Townsend debuts new feminism club: Girl Up

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Recently, feminism has been a topic of major discussion in our society with the rise of the #MeToo movement and organizations devoted toward equal pay across genders. Girl Up, an international organization founded by the United Nations, is dedicated to defending gender equality and promoting leadership skills in girls. Townsend Harris has recently established it’s own chapter of Girl Up.

The president of the club, junior Katrina Dydzuhn, looks forward to “being able to educate the student body, which is mostly female, on things that are affecting other women, and could affect them one day.” She hopes to make the club a “safe space for those inside it, but also make it a fun environment.”

“The message behind Girl Up, focusing on female empowerment and building a close community of young girls who support and uplift each other, really resonated with me,” said junior Victoria Kuzma, the club’s secretary. “I hope that it can resonate with other Townsend students, especially because we have such a large female student population.”

Sophomore Natalia Gierlachowski, a member of the club, explained, “I would really like to eliminate stereotypes about feminists and educate others about it, what it really stands for, and what others can do to help.”

Public relations manager Cathy Choo added, “Personally, I am looking forward to seeing how members in the THHS community grow and become more aware of issues occuring around the world. I know that kids these days, including myself, don’t read or watch the news often, but I know it is important to be aware of what is happening. This club provides students with a great opportunity to become more well rounded and more invested in their community.”

The club plans to take part in events focused on girl empowerment outside of school and host fundraisers to raise money for organizations such as the WE Charity, which helps communities in poverty. English teacher and club advisor Judy Biener said, “One of the things that the girls would like to take part in is instead of buying materialistic Christmas gifts, we would raise money to buy a goat or a cow for a village and it would provide them with milk for more than a year.”

Freshman Wiktoria Ulaszewska is looking “forward to connecting with [her] peers to create a safer and more welcoming environment for girls.” She added, I hope to bring more equality not only to the school environment, but also to the world.”

Girl Up meets every other Thursday in room 410 and is open to both girls and boys.