Marking International Women’s Day, interviews with some of the world’s most influential UN officials are to be distributed internationally as part of a unique community radio project underlining the contribution made by the United Nations to addressing gender issues across the globe.
International Women’s Day was first set up to celebrate women’s collective achievements and provide a focal point for the ongoing campaign for greater equality and social advancement. Every year thousands of diverse events are held throughout the world to inspire women to even greater successes. Observed by the United Nations every year on 8 March, this year’s edition will be underscored by a unique initiative enabling the next generation of young minds to interact with some of the most senior women officials in the UN system.
Scheduled to be made available for broadcast to all media on Saturday, March 8, the wide ranging interviews have been conducted entirely by pupils from Blackheath High School GDST, London.
Covering a wide range of subjects including conflict, famine and gender equality the girls - aged nine to 17 - have been wholly responsible for producing the A-list interviews, sound bites and images to be beamed across the globe this year in support of International Women’s Day by the United Nations.
Seeking to inspire tomorrow’s generation of women, Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Ms. Angela Kane; Ms. Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children; Ms. Judy Chang Hopkins, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support and Ms. Susana Malcorra MALCORRA, Chef de Cabinet for the UN Secretary-General agreed to be interviewed by the girls.
French speaking pupils also interviewed Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
With youth setting the agenda, each of the interviewees has been asked the questions about their role that the children believe need answered. The resulting interviews will be distributed to news organisations around the world.
“Who better to speak of their expectations for the world on International Women’s Day than the young women of the future? , commented Stéphane Dujarric, Director of News and Media Division for the United Nations' Department of Public Information. The girls of Blackheath High School GDST have demonstrated just how innovative, enterprising and community spirited their generation can be, illustrating that gender equality is progress for all.“
Mrs Lisa Laws, Headteacher at Blackheath High School GDST said: “We are very proud of the way our girls have responded to the challenge of communicating with a global audience to recognise the vital nature of women’s contribution worldwide while highlighting the issues that still impact upon them in many parts of the world.
“Using the latest technology in a very innovative way, they have shown great levels of social responsibility and awareness, embracing the very highest standards, values and behaviours.”
This year’s exercise is intended to serve as a pathfinder, with a view to including other schools across the globe in future years. It represents an opportunity to give children access to real world female figureheads as role models that instill core aspiration, underpinning the clear message that women play an integral, leading and invaluable position within International Diplomacy.
In the longer term it is anticipated that the project will mark the beginnings of the development of an influential network of schools across Africa, Asia, LATAM, EU and the USA to communicate with one another through radio interviews, collaborating over the production and distribution of programming.
Live streaming specialists Streamworks facilitated the production, connecting UN headquarters in New York with the school’s own radio studio.
The complete interviews are available as audio files, together with accompanying images, at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/efsuh6mh9hd6ouj/Ax0Nf7mvE3
A YouTube playlist featuring highlights from the interview series can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH4Q7OFRjU0&list=PLwoDFQJEq_0aV6k7GrJE_j_BIvooM2iBK?
NOTES TO EDITORS
The United Nations is an international organization established in 1946 to promote peace, security, human rights and development worldwide. The organization works on a very broad range of fundamental and global issues, including gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The UN Department of Public Information promotes global awareness and understanding of the work of the United Nations.
More information about the annual International Women’s Day (8 March) is available at: http://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/
ABOUT BLACKHEATH HIGH SCHOOL GDST
Blackheath High School is an independent day school for girls aged 3-18 years, rated ‘outstanding’ by the Independent Schools inspectorate. Blackheath High School delivers a holistic approach to education, focusing is on all round personal development as well as high academic achievements. It has strong links with local maintained schools and the local community.
Blackheath High School is a member of the GDST (Girls’ Day School Trust), the leading group of independent girls’ schools in the UK, with nearly 4,000 staff, and 20,000 students between the ages of three and 18. As a charity that owns and runs a family of 24 schools and two Academies in England and Wales, it reinvests all its income in its schools. Founded in 1872, the GDST has a long history of pioneering innovation in the education of girls.
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