Nicky Morgan, UK Education Secretary and Women’s Minister

In a controversial move by one of the few female led departments in the UK government, Education Secretary and Minister for Women Nicky Morgan has axed both feminism and gender equality from the draft of the new Politics A-level syllabus. The draft, which is in public consultation until 15th December, has caused outrage amongst students and activists, with a petition being launched to oppose the changes and urging Morgan to add more female political thinkers to the syllabus.

Not only does this contentious decision conflict with the UK public’s generally progressive attitudes towards equality and democracy, but it also completely contradicts what the Conservative government recently set out in their agenda. They stated they were committed to ensuring equality of opportunity so every woman and girl has the opportunities in life to reach their potential.

Quite obviously, in reality they are much less committed to this goal than they wish to portray! For me, if the draft is passed, it will be nothing short of tragedy for the forthcoming generation of aspiring politicians and political campaigners both male and female. I feel it is important for both girls and boys alike to understand and appreciate how far we have come in terms of women’s rights in the UK and worldwide but also to recognise how far we still have to go!

It is often said we cannot be what we cannot see – and this is what worries me most about the removal of feminism and gender equality from the Politics A-level syllabus – how can girls aspire to be politicians and political campaigners of the future if they have no role models to look to for inspiration and hope? I would urge any of you reading this from the UK to put across your views in the public consultation and for any of you not from the UK sign the petition – this decision is crucial to the future of women’s rights and I, personally, cannot sit by and watch the wrong choices be made.

-Erin Sykes
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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