Stroud High Students Represent Young Women of the UK at the United Nations

Stroud High Students had a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the annual Commission on the Status of Women Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York. The nineteen Year 12 girls and one Marling boy addressed some of the world’s top NGO leaders, politicians and activists at the United Nations’ largest gathering on gender equality and women’s rights.

Our joint sixth form with Marling was the only school in the UK able to attend the summit. This prestigious link has been running for a number of years, and this year involved around 40 students taking part in an interview process in order to be selected to attend. All of the students that attended are part of our Feminist Society.

This year the summit had a particular focus on women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. A review of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls was also on the agenda. The week in New York comprised 18 official meetings, 200 side events and 400 parallel events. Eleven countries made presentations regarding their own progress, with many other governments contributing during general discussions.

Ria Patel, Year 12 Leader, said the school was immensely proud of the students’ involvement. Before the SHS delegation departed she commented:

“This kind of opportunity really is incredible. We’re so lucky to be able to send students from Stroud High to a UN summit of this stature. The past few years have been a huge success and the girls have gained some amazing experiences. Everyone here is very proud of them and we wish them luck over the next week. I am sure they will do our school proud.”

Having now returned to the UK, our students aim to raise awareness of the event and the issues discussed.

For more information on the Commission on the Status of Women Summit, please visit

Photograph with kind permission of the Stroud News and Journal