March 8 is International Women’s Day, a time to commemorate the movement for women’s rights around the world. In celebration of that day, Seoul International Women’s Association is asking middle and high school students to submit their thoughts on this year’s theme, #PressforProgress.

International Women’s Day, also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, has been celebrated since 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding voting rights, better pay and shorter working hours. A year later, the first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on February 28. Today, we celebrate women’s achievements worldwide – from the political to the social – while calling for gender equality.

Our essay competition for students in grades 7-12 in select schools, will reflect on gender equality and progress. Submitted essays will be judged by a panel led by SIWA and the organization will donate in the winners’ names to a SIWA-vetted charity of their choice.  These two winners will be invited to SIWA’s International Women’s Day celebration on March 22 to receive certificates of recognition.  The top winning essays also will be published in Discovery, the digital magazine of SIWA. Second and third place students in both categories will also receive certificates of recognition.

Essay word limit: 1,500 words

Eligibility: Students in grades 7-12 enrolled at Asia Pacific International School, Korea International School, Seoul Foreign School and Seoul Foreign British School, Chadwick International and Dwight School Seoul.

SUBMISSION DETAILS AND DEADLINES: Essays must be typed, double-space in English. They can be submitted by email to essaycontest@siwakorea.com. They must include the student’s name, school, grade, email address and phone number. Essays will be accepted until 6 p.m. Korea time on January 31, 2018 and winners will be announced in March 2018.  Essays must be students’ own work. Plagiarized essays will be disqualified and not eligible for prizes. No exceptions.

Prizes in Junior and Senior categories:

  • 1st Place (junior) – 300,000 KRW to be donated to a SIWA-vetted Korean charity of the winner’s choice & essay published in Discovery magazine; certificate of recognition presented at SIWA celebration.
  • 1st Place (senior) -500,000 won prize to be donated to a SIWA-vetted Korean charity of the winner’s choice & essay published in Discovery magazine; certificate of recognition presented at SIWA celebration.
  • 2nd and 3rd Place (junior) – certificate of recognition
  • 2nd and 3rd Place (senior) – certificate of recognition

ESSAY TOPICS

For Juniors (grades 7-8, or British School years 8-9): What woman – dead or alive- inspires you to press for progress? Why?

For Seniors (grades 9-12, or British School years 10-13): CHOOSE ONE

  1. Women worldwide still face many challenges today. What can we do to press for progress? What part can you play?
  2. Women are an essential part of our past, present and future. Help us honor them by writing a letter to a notable woman in history, describing what feminism means to you.

Questions? Please email Monica Williams at essaycontest@siwakorea.com.