Monthly Archives: December 2015

Kenyan Girls Raise Money to Pay for Pads, to Attend School

A teen growing up in the Nairobi slum of Kibera, like other girls Halima Mohammed couldn’t go to school when menstruating because she couldn’t afford sanitary pads. When her parents died, her grandfather paid for her school fees. Halima and her friends organized a group called Mashujaa (“heroes”) to do fundraising, joining a neighbored youth saving-club and made jewelry and soaps to sell. Halima also wants the group to fight government corruption, stating “We can change Kenya.”

Girls Outperform Boys Academically

Girls outperform boys in educational achievement in 70% of the countries studied between 2000 and 2010 that analyzed 1.5 million 15-year-olds.[i] This holds true even in states with low gender equality ratings. Boys outperform girls only in Colombia, Costa Rica and the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and among high-achievers. The achievement of boys and girls were similar in the US and UK. Overall, children think boys are academically inferior to girls and they believe adults share their perception.

Gijsbert Stoet and David Geary, “Sex Differences in Academic Achievement Are Not Related to Political, Economic, or Social Equality,” Intelligence, Vol. 48, 2015.

DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2014.11.006


Her Rap Song Saved an Afghan Girl from Marriage at 14

A rap song saved an Afghan gjrl from early marriage. Living in Iran, Sonita Alizadeh’s parents told her when she was 14 they needed her dowry money to pay for her brother’s wedding. To protest, she made a music video called “Brides for Sale.” She dressed as a bride with a bruised face and a barcode on her forehead. Her parents got the message and backed down. She advocates that “girls need to have hope for heir future, even if it is hard. If a girl loses hope, she’ll feel dead inside and this is the worst thing.” Her music led to a scholarship in the US. Shuka Kalantari, “Afghan Rapper Escaped Teen Marriage by Singing About It,” PRI, May 12, 2015.

Cuban Youth Apathetic?

A Somos Jovenes magazine article on Cuban youth by Cuban Javier Gomez Lastra faulted them for apathy, being lazy, lacking motivation, and materialism. He called for an emphasis on what national hero Jose Marti taught: “Being educated is the only way to be free.” The author blamed the “lack of accurate guidance” by parents and the lack of jobs for youth for their focus on “salsa, greenbacks, and beer,” a slogan from a soap opera. The economic crisis of the early 90s caused by the end of support by the USSR, called “the struggle,” led to a falling away from revolutionary ideals. Thus, “many Cubans learned to live for the moment” and develop illegal strategies to make money. Psychologist Elaine Morales Chuco blamed the reduction of state educational and recreation centers and the decline of the old model of study-work-pay on “the move of many young people to the socio-cultural world of the street.” She added, “Thus, many Cubans learned to live for the moment, the uncertainty and with very little chance to develop solid life projects.”
Javier Gómez Lastra, Somos Jovenes Magazine,
March 13, 2015.