Harrogate Feminists


Because I Am A Girl

The charity Plan has a campaign called Because I Am A Girl – aiming to make sure girls in every country can access a quality education.

Their latest report is here – highly recommended.



How many girls do A-level physics?

How many girls do A-level physics? This was the question I asked as we chose a secondary school for our daughters in the early eighties.  The best answer was “only three, but we’re working on it.”  Yes, that was the best answer!

I talked about this at the meeting on 21 March, and by coincidence the next morning it was a topic for discussion on Woman’s Hour.  The good news: everyone took it seriously.  The bad news: many of the problems that I encountered in the fifties, and then again in the eighties, were still there.

Maths seen as too difficult, teachers unsympathetic to problems, unfeminine image, very few role models or fellow-students.

As often happens in teaching, quite small changes can make a difference.  “Make sure the boys don’t hog the practical”, said one teacher.

Science education for girls and women?  Perhaps a future discussion topic?

– by Val Smith