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Ely Prize for Public Speaking

By Sydni Williams, IV Form

Ely Prize for Public Speaking

Editor’s Note: Sydni Williams is the recipient of the 2019 Ely Prize in Public Speaking. Originally given by a member of the Class of 1982 in honor of his mother, the Ely Prize is presented each year to the student who gives the best speech in the Global Seminar Public Speaking Competition.

In 1995, Hillary Clinton said: “Human rights are women’s rights–and women’s rights are human rights.” Two months ago, I had never heard this statement. However, as I did my research paper on violence against women, my viewpoints changed greatly. Now, I appreciate safety and opportunities, and I don’t take the minuscule, yet beautiful, parts of my life for granted.

As I started my research, the horrific and deadly crimes perpetrated against females struck me. I constantly found myself completely shocked and horrified by the information that seemed too terrible to be reality. For example, one in three women across the world is a victim of intimate partner violence. Meaning, ⅓, or 33.33%, of women in the world are assaulted by their partners. Brides in India and China may be killed by their husbands if the dowry their families are forced to pay isn’t valuable enough. All over the world, females are killed or driven to suicide for various acts that are considered shameful. More than 500,000 girls in Latin America are kidnapped, transported, and exploited through sex trafficking. Young girls are killed before they are five years old because they are deemed less valuable than baby boys. These are all facts that I didn’t know before I started doing research.

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Serving Up Equality: The Quest in Women’s Tennis

By Tate Frederick, IV Form

Serving Up Equality: The Quest in Women’s Tennis

With the rampant gender inequality in professional sports, tennis could easily be considered one of the least sexist due to its recently equalized prize money. In fact, the World Economic Forum recently wrote that “the Women’s Tennis Association [is] pushing the women’s game and pioneering gender equality” (Edmond). Contrary to public perception, the professional tennis circuit still has to make significant improvements in order to achieve gender equality. The financial distribution still heavily favors men, some of the rules perpetuate sexist values, and unfair stereotyping of female players is frequent.

Despite the fact that prize money became equal in 2007, women still make far less than male players.  On the Forbes’ list of top-earning athletes, Serena Williams only comes in 51st, behind five male players, even though she has won more grand slam titles than any player, regardless of gender, in history, and holds endorsements with companies such as Nike, Gatorade, and JPMorganChase (Wang).  Williams has earned tens of millions of dollars less than Novak Djokovic even though she has won many more titles than he has (Macur), due to the overall amount of prize money.  If Williams, arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time, can’t achieve equal pay in comparison to her less-winning counterparts, where is the hope for women in less acclaimed positions?  By maintaining this inequality, the tennis circuit is discouraging and discrediting the achievements of women in the sport. (more…)

The Fight for Women’s Rights in Haiti

By Bannon Jones, III Form

The Fight for Women’s Rights in Haiti

Haiti has had a long, rigorous history starting in 1492 when the Spanish Inquisition conquered Haiti and ruled until 1697. After 1697 the French took control of Haiti, they brought enslaved people from Africa and also enslaved the native people of Haiti. France used them to produce sugar cane, soon making Haiti the richest colony in the world at the time. In 1790 there were 40,000 white French people, 30,000 freed slaves, and 450,000 enslaved people. The Haitian Slave Revolts began in 1791 and, due to how outnumbered the French were by the enslaved people, it became one of the few successful slave revolutions in history. Haiti soon after gained full independence in 1804. Throughout Haiti’s history, they have not had much time to focus on their own people, which may explain the reason why women’s rights in Haiti are gravely lacking. NGOs like USAID, Doctors Without Borders, MicroCredit, and WomenOne are slowly helping to change this through strengthening laws around women’s rights, increasing women’s healthcare, helping women to have small businesses, and increasing women’s education. (more…)