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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A Life Revealed

A Life Revealed | Seeing the World More Clearly | Scoop.it
Seventeen years after she stared out from the cover of National Geographic, a former Afghan refugee comes face-to-face with the world once more.

 

The original cover is one of the more famous National Geographic photos of all time, and yet the woman in the photograph has not lived a life as though millions of people could recognize her eyes.  This is her story. 


Via Seth Dixon
Emma Lafleur's insight:

Both these two pictures and the article illustrate the life of Afghan refugees. There is only a fifteen year difference between the two pictures, and this woman looks as if she has aged much more than those fifteen years. The picture shows the hardships she has gone through, and the article goes more in depth and describes her day to day life, and knowing her life is important. The life of one ordinary person gives great insight into the culture and society of Afghan refugees, and those all around her. However, even without the article, the picture illustrates so much about life as a refugee that words cannot describe. This shows new insights and perspectives of the world around us.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:58 PM

You can see in this woman's face that the years have been hard for her living as refugee. Although this seems like National Geographic giving themselves a pat on the back it is important to remember that this women became a national symbol for refugees and yet her life did not improve and furthermore she had no idea that her picture was so well known.

David Lizotte's curator insight, February 27, 2015 6:36 PM

I never would have imagined the "Afghan girl" being alive. It's amazing how National Geographic was able to catch up and speak with her and photograph her. This demonstrates the pure professionalism and global outreach national geographic has. 

One of the things I am most thankful about is that I do not live in a war torn society. Being separated from my family, forced to flee and become a refugee is a horrid way of life that I know I would struggle to endure. Some Afghanistan people have been doing this for over twenty years. 

One time I was having a discussion with my friend. We talking about America and the westernized part of the world. He and I agreed how lucky we were to be born in America. We were born white males in the United States of America. We could have been born a woman living in Iran or Iraq, or even as a little rural Afghan boy whom would eventually be taken and abused by theTaliban. We kept going on with different scenarios and different countries. 

Want I want for people to realize is how advanced the United States of America is. Yes, we have our problems... but non comparable to other nations. Look at nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. These are first world nations which have war torn regions occupied by terrorists of all sorts. They also have little to no functioning government, although Afghanistan is improving. Even second world nations, although developing at a steady pace are plagued with an exponential amount of violent crimes and corruption. South Africa would be a prime example. 

Its amazing to read about the "Afghan girl"(s) or better yet Sharbat Gula. After all she has gone through she still has hope for her younger children. After enduring such a life of foul experiences she is still able to place all her faith into Allah and hope for the best for her children. It is also neat to see her place such a high level of importance on education. Education is the foundation for all development. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 6:58 AM

These two images are rather striking. They depict seventeen years in the life a young female Afghani refuge. They depict seventeen years of hell. The woman in this photograph has lived a hard life. Seventeen years probably feels like fifty years to her. On her face, you see the effects of living a life as a refugee. A life of not having a true home or place that you can count on. A life of living in deplorable refugee camps. It is the shame of the world, that people are forced to live like this. Unfortunately this women's story is an all to common occurrence in Afghanistan. Thousands have suffered similar fates in refugee camps. We must never forget the suffering of these people.

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For Chinese Women, Marriage Depends On Right 'Bride Price'

For Chinese Women, Marriage Depends On Right 'Bride Price' | Seeing the World More Clearly | Scoop.it

"China's one-child only policy and historic preference for boys has led to a surplus of marriageable Chinese men. Young women are holding out for better apartments, cars and the like from potential spouses...30 to 48 percent of the real estate appreciation in 35 major Chinese cities is directly linked to a man's need to acquire wealth — in the form of property — to attract a wife."

 

Tags: gender, folk culture, China, podcast, culture, population.


Via Seth Dixon
Emma Lafleur's insight:

This article touches base on a couple of topics. First, it illustrates how the one-child policy affected China. Culturally, China had a preference for boys, so the one-child policy created a great gender imbalance. There are more men than women in China, this means that not all men can get married in China because there are not enough women. Also, women now have an upper-hand because they can ask for money, a car, and an appartment from their future husbands before getting married because there are so few women, and men now have to work their whole lives to save of the money for these bride prices. This brings up a second topic. Since the men have to work harder to save money, they help China's economy. The economy is already getting better there, but these bride prices are making the economy rise faster. Therefore, the one child policy had both negative and positive effects on China, and some couples now want daughters instead of sons because they are less expensive. Economically, there is now a preference for girls. This could be a good model for the effects of trying to control population growth.

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Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 11, 2014 8:16 PM

I feel as though marriage can be complicated in China due to the one child policy. The amount of males outweigh the females. Therefore, there will not be as many marriages because there are not enough females to go around. Grooms have to put out so much for their brides. For example, in this article, her groom is unable to even get in the room to see her unless he puts up a chunk of money first. This is a typical ordeal for Chinese weddings. People describe it as a negotiation process. He must do whatever is told of him before seeking her hand in marriage. The "bride price" is when the groom gives the brides family a fair amount of money. A typical amount for an ordinary family to give is around $10,000. This is so much to get married and on top of all this, gender roles are typically unbalanced. In order to get married in China, you best make sure your a man ready to fulfill every request of your bride.

Elle Reagan's curator insight, March 22, 2015 5:53 PM

I always heard that men were more desirable in China because they are the ones that carry out the family name and provide for the family. Women, however, are seen as much weaker and are treated as lesser. For the newly wed couple in the article, they hope to have a baby girl because it is much cheaper when she gets married. I never thought of it this way but having a girl would be much cheaper as the parents would not have to pay the "bride price" or for the apartment in which their daughter will be living in. 

Bella Reagan's curator insight, May 27, 2015 12:48 AM

Unit 3

Culture

Cultural Practices

Cultural practuces in China are changing, but old customs are staying the dame. An old tradition is still being help up, called the "bride price.;This is a price that men must pay in order to marry. In China the male to female ratio is vey off, with 117 men to every 100 women.

Insight

Women are still being given a price on their head. It's a little different than it is in America.The culture behind the bride price is still going on in China and with China's ways of remembering traditions. China is a very traditional place with cultures following old traditions. The One Child policy, resulting in many males compared to females, and the strong traditions in China all result in why their customs stay for so long. 

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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.