A Critical Issue: Gender Inequality Across the World

One of the most pressing issues of today is gender inequality. Across the world, women have far fewer economic opportunities than men, less access to education, greater health and safety risks, and significantly less political representation. This presents an immense issue that needs to be addressed. As a result of this inequality, two thirds of the world’s illiterate are women, women’s participation in the labor market falls far behind men regardless of education and skills, and one in three women worldwide will experience sexual assault in her lifetime.

Achieving gender equality is crucial to creating a better functioning world. Ideally, achieving gender equality would mean that men and women have equal power and opportunities, and are equally capable of achieving financial independence, personal development, and attaining a quality education. This goal necessitates empowering and guaranteeing basic rights for women worldwide.

Gender Inequality c/o www.hertalk.com

Gender Inequality
                c/o http://www.hertalk.com

Across the world, countless women are incapable of reaching their full potential because of obstacles created by the prejudices of gender inequalities. This starts from the moment they are born, keeping them at a disadvantage consistently throughout their lives. Empowering women and breaking down these obstacles has a beneficial ripple effect that ultimately benefits the world as a whole. Once empowered, women and girls positively contribute to the well-being of their families, communities, countries, and so on.

The most effective way for students to combat this issue is simply advocacy and education. Raising awareness amongst peers and communities about the issue of gender equality is a great start. As citizens of the United States, we are at a great advantage that few others in the world have. We have a much wider range of resources at our disposal; thus, we have a responsibility to take advantage of our privileged standpoint to advocate for and raise awareness about pressing global issues such as gender inequalities. The inequalities experienced globally tower in size compared to those faced in the U.S., which needs to be brought to light. Advocating, educating, and motivating people to make a change is an extremely effective and easy way to work towards solving pressing global issues such as gender inequality.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Kirstyn Rowen.

Kirstyn’s Experience on the Tolleson Union High Team 2014

NGC Tolleson Team: educating their community and raising funds for GWWI.

NGC Tolleson Team: educating their community and raising funds for GWWI.

This is the sixth year of the Tolleson NGC team. In the past they have advocated on behalf of organizations such as the Afghan Institute of Learning, A Ban Against Neglect, and the Nirvanavan Foundation. This year the team has chosen to sponsor The Global Women’s Water Initiative. This semester, the team has been hard at work raising funds and awareness on behalf of the organization.

The Global Women’s Water Initiative responds to the struggles and burdens that women in East Africa face related to their water collecting practices. GWWI provides training for these women in order to better their communities. They teach the women water, sanitation, and hygiene skills that greatly benefit their communities as a whole.

The Tolleson NGC team has already held multiple events to raise awareness about the organization and its goals. In the beginning of the semester, the team held an “Awareness Week” in which team members dedicated a week to teaching their peers facts about the pressing issues addressed by GWWI, delegating a different focus for each day. They also solicited donations during this event, raising about $160 total. Another event held by the team recently was a “Documentary Night,” in which the team screened the documentary, “It’s a Girl,” which explores the practice of female infanticide around the world. The team used the relevance of the film to advocate further for the GWWI.

NGC Tolleson Team at their Documentary Night.

NGC Tolleson Team at their Documentary Night.

For the remainder of the semester, the team plans to hold one more large event called “Poetry Night.” The team has hosted this event in the past, usually once per semester. This staple event attracts a large crowd and brings the community together. The purpose of the event is to not only raise funds, but also to educate the community and peers about literacy, education, and the GWWI.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Kirstyn Rowen.

Chiao Reflects on Education: A Pressing Global Issue

NGC Global Project, Sunshine Charity

NGC Global Project, Sunshine Charity

Education is a right, like the right to have proper food or shelter. Education serves as a passport to human development and it expands opportunities and freedom for everyone. It contributes to democracy and economic growth as well as improving health and reducing poverty among the people.

Since 2000, more girls have been enrolled in school than before, measuring from primary education to tertiary education. The number of secondary students has also risen substantially, more than four times that increase in the number of primary students. A major reason for the rise in school enrollments in Africa and Asia is the abolition of school fees and the prospect of a midday meal. However, it is also clear that many challenges still remain in creating opportunities for children to receive an education. Poverty remains as the major marker of disadvantage. Other disadvantaged populations include indigenous populations, street children and migrants, the disabled and cultural minorities. There is also an issue with the inability to recruit female teachers and supporting poor families to making the schools more girl-friendly.

Literacy and the equality of education remains among the most neglected of all education goals with about 796 million adults lacking literacy skills. Two-thirds of this number are women. Millions of children are leaving school without acquiring the knowledge and skills that will help them succeed in their futures. There are currently many different measures in increasing the number of enrollment to schools, like the United Nation’s Education For All program. They are striving to increase enrollment and subsequently increase literacy rates globally. Every citizen deserves a right to education and to be able to gain the proper skills and knowledge to succeed in life.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Chiao May Lee.

Westwood High School + The Colorful Girls Foundation

Westwood High School Warriors in action at Homecoming!

