O’Connor Wins Gender Equality Essay Contest


Katie’s essay on gender-based violence earned her one of the top awards.

Spencer Conrad, Managing Editor, Sophomore

The Honorable Terry Jane Rudderman of the Ninth Judicial District ran an essay contest to address issues of gender equality. Students from high schools across Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, and Dutchess counties submitted their written work. Four winners of the Ninth Judicial were chosen — two from juniors/seniors and two from freshmen/sophomores. Pelham Memorial High School senior Katie O’Connor was one of the winners who snagged the top prize in her category.

Among the contest’s prompts were how there has been an increase in gender-based violence against women in public, how women are taught to change their behaviors to avoid violence, and the disparaging effects of the COVID-19 on gender equality in America. The contest asked the writers to discuss what should be done about these problems. O’Connor wrote about how to prevent the violence and shift the responsibility of avoiding these encounters away from the victim.

O’Connor said, “I was surprised to win, but it’s a topic I’m passionate about, so I’m so glad that came across in my writing.”

The contest occurred during Women’s History Month. Cash prizes were awarded to the winners of the event. This contest is a yearly occurrence with new topics every year. Hopefully next year the contest will run again and Pelham students will continue to submit.