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by Lily

I care about the topic of supporting girls’ education because it’s very important for people of all genders to be educated about why we need to have equal education for everyone. I think that everyone should have the chance and ability to go to school, so they can get a job, earn money, and support themselves or a family in the future. My friends and I are very lucky to go to school, and we take it for granted because a lot of girls around the world can’t go to school. So, we should stop complaining every morning about getting out of bed to go to school.

Some girls don’t get to go to school because they might have someone attacking them violently every time they go to school or leave their house, which could be the effects domestic violence, or that in some countries, their society doesn’t believe that girls or women should go to school. Some can’t afford to pay for school or uniforms, because they may live in poverty or a poorer area of their country, also in America, school is free, but in other countries, it isn’t and you have to pay for it. A lot of girls aren’t legally allowed to go to school in their country because society in a lot of developing countries believes that girls shouldn’t go to school. Sometimes girls can’t go to school because they were married way too early and don’t have the opportunity to get an education.

If girls go to school, they can have an education that they can use to get a job and earn money, to read, write, and speak other languages. They can get married at a good age later in life, and have children later in life, which prevents death during childbirth because children aren’t meant to have children. It also prevents HIV and AIDS, which children are more susceptible to. They’re more likely to have educated healthy children, and they’re more likely to stay out of the life of crime and poverty.

Some organizations that are helping contribute to girls education are the Afghan Institute of Learning which operates schools and other programs for women and girls in Afghanistan and in the border areas of Pakistan.  Another organization is the American Assistance for Cambodia, which has a program to subsidize poor girls so that they can remain in school.

One girl helped by She’s the First is Fatou, who’s a young woman from The Gambia who graduated high school and is saving to move on to college. She went to Starfish International, which is a school that teaches girls leadership skills, like gardening, photography, and bee-keeping. On Saturdays, they have extra classes, and the girls dress in nice outfits, so Fatou asked them if they want to have their picture taken, and she sold each picture for 35 cents to the girls. Fatou graduated from high school in 2014 because of the money donated to She’s the First from the tie-dye cupcake program. She’s now a photographer working full time and saving her money to go to college

As for everyday things that are easy for girls like me or people at my school to do to contribute, instead of having to be a big organization, here are some ideas: groups of people—girls and boys—in association with the organisation ‘She’s the First’ did a tie-dye cupcake bake sale that sold multi-colored cupcakes for one dollar each, and raised over $100,000 for girls education. The money raised went to buy scholarships for underprivileged girls in developing countries to attend and graduate high school. Four roommates in New York City raised $7,200 to sponsor 20 girls in Uganda. Four girls from another college threw a concert to raise money to help girls in India go to high school. Another girl held a 5K run to raise money to teach girls in underprivileged countries to read. Another girl sold bracelets to help girls be the first in their family to get an education.

B A S I C  S T A T I S T I C S

31 million primary school girls aren’t going to school around the world. School enrollment rates for girls have improved over the past decade, but more than 30 million girls of primary school age are still out of school today. Most of them will never enter a classroom. 32 million more girls are missing out on the first 3 years of secondary education. That means in total over 60 million girls are out of school today.

F A C T S

If all underprivileged women finished high school, deaths of children under 5 would decrease by 49%. Since 2000 girls spend an average of 7 years in school. Every additional year of school a woman attends increases her wages by about 12 percent. Increasing the number of girls who complete high school education by 1% could increase a country’s economic growth by 0.3%. The poorest girls in developing countries spend on average less than 3 years in school. 80 percent of the girls are unlikely to ever start school compared to 16 percent of the boys that are out of school.

In conclusion, my friends and I, and all others who have easy access to school are very lucky and shouldn’t take it for granted since many girls around the world don’t have the privilege to go to school. What surprised me most about learning about girls education is how many girls around the world don’t go to school. I want to help get more girls in school in underprivileged countries by using my savings to sponsor a girl or get together a group at my school to raise money by having a fundraiser.

 

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Lunar dream

by Lily

Everyone is exposed to many stereotypes every day. For example, it is a popular belief that because a lot of terrorists are Muslim, all of them are terrorists, which is absolutely ridiculous. Another example is Donald Trump. He once stated that if he becomes president, he will make sure that no one of Muslim descent will enter the country. Once again, absolutely ridiculous. He also said that he would definitely build a wall to keep ‘the wrong’ people out. Why discriminate someone based on how they look or their race? It just makes no sense.

The Holocaust was also a big example of mass stereotypes. Hitler made a huge decision to try to kill anyone who didn’t have blonde hair, pale skin and blue eyes, which was considered ‘holy’ at the time, even though Hitler himself didn’t have blonde hair or blue eyes. People  with any other combination of hair, eyes, or even skin tone, which were most commonly Jews (brown hair and brown eyes most likely), would have been considered ‘not normal’ or ‘subhuman.’

And there are stereotypes that don’t have to do with race, ethnicity or religion. Such as the joke that goes way back that police officers are immediately associated with donuts and coffee, or that people who wear glasses are smart or ‘nerds.’ Making a judgement about someone has a very close side effect that leads to stereotyping people, and stereotyping can lead to prejudice or negative judgements about people, but all in all, we just shouldn’t judge people from the beginning. We usually make judgements about a person because we haven’t met them before, and our mind is deciding whether you should be their friend or not, according to a 2012 study by UCLA.

The media makes a very big imprint on us in terms of what we’re supposed to look like, how much money we need to make, or who to vote for when we get older. For example, the newest trend in the media is that women should have a ‘thigh gap.’ According to google a thigh gap is a space between the inner thighs of some women when standing upright with knees touching. A thigh gap has become an aspect of physical attractiveness that has been associated with fragility and femininity. It is added to the mass stereotype about what women’s bodies should look like. That’s RIDICULOUS. Why should the media have the right to tell us what looks good and what doesn’t especially when it comes to a person’s body? If having a ‘thigh gap’ is natural for you, that’s great! Embrace your body. But if it’s not, don’t beat yourself up about it just because the media is saying that’s not pretty, because believe me, as long as you’re healthy, it’s all good. Don’t let stereotypes affect the way you think about yourself . . . or about other people.

However, we have come so far in stereotypes since even the fifties. Sexism and racism stereotypes were even more common in public back then: for example posters featuring men hitting women, directly saying that men are better than women, saying that it’s a man’s world—and even posters featuring a photo of a woman down on her knees serving a man. I wonder what they would have said if they had known that our generation would experience what we are today: that we might have a women president next in line? As for the racist ads, there were many for the movie Song of the South, a product called skin whitener, and others littered with tons of racial slurs, making fun of how various races supposedly talked, and other equally inappropriate things. It’s really, really scary to think that this was the normal thing to be around and hear back then. Basically, only white privileged males can go back in time and actually enjoy themselves from what I’ve seen so far, otherwise, almost anyone that was a woman or of a different race would have been faced with these advertisements in the media all around them. And the schools and drinking fountains that only white people can use?

If we could all stop judging each other for no reason, everyone would just all around (a) be better people and (b) be nicer not just to one or two specific people in our lives, but just have a better attitude about everyone. The main three things I try to live by in life is (1) have fun in life (2) be nice (3) make friends. I feel like making friends and being nice is always a good place to start, and having fun in life is a really good way to think about everyday life. I believe that by doing as many fun things in life and to be busy every day until the day I die helps put a positive outlook on everything that is to come, and just everything in general. But in the end, if we all just stop judging each other and giving in the stereotypes being put out by the past and the media, we would all just be better people and make more friends.

 

 

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