Hannah T. New Jersey

Gender Equality and Women's Rights

A letter to the next President from a student in the U.S.

Dear Next President,

Every day, hundreds of girls are raped, beaten, and are married or sold as children. Hundreds of girl are being punished and sent home from school for expressing themselves through their clothing. All girls and women deserve gender equality.

According to the Feed The Future Foundation, home of several women’s equality organizations, 1 in 3 women will suffer from gender-based violence in her lifetime. This includes rape, beating, abduction, and underage marriage. Each year, more than 287,000 women die from underage pregnancy and birth defects. Most of these women were made mothers unwillingly. 1 in 7 girls is married before her 15th birthday. Some of these child brides are as young as 8 or 9 years old. This proves how dire the situation is. Children who haven’t even made it to intermediate schools yet are being married off and sold.

President Barack Obama claims that countries with greater gender equality are more prosperous and competitive. Women account for approximately one half of any economy. If this number is treated fairly, the business will do better and thrive. More than .5 billion women have joined the workforce in the past 30 years. Women also make up 40% of the agricultural labor force. These are numbers that make up big amounts of businesses and economies. If those numbers are treated fairly, they will want to work harder, causing said business to thrive.

An article written by the Feed The Future Foundation asserts that girls with secondary schooling are 6 times less likely to marry as children. When a child gets a better education, getting married at an appropriate time in her life, she will have a chance at a better future for both herself and her child. Countries that invest in women’s education have lower death rates, lover HIV rates, lower AID's rates, and better child nutrition.

Some will argue that specific areas don’t have the money to pay for education for everybody. I would counter that a school building isn’t really necessary. All you need is somebody who’s willing to teach, and somebody who’s willing to learn. Trust me, the latter is not hard to find.

Nelson Mandela once said that, “Freedom cannot be achieved unless the women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression.” This is a man who countless people have followed over the years. If this man said it--this man who has worked for equality all his life--why shouldn’t we listen to him? “Extremists have shown what frightens them the most: A girl with a book.”-Malala Yousafzai. People need to realize that this quote does not only describe those people who started Malala’s story, but anybody who believes that men are worth more than women.

Seriously and Sincerely,


New Jersey

Brielle Elementary

Eighth Grade Citizens

The students in the eighth grade who wished to post their letters are featured here. Students worked for several weeks in both Social Studies and Language Arts classes, crafting their arguments. They participated in Penpal Schools Decision 2016 as well as Media Literacy Week.

All letters from this group →