Seeing the World More Clearly
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Rescooped by Emma Lafleur from Geography Education
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In historic shift, Saudis to allow some girls' sports

In historic shift, Saudis to allow some girls' sports | Seeing the World More Clearly | Scoop.it

"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
Emma Lafleur's insight:

It will take a long time for Saudi women to have full rights, but this is a step in the right direction.

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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.     

Rescooped by Emma Lafleur from Geography Education
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The limits of freedom for educated girls in Malala's Pakistan

The limits of freedom for educated girls in Malala's Pakistan | Seeing the World More Clearly | Scoop.it
In a country this battered, fractured, dysfunctional – how much can she really hope to achieve?

 

The issue of female education in Pakistan has exploded after Malala Yousafzai was attacked by the Taliban for publicly advocating for girls to receive more schooling.  This attack has lead several media outlets to take a more serious look at the gendered cultural and economic opportunities (or lack thereof) for girls within Pakistan.  This NPR podcast also speaks of the real options in front of so many girls like Malala and the cultural and political contexts within which they navigate their lives.

 

Tags: gender, South Asia, podcast, culture, Islam, development, unit 3 culture, education.


Via Seth Dixon
Emma Lafleur's insight:

The middle school girls in this article show a lot of hope and confidence for change while their society may change more slowly than they would like. These girls are capable of great things and should be given the opportunities to be great, but they instead live in fear of the Taliban for killing them just because they want an education and have few job opportunities unless they can pay their way. In Pakistan, this is one of the first generation of girls who are being educated. Education is extremely important for them because they can finally fight for their rights and equality.

    English philosopher John Stuart Mill argued that women should have education and equality because society cannot progress without the women. Society cannot expect to progress while they oppress half of their population, women are needed in order to move forward and develop. The girls in the article state the same thing, they know that they can help their country and that they can change their society. They will have to start small, but one day women in Pakistan will have equality. These girls are one step along the road.

    Finally, the Taliban attack on Malala for her education has publicized this whole ordeal, and although this murder of an innocent child is saddening and terrible it has gotten people to finally notice what is going on for girls in Pakistan and people are finally noticing what the Taliban is doing. Hopefully, the government can make the right choices to help these girls grow and learn and be safe in their homes. Women of many cultures, including our own, have had to go through fights like these. Maybe Pakistan will be the next big chapter in the world's history of gender equality.

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Daishon Redden's curator insight, April 22, 2014 10:00 AM

I chose this article because it talks about limit of freedom in LDC's and how girls are not allowed to get an education. This was the main idea of what Half The Sky was. Girls no being given the same rights as boy.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 1:40 PM

Starting this article response off with a quote seems only appropriate. This article follows Malala Yousafzai through her horrific experience being victimized by the Talaiban. She is an inspiring girl with all the set backs she has had to endure and she wants the right for an education for Women in her country and society. She is determined in order to create a better life for herself and her people. “The peasants had a very difficult situation, but they didn’t give up,” Aroosa says in English. “They fought back, and got power. Girls can fight back and can get an education. A girl can bring a big change.”

Kendra King's curator insight, March 28, 2015 8:45 PM

It would make sense for the immediate well-being of the girls for the family to just leave Pakistan. As the article mentioned, the economy is horrible for graduates (especially women) and the country lives in a dangerous military state. Yet, the family (excluding the father) continues to stay in Pakistan. I wonder, since their father is a doctor and can afford private schooling, if they stay because of the wealth advantage. As the author alluded to, girls can be more than teachers if they have the resources like Prime Minster Buhtto did. Still though, with the danger so high and better jobs available I really think there is more to the story. The explanation that makes most sense to me came from Mahrukh’s statement regarding Prime Minster Buhtto when she said, “Everyone has to go from this world, why not be famous? Why not make a name and leave your name on people’s lips.” This quote shows just how dedicated Mahrukh is to her country. It is so high that she is willing to die doing something important (provided it makes her famous).  In some ways, I find that misguided. I think the attention girls like her and Malala can bring to people who are donating to the politically broken school is of immense value. This attention wakes more people up to the issues of Pakistan and the issues of the Taliban to one day put more pressure on the nation. Yet, I know Malala doesn’t want to continue to raise awareness among the Western world her whole life. Her autobiography ends with her dreaming of returning to Pakistan. Like Mahrukh, she will die for her country too (308-311). A part deep down can see though, that for a revolution to happen the girls need to actually stay within the country. For one, the west can only interfere with the politics of another country for so long. Furthermore, I am still a legitimate believe in sovereignty despite the increasing globalization. By this I mean that it is the countries issue and it is through the pressure and convictions of the people against the government and the Taliban that will have the most impact. I hope that by staying these girls will one day have an immense impact on the social culture in Pakistan. 

 

*Yousafzai, Malala, and Christina Lamb. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. First ed. New York: Little, Brown, 2013. 308-311. Print.
Rescooped by Emma Lafleur from Geography Education
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The Next Step in the Islamic Wave

The Next Step in the Islamic Wave | Seeing the World More Clearly | Scoop.it

The Muslim Brotherhood has been gaining power in several countries since the Arab Spring. The rise of Islamist power in the Middle East is culturally and politically complex.  This interactive lets the user click on selected countries to see how groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas are impacting them politically. 

 

Tags: Middle East, religion, Islam, political.


Via Seth Dixon
Emma Lafleur's insight:

This is a great map showing the spread of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East and North Africa. It shows those countries who do like it, and those who do not. The reasons for which a country either likes or dislikes them gives insight into the culture and government of that country, and this map can give some insight into the future influences of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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