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Rescooped by Courtney Burns from Geography!

What Sex Means for World Peace

What Sex Means for World Peace | Georgraphy World News |

"The evidence is clear: The best predictor of a state's stability is how its women are treated." 


This article, based on the research derived from the Woman Stats Project ( ), outlines clearly the political significance of cultural values.  Discussion questions: Why would the levels of gender empowerment be a factor in state stability?  What connections are there between cultural and political institutions within a state?   

Via Seth Dixon, Kenny Dominguez
Courtney Burns's insight:

This article is extremely eye opening. When I think about Women's freedom in america compared to other countries in the world I feel that most countries cannot compare. Women in america have so much freedom that women in other countries don't have. However one fact in the article that I thought was shocking was that when we invaded Iraq and Afganistan we urged that women be more involved in the government because the numbers were very low. However now both of those countries exceed the percentage of women involved in the U.S. We went in arguing for something we don't even have in our own country. That is so shocking to me. However I do believe that women in other countries have it a lot worse. It is hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that in some countries it is frowned upon that women can recieve an education. In some places it is not just frowned upon, but forbidden. The women in Saudi Arabia just passed a law for some women to play sports. That is amazing! I believe that the United States sets an example of how women should be treated and for every country to get to that point will take a very long time. Thus, I'm not sure if we will ever get world peace. A lot of countries will never view women as equals, at least not in the near future. That is truly sad to think about. Again that goes back to the culture of the location that you grew up in. It's hard for countries to change their cultural beliefs. 

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 3:57 PM

It is very sad to see how women are treated in this world. Women have to work twice as hard to be recognized in this world. Many women suffer on day to day bases because they are not treated well as men are. In many countries women are not equal to everyone else. One good example is in Saudi Arabia in which women have no rights. Women now are getting little bit of freedom but that can be taken away at anytime. That is not like the United States in which women are equal. 

Rescooped by Courtney Burns from Geography Education!

Why isn't New Orleans Mother's Day parade shooting a 'national tragedy'?

Why isn't New Orleans Mother's Day parade shooting a 'national tragedy'? | Georgraphy World News |

"American tragedies occur where middle America frequents every day: airplanes, business offices, marathons. Where there persists a tangible fear that this could happen to any of us. And rightfully so. Deaths and mayhem anywhere are tragic. That should always be the case. The story here is where American tragedies don't occur. American tragedies don't occur on the southside of Chicago or the New Orleans 9th Ward."

Via Seth Dixon
Courtney Burns's insight:

It is truly amazing how much location has an impact on society and the way we view things. When we experienced such tragedy's as the Boston Marathon bombing or Columbine it was national news. The city was in an uproar and no matter what radio station you had on or what tv channel you were watching you were hearing about it. Everyone was mourning for those families and people effected by the tragedies. When you think about it, those sort of things are not expected to happen in those places which is what makes it so upsetting to people. Because it is not expected to happen there it becomes national news. However what does that mean about places like compton, New Orleans, and etc? Since people expect violent things to happen there it doesn't make national news because it is of no surpise to anyone that something like that were to happen there. Even if it is expected that doesn't make it right. The shooting at the mother's day parade should be treated like any other tragedy. Unfortunately the location of the tragedy makes it "less" of a tragedy in the eyes on the public because "those sort of things always happen there". It is amazing how much our perception of location can taint the way we see tragedy. It shouldn't be that way, but unfortunetly it's what happens in the world today. 

Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 16, 2013 9:29 AM

This is a controversial Op-Ed article that discusses how place and the major axes of identity (race, class and gender) shape and intersect with the the national memory of violence and the media portrayal of violence.  According the David Dennis, "The media seems to forget about New Orleans and any place that the middle class can't easily relate to." 

Tags: race, class, gender, place.

megan b clement's comment, December 16, 2013 12:44 AM
New Orleans has been struggling even through Katrina to get some recognition that even though their society is not necessarily rich they deserve the same respect as anyone else would. To think especially after what New England endured with the Marathon Bombing to see something like this happen and not even really be recognized nationally is sad. These are people just like everyone else and they deserve to be treated the same as everyone else.
Rescooped by Courtney Burns from Geography Education!

