Last week, students from all around the nation debated on the issue of gender equality in education in our #DoNowMalala post. We asked young folks why is it important for boys and girls to receive equal opportunities in education? What societal problems can be caused by an inequality in educational opportunities? Do you think there is inequality in educational opportunities in America?
October 11 was International Day of the Girl, and the PBS NewsHour was able to interview Malala Yousafzai, a courageous young advocate for girls’ education from Pakistan’s Swat Valley. Last year, Malala was targeted and shot by radical Taliban militants while on her school bus. She was a youth blogger for the BBC advocating girls education in her native Pakistan, and continued to go to school despite a Taliban ban outlawing women’s education. Malala made a full recovery, and has since used her newfound fame to highlight the discrimination that girls often face when seeking an education in the developing world, and why girls’ education is so essential to the health of a society.
This topic was by far our most successful week where we received over 2,000 tweets. Below is a recap of the conversation.
Instead of jumping into the issue, many students expressed great appreciation and admiration for Malala’s bravery to stand up for what she believed in.
— Jared Winn-Taryor (@AHA_DERAJNNIW) October 23, 2013
As the week progressed, there was great debate about whether there is gender equality in education. Many felt that gender inequality is an issue, not just in education but with broader societal issues. Below is a common exchange about the issue.
— Maggie Darin (@MaggieDarin) October 25, 2013
Many felt that inequalities surface more in other countries and that progress is being made here in the U.S. and the gender gap is closing. Some felt that there is a gap in education, but the problem extends beyond gender. Some students provided insight on possible solutions to fix the gender gap. Some wanted to focus on the importance of education and that if there are inequalities in any shape or form, they are worth fighting for.
The Gender Gap is Worse Abroad
— Raquel Dumé (@raqueldfauhs4A) October 25, 2013
@KQEDedspace@mrlazarski Sadly, developing nations, unlike the US, have little/no equality. There must be something we can do. #DoNowMalala
— Viviette Smith (@Smithvi2015) October 24, 2013
— Rebeccalynn Pettey (@CRAASDbecca) October 21, 2013
The Gender Gap in the U.S. Extends Beyond Education
— Richard Luong (@bigrichlu) October 23, 2013
@KQEDedspace I think inequality comes from social convention of women's roles in society. A transparent ceiling prevents women from growing.
— Cathy Yu (@cathy_ysy) October 25, 2013
— Kim Tran (@KimNg96) October 24, 2013
But, Progress is Being Made
Some students acknowledged the inequality but managed to find a silver lining.
— Pearl (@Pearl81573558) October 25, 2013
— Makayla Grace (@AHA_makaykin) October 23, 2013
There is a Gap, But It’s Not Based on Gender
Many believe the problem of equality in education extends beyond gender.
— Justin Poling (@PolingJustin) October 25, 2013
— Joshua G (@joshgfauhs2b) October 24, 2013
— Abigail Simons (@simonsab2014) October 23, 2013
— Mariluz (@mmariluz96) October 23, 2013
Education is a Right Worth Fighting For
Others chose to focus on the importance of education highlighting that education is a right worth fighting for.
— Regina Kautzer (@kautzere) October 28, 2013
One student took on the challenge of proposing solutions.
— Daniel Voytovich (@_meow_zedong) October 23, 2013