Durig the last few weeks the war in Ukraine has been all over the news – rightfully so… but what is getting lost when so much focus is on this conflict? Here a couple of items I don’t think we should miss out on:
One of very few women ever to lead a national football organization, Norwegian Lise Klaveness spoke to the FIFA Congress in Quatar last week about human rights violations. She talked about the importance of helping migrant workers in Qatar, do more to protect LGBTQ+ supporters at the World Cup, and more in general to make the global game welcoming to all. According to The Guardian, 6500 migrant workers have died in Quatar since they were awarded the World Cup in 2010. In the past 10 years, Qatar has put in place a massive building program, preparing for the football tournament in 2022. In addition to seven new stadiums, dozens of major projects have been completed or are under way, including a new airport, roads, public transport systems, hotels as well as a new city, which will host the coming World Cup final.
See the full speech below:
Another important news item regarding human rights violations came, not unexpectedly, from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. “Following a U-turn over re-opening girls’ secondary schools in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the UN human rights chief shared her “profound frustration and disappointment” that six months after the Taliban seized power, high school girls have yet to return to the classroom.” Read the UN report here:
“Millions of secondary-school girls around Afghanistan woke up hopeful today that they will be able to go back to school and resume their learning. It did not take long for their hopes to be shattered.” statement by @unicefchief
As we watch the film, take notes, as you are to to discuss the film in your groups afterwards. Also, take a note of violations of human rights that you see in the film.
Which girls’ stories made the greatest impression on you? Why?
“One girl with courage is a revolution”. After watching the film, what does that phrase imply – do you agree or can you think of a better catchphrase?
Girl Rising is neither pure journalism, nor fiction. The filmmakers have tried to go beyond the facts into the human experience. Did you find yourself getting lost in the stories in a way that was interesting or effective? Why or why not?
The girls of Girl Rising live in very difficult circumstances. Give examples of violations of their human rights as they are portrayed in the film. Despite these violations, they do not consider themselves as victims. Are you able, through the storytelling, to relate to their lives in a way that lets you empathize rather than sympathize? Why or why not?
What are the messages from the film that you think will resonate most strongly with people who are not already familiar with this issue?
Study the two news stories below to find out more about the situation for women and girls in Afghanistan now that the Taliban is back in power.
Discuss: what do the two stories tell you about the situation for females in Afghanistan, past and present? What do girls and women have to face should they want to study? Do these stories make you more pessimistic or more optimistic on the behalf of Afghanistan’s future? Why?
Discuss what they tell you about the issues of migration and refugees. What thoughts do these texts provoke in you?
Warshan Shire has said it is important to her to “tell the stories of those people, especially refugees and immigrants, that otherwise wouldn’t be told, or told inaccurately.” What do you think she means by this? Does she succeed in doing so with her poem? Give examples from the text. Can you find similar examples from the other text you read?
4. Immigrant Posters: Discuss these posters and the message they send:
Fighting for human rights can be very dangerous. If you are a woman fighting for human rights in a country with no respect for them, it is even more dangerous… Read these stories and reflect on the courage needed to be an activist in any form and to stand up for your right to protest…
The Nobel Peace Prize 2018 was awarded jointly to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.” We have earlier seen that Denis Mukwege has worked relentlessly for women who have been raped and sexually assaulted in conflicts in The Democratic Republic of Congo. Nadia Murad from Iraq was kept a sexual prisoners of the IS and continues to be one of the strongest spokespersons against sexualized violence. She belongs to the Yezidi minority, which you can read more about here. To learn more about her activism, read this article from the Guardian
Using your impressions after watching the film Brick Lane, write a blog post on how the film portrays the challenges you face when living in a multicultural society. Use Nasneen and another character from the film to illustrate your points.
Yesterday, this article was posted in the New York Times. It relates directly to the topics we are working with, quality education and gender equality. It is about an incident in Pakistan where 14 schools, most of them for girls, where burned down during one night, in a district where only 11% of the girls know how to read and write.