Girl Rising

“One girl with courage is a revolution”

Girl Rising is a film about the benefits of educating girls. It introduces nine girls from around the world in their struggle to get an education and achieve their dreams.

The film was released in 2013 and is part of the Girl Rising campaign.

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.

Discussion questions:

  • 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?
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Ingunn

Human Rights and the UN

The United Nations was founded in 1945, to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations and promote social progress, better living standards and human rights. In 1948, the United Nations passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Watch this video:

and then look at the complete declaration here: https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights

Discuss in your groups: Which articles do you find the most important or interesting? Are there rights which should be added, do you think? Which one(s) do you think are most often violated? Which ones have you come across being violated in the class work we have done so far?

Then read one of the stories on the violation of human rights here: https://news.un.org/en/news/topic/human-rights

Write a blog post where you answer the following questions:

  • What universal right(s) is/are being violated?
  • How does this affect the population?

Publish the post on your blog by the end of class on Thursday.

Ingunn

In the news: The situation for women and girls in Afghanistan

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?

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/09/07/asia/afghan-university-male-female-segregation-curtain-intl/index.html

Students attend class at Avicenna University in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 6, 2021, in this picture obtained by Reuters from social media.
Students attend class at Avicenna University in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 6, 2021, in this picture obtained by Reuters from social media.

Snowden and Assange – Heroes or Criminals?

Edward Snowden – Wikipedia
Edward Snowden

Norsk PEN til stede under rettssaken mot Julian Assange - Norsk PEN
Julian Assange


What do these men have in common?

Julian Assange is the head of WikiLeaks and faces a harsh prison sentence in the USA if he were to be extradited from Britain. He released over 750,000 documents which showed corruption and human rights abuse at the hands of the American government in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as at the prison camp on Guantánamo. The documents were given to him by private Chelsea Manning, who was arrested in 2010 and served 7 years in prison. Just yesterday, a British court decided against extraditing Assange, on the grounds of his mental health.
Edward Snowden is a former contractor for the National Security Agency who in 2013 transmitted to journalists 1.7 million classified documents detailing NSA online surveillance of American citizens. He was charged under the Espionage Act, but gained asylum in Russia.

So, are these people heroes or criminals? How crucial is it for a democracy to have whistleblowers? And where is the line between warning the public and exposing wrongs on the one side and breaking the law and putting your country at risk on the other? What is more important, freedom of speech and the right to privacy, or loyalty to your employer and country? And what costs does this come with for the individual who has to make that choice?

A court sketch of Julian Assange at the Old Bailey in London for the ruling in his extradition case on Monday, January 4, 2021.

A court sketch of Julian Assange at the Old Bailey in London for the ruling in his extradition case on Monday, January 4, 2021.

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/04/uk/julian-assange-extradition-wikileaks-us-gbr-intl/index.html

The Social Dilemma and The Great Hack

You have now watched two documentaries about social media and how it can be used to influence people without them even knowing it. Write a blog post where you briefly summarize what they were about and compare the two documentaries in terms of genre and form. Which of the two did you like the best, or did you feel you learned the most from? Give reasons for your answer.

Ingunn

The Election in the USA and Global Issues

As Election Day in the USA is approaching, what does it matter to the rest of the world who becomes the next American president? Here’s a look at how global issues will be affected: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/10/22/926692628/trump-and-biden-on-global-issues-from-reproductive-rights-to-refugees

In the news: Protests in Nigeria

During the last few weeks, protests against police violence and the treatment of certain groups have developed in Nigeria. Find out more here: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54666368

Social media has played a big role in the protests and spreading information. However, there have also been fake or false news stories circulating: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54628292

What do you think about social media’s role in spreading awareness about such issues and protests, and in what ways can it be damaging when false accounts of such protests are spread in the media?

What does this cartoon tell you about the government’s response to the protests?

Migration and Refugees

  1. Take a look at what the refugee situation is like in the world today: https://www.unhcr.org/figures-at-a-glance.html?fbclid=IwAR2v8SbIQQMRbPf66tUb8O60mcZm2ERhqGm9A5aqu7bguZY7at0Tcl263X4

2. Work in pairs. One person reads up on migration, the other on refugees. Take turns telling each other what you found out:

https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/migration/index.html

https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/refugees/

You should also check out The International Organization on Migration:: https://www.iom.int/

3. Read the two texts below:

Warsan Shire: “Home”: https://medium.com/poem-of-the-day/warsan-shire-home-46630fcc90ab

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:

Erin Wright - Posters Without Borders - International Immigration Poster  Exhibition
https://posterswithoutborders.com/Erin-Wright Immigration Posters | Redbubble

No human being is illegal Poster
Australian government's anti-immigrant poster shocks planet (VIDEO) |  IrishCentral.com
Australia government poster from 2014

5. The situation in Moria

Read this article to find out more about the situation in Moria after the fire: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/09/12/greeces-moria-camp-fire-whats-next

Watch this video:

  • Why are women and girls especially at risk?
  • What do you think Europe should do about the situation in this and other refugee camps? Discuss in your groups.

6. The artist Banksy has donated a lot of art and even a ship to the cause of helping refugees in the Mediterranean Sea.

https://www.myartbroker.com/blog/banksy-the-benevolent-10-times-banksy-has-done-something-for-charity/

What do you think about this kind of activism, combining art, creation of awareness and collecting money for a cause?

In the news: Human Rights?

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…

Burundi girls jailed

 

Iranian human rights laywer sentenced to 38 years in prison

 

Female activists released in Saudi Arabia

Freedom under attack

Democracy is under pressure in many parts of the world. Take a look at this video to find out more.

Another sign of threats to the freedoms associated with democracy, is the number of journalists killed while carrying out their job. According to CPJ, Committee to Protect Journalists, 53 journalists were killed in 2018. Read about some of them here and pick one story that you share and comment on in your blog.