Will the battle between men and women ever find equality? By Iona Saville-Barwood, 11 years old

In the last year of primary school children at Amsterdam International Community School (AICS) are asked to answer a big question - something not easily answered by searching the Internet. Iona Saville-Barwood asked 'will the battle between men and women ever find equality?' .

She presented her findings at the end of June 2017, and thanked me, PWN Global (for the contacts I gave her) and her mum, Katherine Saville, for the inspiration. This is what PWN Global can do - inspire young women to make a more gender balanced future. Proud day!!

On the back of being involved in this project, it occurred to me that it would be a wonderful way to complete our newsletters each month - with a story that simply makes you smile! 

I took some time to interview Iona and here are the responses from this poised and inspiring young lady.

How would you describe yourself? 

My name is Iona Saville-Barwood. I am an 11 year old girl, going to an international school in Amsterdam. I enjoy singing, football, writing, and acting. I just graduated from primary school and received an award for Literacy.

What is a 'big question', and what was yours?

A big question is a personal project that all the students in Group 7 (10-11 years old) have to do. The project is based on a question that is not easily answered. My question was: ‘Will the battle between men and women ever find equality?’

Why did you choose this question?

Because it really interested me, and because it has no real answer. I wanted to research men and women in the society we live in. I don’t want everyone to be the same but I do want them to have the same rights, being judged the same way everyone else is, and that we have no more labels. I don’t like labels because labels are the whole reason why inequality happens – things like women are weak and men are strong. I don’t agree with the male-female labels.

How did you research this piece of work?

I found research on unfair pay and the vote of women – that was easy to find. But when it came to researching when will the battle end or when did it begin, it was very hard to find information. I researched key themes such as feminism, what was the definition of the gender battle, advertising and media, and what makes us different. I got some very helpful responses from contacts through PWN Global and they helped me to understand that most stereotyping comes from labelling, and they also provided a helpful experience of how to interview. I summarised all the topics, information and found some nice quotes and visuals, and I turned them into a presentation. 

What were the main findings of your research?

Equality doesn’t happen because of labels,. Also, there is very little happening to make a difference to support equality. I found that there was equality in the past before we started to become so civilised. As humans started migrating and getting land we became more tribal and formed societies. With the societies rules were formed and this started the inequalities between men and women.

What do you want to happen now?

I would love it if we could start all over again, and go back to living in tribes rather than societies so the labelling will stop influencing equality. I would like it that women and men get equal pay and that women don’t let religion rule their lives. 

Are you going to do any further work with gender equality?

Yes, I plan to join some equality party and join a few protests when I’m older.  I want to be a teacher and I’m going to teach my students the importance of gender equality and that everyone should be treated equally.

I think we have our future PWN Global President ear-marked, right here!! What a real joy to speak to such a well- informed young lady on this topic. One additional piece of information which shows how inspiring Iona is – when she presented her findings at school, it was the most attended Big Question presentation and the boys were the ones asking most questions and stating that gender equality is just not right! The change is happening, our youth will make a difference to gender balance

Thanks Iona - and thanks to the Amsterdam International Community School for such an innovative project that is designed to make our leaders of the future really think objectively about important topics. 


Written by: Wendy Mackey-Jones
Edited by: Rebecca Fountain and Wendy Mackey-Jones




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