that will grow up and change the world.  Women change people’s perspective on racism, and they take ideas and turn them into something bigger, a reality, Every day, women change the world.

Through this project our class learned that women shouldn’t be told they can’t do anything just because they are women. Women’s contributions are just as important as what men have done in history and that we should never underestimate the effect women have  had on society.

If we all stand up, we can make a difference!

Ramneet & Mikka are engaged students in Mr. Hundal’s Social Studies class at North Delta Secondary School.

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