Women!

3 Dec

Posters for Girls, (as seen on Boingboing.net)

 

Since reading Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Cheryl WuDunn (recommended to me by our own Chelsea Sprayregen) I’ve had girls on my mind, and not in the usual way. The book is set up like one long Kristof Op-Ed, and it turns out that the structure kind of works for the subject, which is not just the oppression of women across the world (in forms we know well: genital cutting, sex slavery, HIV-AIDS, honor-killings and general social and economic forced subservience across various groups/societies) but also some of the more successful models for change. The models WuDunn and Kristoff outline lead to more questions about successful aid and development strategies than they answer, but overall they provide such a wide array of interesting success stories that you get the feeling that something can be done and that ultimately you are qualified to do it, no matter who you are.

This book has also led me to try to better understand how the experiences and future opportunities of my male students differ from my female students. Happily, for now, I see the culture of the camp as being fairly equitable, with some classes having more girls, and certainly more highly achieving girls, than boys…at the same time there is another side to this very ungrounded observation. Many of the children come out of conflict in Karen State, Burma, and conflict often leaves greater numbers of women than men in its wake (i.e. Rwanda). Of course, I know next to nothing about the role of gender among the Karen refugees or much about the conflict itself, so it is ridiculous to make any assumptions.

Anyhow for a proper book review check out Women in a Woeful World

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One Response to “Women!”

  1. Chelsea SprayregenEn December 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Jeffrey, I appreciate the shout-out. But you spelled my name wrong.

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