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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.(more…)
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…)