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Westover Co-Hosts Webinar on Women's Rights Around the World
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Students and faculty gain insight into the global challenges facing women thanks to a News-Decoder webinar, "Women's Rights: A Global Reckoning."


Seniors Heather Shi (left) and Madeleine Steele, who serve as Westover's News-Decoder ambassadors, co-hosted a webinar, "Women's Rights: A Global Reckoning," April 10 as members of the School community watched the program projected on a screen in the School's Louise B. Dillingham Performing Arts Center.

Westover Co-Hosts Webinar on Women's Rights Around the World

Westover students and faculty had an opportunity to gain greater insight into the challenges facing women today in countries around the world – especially for those who are victims of domestic abuse – thanks to their participation in a webinar, "Women's Rights: A Global Reckoning," offered through News-Decoder on April 10.

As seniors Madeleine Steele and Heather Shi, who serve as Westover's News-Decoder ambassadors, co-hosted the webinar, members of the School community watched the program projected on a screen in the School's Louise B. Dillingham Performing Arts Center. During the webinar, Heather and Madeleine gave presentations on the state of women's rights today, Heather focusing on women in Japan and Madeleine on women in Southern Africa.

The webinar also was viewed by students and faculty at Miss Porter's School in Farmington, which co-hosted the event, as well as News-Decoder participants around the world. Four News-Decoder ambassadors from Miss Porter's gave presentations on women's rights as well: Sewon Lim on the #MeToo Movement in the Americas, Leela Rosaz Shariyf on Argentina, Mayra Bokhari on South Asia, and Claire Ji on Eastern Europe.

The hour-long program was moderated by Nelson Graves, the founder and director of News-Decoder. Leila Asrari, Policy and Advocacy Advisor at Plan International, an international organization that works on behalf of advancing the rights of children and equality for girls, also shared her knowledge and experience about the issues raised during the students' presentations. Graves was linked into the webinar from his office in Paris, while Asrari was linked from her office in London.

During the program, Savannah Jenkins, a staff member of News-Decoder, shared questions for the Westover and Miss Porter's ambassadors that had been posted by webinar participants, including a number of questions offered by Westover students. As Westover's audience watched the webcast, juniors Athulya Nath and Lydia Davidowitz gathered written questions from Westover students in the audience and posted them to the webinar's chatroom for Jenkins.

News-Decoder, a not-for-profit global network based in Paris, seeks to foster understanding among young people from around the world through webinars and other programs that share information and analysis of international issues, events, and trends.

Westover, through the Rasin Center for Global Justice, was one of the first schools to become a part of the News-Decoder's programs, which offers regularly scheduled webinars that focus on specific topics of interest.

Following the webinar, Kate Taylor, Director of the Raisin Center, congratulated Heather and Madeleine for all the effort they put into their presentations and the overall event. "The months of hard work and preparation really paid off in an impressive way," Kate said. "I know I learned a lot, and I hope the rest of the Westover audience did as well."

Westover's IT team – Lindsay Harlow, Dak Mannella, and Ian Diedrich – were responsible for setting up Westover's webcast connections for the program. Kate also thanked colleagues Eric Mathieu, Ben Hildebrand, Shelby Neal, Ali Hildebrand, and Tracy Lytle for their help organizing and running the event at Westover.

News-Decoder reported that, in addition to the hundreds who were listening to the live webcast live, a recording of the broadcast has been viewed more than eighty times since. Those interested in continuing the conversation about women's rights, can participate in the conversation through News-Decoder's discussion board. To review the recording of the webinar, click here.


During the April 10 webinar, Juniors Athulya Nath (left) and Lydia Davidowitz gathered written questions from Westover students in the audience and posted them to the webinar's chatroom as seniors (from left on screen) Heather Shi and Madeleine Steele co-hosted the broadcast.