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Girls Education Post G7 + More
G7 Summit Was a Victory for Girls' Education
At the G7 Summit in Quebec, the Canadian government announced that with the help of the European Union, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the World Bank, it has raised more than $3.8 billion to send the world’s poorest girls to school. The prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, spoke of the importance of investing in girls’ education and gender equality. The funds will go to women acquiring job skills, improving teacher training to improve curriculum for girls, expanding the quality of data available on female education and promoting more coordination between humanitarian partners.
New York Stock Exchange’s First Female President: Stacey Cunnigham
Stacey Cunningham, previous COO for the New York Stock Exchange Group, makes history as the first female president since the group’s conception in 1792. While she doesn’t claim gender as a challenging factor in her own experience rising up in the male-dominated field of finance, Cunningham wants to focus on building a well-balanced and diverse team in her new position.
Image: Alyssa Ringler, NYSE
A Public Health Administrator’s Mission to Inspire
Tamara Fields spent 20 passionate years working for Accenture, the company where she now holds the position as Managing Director as Health and Public Service. She uses her position and experience to introduce young women to STEM at the elementary school level. She also worked closely with Girls Who Code and continues to create new projects to positively impact the next generation of leaders. With her dedication to public service, Fields uses her skills and position to contribute to society.
Image: Getty Images/Tetra images
Corruption Inhibiting Girls' Education in Afghanistan
Since the Taliban fell in 2011, millions of girls have returned to school in Afghanistan thanks to billions of dollars from international donors. Yet still, a 2017 World Bank Report indicates that 66% of Afghanistan's girls are not in school, and those who are still face poor facilities, low quality of education, and discrimination against women. The former director of Afghanistan's anti-corruption agency revealed that teaching jobs are often acquired by paying a bribe rather than qualifications, explaining the poor quality of education and why many parents pull their daughters out of school. The anti-corruption reports also show that the construction and rehabilitation of school buildings are incomplete, and that trustees did not take the billions of dollars international donors have invested to the right people.
Image: Max Walker/Al Jazeera
Girls Outnumber Boys at Basic Educate Certificate Examination in Ghana
The Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the Kumasi metropolis of Ghana this year was a victory for girls' education. 12 pregnant school girls sat for the examination-- 12 out of a total 12,823 females, compared to 11,690 males. The Metropolitan Chief Executive proudly announced that the exam was incident free and that the girls outnumbered boys . The metropolitan assembly sees this as an exciting step in their goal to encourage girl-child education and to ensure not only that they are enrolled but that they remain in school in order to fulfill their academic dreams.
XFactor Ventures: “Powerhouse women to back the next generation”
XFactor Ventures is a fast growing, venture capital fund whose mission is to invest in, and mentor female entrepreneurs. The all-female investing group has a total of nine operators who each run their own businesses which range from apparel to sexual-health startups. While XFactor’s endeavor represents one of many pushes to incorporate diversity in tech and venture business, founder Aubrie Paganon says, “We’re still just scratching the surface.”
It’s been over a year and six months since the Brexit vote, and the UK’s impending breakaway from the European Union is still causing uproar. Fashion companies based around the UK, in particular, are concerned about the deals’ impact on their ability to hire and travel internationally, as well as import high-quality textiles from around the globe. According to a report from the Creative Industries Federation, 74% of small luxury labels—many of whom are run by or provide employment to women-- fear that Brexit will significantly harm business prospects. Adam Mansell, the executive of the UK Fashion and Textile Association, warns that, although it seems unlikely, “it is vital that we get a trade deal with zero tariffs and very simple border controls.”
28-year-old Humza Mian isn’t just a veterinary technician—he’s also a drag queen and social media influencer whose feeds are both a celebration of his South Asian heritage and of his individuality. His drag name, MangHoe Lassi, pays homage to a popular drink in India. Growing up in a religious family, Mian was taught to hide any traces of femininity, and he still isn’t out to his parents. While he wishes he could be, the reality is that coming out still is not a safe option for many people across the world. Even though laws are changing and promoting acceptance of more and more people, the social implications of such a decision can be incredibly dangerous. Mian wishes that media represented those queer folk who are proud of their identity but still have to remain closeted, unlike the many out-loud-and-proud shows like Queer Eye and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Despite this, he is happy his drag, makeup tutorials, and social media presence as a beauty influencer can create a safe space for him to be fully himself, and he hopes he can create that space for others with similar experiences.
Jessamyn Stanley, yoga instructor and body-positive advocate took to Instagram this week to talk about an issue that isn’t discussed nearly enough: chafing and the discomfort—and scars—it can result in. Stanley posted an amazingly real photo of herself on her couch in her underwear, comfortably watching television with her inner thighs bearing the scars many plus-sized women have from chafing. Within her caption, she says “Yes, there are permanent marks on my thighs from chafing, Welcome to being #fat.” What people don’t realize is that this happens to women whose thighs happen to brush together when they walk—it’s not about being what society deems as “fat.” It’s simply friction and nothing to be ashamed of.
Coming out is an important moment for many in the queer community, but what if you never technically have to come out, or you’re not sure you even have anything to come out about? Growing up, Wilson knew she liked boys, but she was confused about the feelings that girls would sometimes provoke in her. She hated herself for being confused. As a supporter of queer rights, she felt that even discussing her confusion would take away from “real queer people,” and she saw her own identity as invalid. After all, she married a man and was incredibly happy with him, so what was the point of exploring her identity even further? But one day during Pride Month, Eleanor wondered why she didn’t think her identity mattered and why she had been unhappily hiding herself. She realized that to finally feel comfortable in her own skin, she had to be honest. After coming out via social media, Eleanor couldn’t stop telling everyone she talked to; it gave her such a rush of love for herself and her unique identity. If there’s one thing Eleanor’s story can teach us, it’s that accepting yourself and showing who you are to the world takes time, bravery, and a whole lot of self-love.