Cultural Perspectives

Cultural Perspectives | Georgraphy World News |

Via Seth Dixon
Courtney Burns's insight:

Our culture has a huge impact on our view of this political cartoon. I don't necessarily think that it is due to male influence. In our society there is media everyday portraying what a woman "should" look like. There are messages everyday throughout the media influencing our decisions even if we don't think they are. I suppose it can be said that women dress the way they do because it is the social norm and the way we think men want us to dress. However I think it is more of a culture that we as a society have created. But when I look at the women completely covered in black I think about how that is the way men in their country expect them to dress. I supposed that this the same way they view us though as well. However my thinking that we are not a male dominated culture could be proving this cartoon right. 

Shelby Porter's curator insight, November 4, 2013 10:12 AM

This political cartoon is just another great example of how different cultures are across the globe. Here in America, we are told that the appropriate swimwear to wear to the beach only covers about a third of our body. Where as in the Middle East, wearing a burka is what they are told is the right type of clothing to wear. Whether it be for religious, cultural, or fashionable reasons, women wear all types of clothing and I don't believe it is directly due to male influence. There are many things that could cause this influence such as the church, family, or the media. Yet as the cartoon says, each woman thinks the men in that country are forcing them into wearing clothes like that and their culture is dominated by men. I guess it just shows the different perspectives each culture can have. 

megan b clement's comment, December 16, 2013 12:51 AM
This cartoon depicts the cultural differences between two different cultures. On the right you have a woman in a traditional burka that covers all but her eyes. On the left you have a woman in a bikini which is what is apropriate to wear on the beach or to bed. Two totally different societies and beliefs and they both look at one another and see the other person as inapropriate. This is not the first time another country has looked at the USA and turned their nose up to something that we do differently.
Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 16, 2013 6:31 PM

when I look at this the first thought that comes to mind is it is easy for other people to judge. just by there comments they have no idea what the others beliefs are,. This is a classic judging a book by it's cover. The are both assuming it has to do with a male dominating world. I think it has to do with what you are comfortable with. 

Rescooped by Courtney Burns from Geography Education!

Burka Avenger

"Burka Avenger is a new Pakistani kids' show about a mild-mannered teacher who moonlights as a burka-clad superhero."

Via Seth Dixon
Courtney Burns's insight:

This TV show is very different from something we would see here in the US. What was interesting was that the superhero in this video was fighting for education. The basis of the show was that the schools were shut down, and a superhero (a teacher) was trying to help the students and fight for education. This is a constant struggle for the people of Pakistan. They don't have education like we do. Their culture is much different than ours. We really take advantage of all the opportunities that we have in education. We don't need to have a "superhero" to save education in the US because we have education easily available to us, whereas the people in Pakistan do not. That is all they want. They want to learn new things and become educated. This TV show represents what the people of Pakistan want and want to fight for. I think ultimatley the show represents the culture they want and are fighting for. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 19, 2014 12:45 PM

There is something to be said about how film and the media can be used as an effective tool to touch on broad cultural ideals. On a related note, I will be attending a conference soon in Boston on social studies education and one of the seminars I will be going to is how to use SciFi movies in the classroom. Ideals like equality, fighting oppression and free speech are timeless and span many cultures, in Pakistan, the Burka Avenger is that area's media outlet to discuss key social topics to young people.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, April 6, 2015 4:25 PM

A modern day Batman/Superman, Burka Avenger, with great graphics and an in-depth plot. The television shows the Pakistanis children watch are the same type of shows that I watched growing up, and the shows that the modern day children of today’s youth are watching. The cross-cultural relationship seems so different, but at the roots it is the same. The kids in this show have friends, pets, enemies, a hero, a conflict; everything that an American television show would feature.  Whether the kids are facing a bully, a school closure from a villain, or a life peril from another villain, there undercover school teacher is there ready and willing to save the day. Everybody needs a hero to look up to, so this show is great for the Pakistani youth. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:06 AM

I think this is wonderful.  It also reemphasizes the reality that all children are born without preconceived notions of what is right, what is wrong, what is good, or what is evil.  An American child might look at this and automatically think that the lady in the Burka is a "villain", due to American media and propaganda.  I can't help but think of the backlash that would surround this cartoon if they ever tried to put it on American airwaves.  

