This Student Is Campaigning For Feminism To Be Taught In All UK Schools


The current emphasis on feminism being amplified by social media and celebrities makes us excited for how the movement is going to be interwoven into the lives of the younger generation. While we are still holding out hope that there will come a day fighting for gender equality isn’t needed because we’ve reached the ultimate pinnacle of a society that thrives on the social, political, and economic equality of all genders, there is a long way to go and the next generation is going to be part of the continued momentum.

But in order for the leaders of tomorrow to get a head start on why feminism can benefit everybody, they need to start implementing it into their lives today. We get so excited when we see high school feminist clubs in the news for creating a space to examine the ways women, minorities and people of color are discriminated against simply because of who they are.

One 14 year-old high school student in the UK has become so passionate about feminism, she is campaigning to have it taught in all schools countrywide. Edie Jones, pictured above (center) with her high school friends, is adamant that if more girls and boys grew up understanding the fundamentals of gender equality, it would have a massive effect on the way they are treated and how they perceive themselves.

For her, it started at the age of 11 when she was casually told by a boy her age she could not be a scientist because she was a girl. By the time she finished primary (elementary) school, she had also been told a number of times she couldn’t play sport with the boys, even though she and her twin sister were the only girls on the football team.


Gender equality wasn’t something that registered in her life at that stage, but comments like the above, as well as remarks that “girls had smaller brains” and therefore had to stay home, started to make her more aware of the way girls were being treated differently to boys as she went into high school.

In an essay for the Telegraph online, Edie says ruminating on this issue as she grew older made her start a petition to have feminism become part of the compulsory curriculum taught in all high schools.

“I can identify circle theorem or quadratic equations, but I struggle to identify my own rights. In schools, there is little recognition of gender equality, something that affects every single person, every single day. If we want to strive for equality on every front, we have to start by educating the future generation, by including feminism in PSHE in every school. Feminism is defined as the belief in the social, political and economic equality of the genders, so sign this petition if you too agree feminism needs more recognition in schools. I want to know my own rights, do you?” reads the campaign which was started in January 2015, and managed to get 793 signatures, more than the initial 500 she was looking for.

“I think that feminism should be on the PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) curriculum in all schools. In order to achieve equality on every front, we need to start by educating the future generation on the rights that will affect every single person every single day,” she told the Telegraph regarding how she envisions feminism fitting into the current curriculum structure.


While she admits teaching feminism in schools may not completely eliminate all inequalities, but it will at least have a positive impact on how younger generations perceive the movement and how it can apply to everyday life.

“PSHE covers lots of difficult subjects – such as mental health and bullying – which is why I believe it would also be a perfect place to learn about gender equality for both girls and boys. Untrue stereotyping of women, our fight for equal rights and the history of feminism could all be explored. And hopefully, by learning about these things as a child, it would impact boys and girls positively for the rest of their lives,” she explains.

Part of what she hopes a course like would help dismantle is the idea that feminism is about women trying to take men’s place in the current patriarchal (top down) power structure, which is not true at all.

“Many of my friends are completely oblivious to feminism; others mistakenly think it means striving for women’s domination. Most boys I know do not realize how important gender equality is to them too and have asked me why feminism would ever be relevant in a boys’ school. If the feminism was defined clearly by teachers, this misconception could be corrected from a young age,” she said.

We think it is more important than ever to bring men into the feminist conversation and expose how patriarchal power structures and restrictive ideas of masculinity are just as damaging as the narrow standards placed on women.


Edie took part in a radio interview talking about her campaign and one listener responded by claiming feminism is as bad as Nazism. Instead of getting angry, Edie had a very mature perspective on this comment and the attitude behind it.

“I doubt he would have written the same ignorant statement if he’d understood that “feminism” simply means the striving for equal rights between the genders,” she said.

Thankfully she is not alone in her quest to help her peers and the rest of generational get a head start in combating the negative and limited gender stereotypes that, let’s be honest, are becoming harder and harder to combat with the increase of consumerism thanks to digital innovation.

We are seeing a number of feminist clubs and organizations being formed in schools around the world. Elsewhere in the UK, another high school student started a feminist club which got a lot of attention, as well as the usual online hate. Jinan Younis from Manchester, UK formed the group after she and her friends were sick of being subjected to sexist behavior. Although they received a lot of negativity, Elle Magazine UK also called on Jinan to be part of an incubator team a few years ago to help them with their feminist re-brand.


In Australia, a high school out of Melbourne began a feminist club created by one of the teachers, which eventually led to the group writing a feminist class curriculum called ‘Fightback’ that is now offered as an official elective in the school system in Melbourne. The Fitzroy High School feminist club teacher has also been sharing the new curriculum with the education board in order for it to be considered in more school districts.

Closer to home, one high school teacher at the progressive LREI high school in New York City is incorporating feminism and intersectionality into her teaching for a 3-month long class which covers topics like discrimination, sexism, sexual assault, and gender-based violence. Ileana Jiminez has become somewhat of a local hero to a number of male and female students who now have the tools to express the ways they have been oppressed or discriminated against thanks to the lens of feminism which identifies the societal structures which allows for this to happen.

And of course we can’t forget Sweden, the oft-cited nation for its progressive Socialist principles and gender equal ideas. It was recently announced that every high school student will be required to read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ book based on her popular TED Talk of the same title.

If this is the direction high schools around the world are heading in, we have hope that the next generation is going to have a major impact on dismantling sexism, discrimination, racism, rape culture, misogyny and inequality. Here’s to many more Edie Jones’s in the world taking a stand for feminism and raising their voice for gender equality.





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