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Saniya “Speak Out” At Speakers Trust Regional Final

On Tuesday 26th June 2018, student Saniya G of year 10, represented OIAM Free School at the regional final of the Speakers Trust’s “Speak Out” Challenge held at the iconic Bradford City Football Stadium.

Competing against students from twenty schools across the city, Saniya had to give a 3-minute TED-talk style presentation without any notes or prompts in front of a room of 200 guests! Samiya represented the school impeccably well and we are all extremely proud of her. Though she did not win on the night Saniya speech and presentation will live long in the memory! You can read it below however it has to heard by Saniya speaking it for full effect! Please be provoked and inspired…

Saniya’s presentation was titled: Are Women Truly Equal? 

“Why are women still oppressed by men? Subconsciously, many men put their own interests over women’s. For example: ‘Honey, can you watch the kids while I go to this meeting tonight?’. Why does this happen? Do we still assume that women aren’t as ambitious as men? Are we still assuming that women are weak, unimportant and inferior? However, there are people like me who believe that women are strong, independent and hard-working! Everyone deserves the same basic human rights – and a chance to succeed. You might think that women are truly equal, but we still don’t share the same duties at home clearly.

Exactly 100 years ago, the first women gained the right to vote. Did those in power just give women this right? No… No, they did not. We women had to protest. The Suffragettes had to protest and protest until society was forced to change. Right here in Shipley, some of your ancestors will have been involved in the 5000-strong Suffragette group. Fighting for your future. Our future.

At the other side of the world, women are facing similar battles. Malala Yousafzi is a young woman who believes that education is a key to success. Just because her Father allowed her to go to school, Malala assumed that everyone else had this right. When she realised that this was not the case, she decided to stand up and fight for young girls. Tragically, she was shot by the Taliban. But this made her even stronger, and led her to be the one to emancipate countless young girls by giving them an access to education.


If we rewind back to 1968 to the Ford Car Factory Headquarters, women took part in a huge strike for equal pay. They still had to wait another two years until 1970 until they were granted an equal pay act.

Fast-forward four decade; women still don’t get the same pay as men. In 2017 a woman who worked as a presenter at BBC Radio left due to the gender pay gap. A man who did the same job as her received a higher salary.

This is why apathy is so vital to avoid. We simply cannot accept this!

How do I envisage the future?

  • Open minds – ‘women can be the boss and wear the trousers at the same times’ (Stormzy).
  • Sharing home duties – women and men need to be able to balance the responsibilities at home, like childcare.
  • Women in positions of power – yes, we have our second female Prime Minister now, but still less than a quarter of all CEOs are female.

Just have a think about what I have said… because I can make a difference. Together we will make a difference!

OIAM Co-founder/CEO Wayne Jacobs said, “Saniya made the whole school very proud tonight with her very accomplished speech! Her dialect and body language was compelling in keeping with her deeply provoking and inspiring speech! Well done Saniya, you represented the values of One In A Million, (compassion, honesty, integrity, and excellence), in an exemplary manner!”.

Mrs Gul, Saniya’s mother said, “I could not be prouder of my daughter’s achievements tonight! She represented our family, the school and local community amazingly well! In our eyes, she is a winner!”.

Mr Grant, OIAM Principal said, “I am extremely proud of everyone tonight. It has been such a special occasion. Our students and staff did a great job hosting the evening, with people serving in many different roles from backstage support, timekeeping, singing and drama production alongside students from Woodhouse Grove School. However, the star of the evening has to be student Saniya for giving the most wonderful speech and presentation. She has made everyone at One In A Million very proud! Well done Saniya”.

OIAM would like to say a huge thank you to the Speakers Trust Charity, for bringing this event to Bradford and for your investment in the young people of our city!