Rescooped by Courtney Burns from Geography Education!

In historic shift, Saudis to allow some girls' sports

In historic shift, Saudis to allow some girls' sports | Georgraphy World News |

"Private girls' schools are now allowed to hold sports activities in accordance with the rules of Shariah, or Islamic law. Students must adhere to 'decent dress' codes and Saudi women teachers will be given priority in supervising the activities, according to the Education Ministry's requirements.  The decision makes sports once again a stage for the push to improve women's rights, nearly a year after two Saudi female athletes made an unprecedented appearance at the Olympics."  This news comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has allowed women to ride bikes (sort of).


Tags: Saudi Arabia, culture, gender, religion, Middle East.

Via Seth Dixon
Courtney Burns's insight:

Sports are a huge part of my life. Everyday I'm doing something involving sports. Whether it's playing basketball, running, or lifting I'm always active. I never really thought about women's involvement in sports outside of the U.S. Watching the Olympics there are numerous counties competing for metals, and I never really thought that there may still be some places where women still aren't allowed to participate in sports. In Saudi Arabia women are just getting some rights to participate in sports, and it's only in private schools! Women are forced to wear long sleeves and sweat pants any time they are participating in sports, and they are not to be seen by men. This just blows my mind. Everyday I wear shorts and a t-shirt when I workout, and I usually end up working out with the boys in the gym. It's great that Saudi Arabia is finally giving women the right to play sports. It will probably still take a long time for sports to implemented to all women in Saudi Arabia, but it is good that they are headed in that direction. 

Lena Minassian's curator insight, March 22, 2015 4:24 PM

I was happy to see an article like this. It's about time that these women are being given equal opportunities. Although they have a long way to go this is a step in the right direction. Saudi Arabian girls are being allowed to have sport related activities within their private schools. This did surprise me a little just because Saudi women's rights are very limited but this is a simple improvement just to the general health and well being of these girls. Two females competed in the last years summer Olympics representing Saudi Arabia and their efforts were not shown on Saudi TV. These women competing has opened a few doors to allowing more than just men to engage in these activities. Usually sports were only for the elite women who could afford gym memberships or attend well known colleges. Even though women cannot compete internationally or sign up for clubs or leagues this is a step in the right direction.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 4:47 PM

This is an interesting article about slowly allowing women in Saudi Arabia to participate in sports. While playing soccer or swimming or running may not seem so important to us in the West, it is a big deal for Saudi women. Saudi Arabia has some of the strictest laws in the Middle East regarding women's rights, and so even a very partial and gradual allowance for women to engage in sports is a big step. It shows perhaps a slight softening of adherence to Shariah law, which would hopefully eventually allow women more freedom in the realms of education and work, as well as in everyday life. 


Too often are people quick to judge and characterize other cultures or religions by the most extreme examples. While it is true that laws in Saudi Arabia are extremely restrictive to women, progress such as this, though small, may well act as a stepping stone for increased freedoms for women. People outside of Saudi Arabia and Islamic culture must realize that this kind of progress does happen and is, in fact, happening right now. To simply dismiss Saudi culture as misogynistic and oppressive is to write the whole culture off. While progress is slow and less than ideal, we should look to Saudi Arabia's Islamic neighbors and see that many of them are not so oppressive to women. Allowing Saudi women to participate in sports, therefore, may be setting up the country to increase women's rights and join its relatively more liberal neighbors. This is certainly a sign of positive change, and one that should not be ignored. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 2015 6:28 AM

I was quite shocked to hear of this story. There is no denying, that this is a step forward for the women of Saudi Arabia. However, women are far from free in this country. The activates still have to be in accordance with Islamic Law. The strict dress code also remains in effect for the girls. The Sports themselves, must be overseen by women teachers. I would not call this initiative the Saudi equivalent of title nine, but it is a step forward. Every little inroad, is a step towards more equality. The government of Saudi Arabia appears to be at least slightly altering its view of women. Hopefully this will be the first step in movement to gain Saudi women more rights. In generations to come, hopefully Saudi women will look back on this development as the start of a cultural revolution in Saudi Arabia.