Westwood High School Warriors in action at Homecoming! c/0 m.eastvalleytribune.com

New Global Citizens programs are designed to introduce students to a global perspective and use that knowledge to help solve the world’s greatest challenges. The students at Westwood High School, in Mesa, AZ, are very passionate about being involved in the NGC programs; they are doing what they can to help make a change in the world we live in now.

The NGC team at Westwood High chose to get involved with a great organization called the Colorful Girls Foundation, who serves as a support system for girls between the ages 11 and 17. This foundation was created to help young girls get the resources they need to succeed in the future. Westwood High has done a tremendous job at helping this foundation as they have participated in their high school’s homecoming parade and tailgating event. During this event, the students have created a parade float, flyers and brochures to create awareness among their peers.

Also, being very creative, they started an advocacy campaign in school by writing facts about NGC and the Colorful Girls Foundation on sticky notes and placing them all around their high school campus. The NGC team at Westwood High has shown great initiative to heighten awareness and they are currently very eager to plan their next fundraising event for the Colorful Girls Foundation.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Chiao May Lee.

Kamrie’s NGC Journey

When I first entered high school, my idea of community service involved volunteering at the library and collecting cans for a food drive. Although these are undeniably good deeds, they are restrained to a local scale; I had no idea what was going on globally. Why would I? It was not like a mere 9th-grader could have made a change big enough in the world anyway. Global issues were for the big characters in the world to deal with.

Each of the years I have been in NGC has taught me how very wrong I was. NGC has truly made me a global citizen, one who is not only aware of the global issues, but also that strong individuals all around the world are making improvements, and that I too, can be one of these individuals. I learned the power of awareness, and how it can spark more individuals to make a change. I learned the importance of sustainability, without which, change would be temporary. From the advocacy and community education projects for NGC, I have developed strong leadership and public speaking skills. Such skills have proven to be extremely helpful beyond high school.

New Global Citizens is not an ordinary school club. We are youth teams spread nationally, reaching internationally, promoting a positive outlook on global change.

Kamrie and her NGC Team!

Kamrie and her fellow NGC Team!

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Kamrie Yeung.

I Support New Global Citizens: Daniel Goman

dg

“I support NGC because, as a social studies teacher and club sponsor, I want young people to know that the world is so much bigger than what they know. NGC makes the rest of the globe more real and relevant for them in a time when popular culture and social media has caused many youth to become less connected to the realities of much of the rest of the world’s population. I want them to understand that their youth is one of their biggest assets, not a weakness, in helping to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems, and I am inspired by their passion to do so.”
– Daniel Goman, NGC Educator

Combating Extreme Poverty: A Poor Inconvenience

Post contributed by Team Mentor Ashely Suarez 

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Why it’s an issue:

issue-poverty-hunger

NGC’s logo for Extreme Hunger & Poverty

As part of the United Nation’s first Millennium Development Goals, extreme poverty is one of the world’s greatest problems, generating a multiplicity of other issues that further complicate the daily lives of individuals and families. According to the United Nations, it robs them of their basic human needs such as food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education, and information. It is characterized by living on less than $2 a day and, for many people, this may sound farfetched and uncommon, but the sad truth is that half the planet lives with these conditions. Extreme poverty does not solely refer to income but to access to services as well. While it is extremely important to help ease some of the stemming issues of poverty such as hunger, we must come up with a way to combat the deep-rooted problem. It may seem almost impossible to eradicate extreme poverty, but with the help of optimistic NGC teams around the country and global organizations such as The Shelter of Friendship and A Ban Against Neglect, we can help make those basic human needs more accessible.

Fundraising:

NGC teams can come up with various creative ideas on how to fundraise for their global projects. By hosting events such as Poetry Nights where students pay a small fee for entrance and spend the evening listening to great poetry and music, teams can easily raise more than $200. Rather than simply asking for donations, although that can also work, it would be more effective to communicate where the funds are going by having an event and spending some time explaining the project or hosting activities such as Awareness Weeks where they dedicate the week to community education and fundraising. It can often be difficult to come up with different ways to fundraise, but with a little inspiration and a lot of motivation, teams can virtually do anything to help raise money for their projects. When in doubt, hold a bake sale: no one can deny a delicious cookie to help those in need of shelter.

Advocacy:

Our generation is one of the most passionate and reformist groups; we use our voices to bring light to issues that are important to each of us. Extreme poverty is one of those issues, and with their voices and actions, NGC teams can advocate for it by choosing a global project that helps to combat it. Advocacy can be done on a local and global scale, reaching out to community partners and businesses for support as well as senators and even the president. Partnering with local businesses or reaching out to state senators can make a huge difference on the impact that the team has on the community. This in turn will allow the team’s efforts to be seen by people across the country. Even if teams choose to keep things local, it still helps to reach out to others to help advocate for extreme poverty.

Community Education:

One of the biggest problems that is hindering progression in combating issues such as extreme poverty is a lack of knowledge. When people are unaware about what is going on around the globe, these issues are buried and continue to impede the lives of many people. NGC teams can use their voices and creative minds to help educate their schools and local communities about extreme poverty and its prevalence in society. By hosting documentary nights featuring films relevant to their global project or issue, teams can educate others on the importance of helping to end extreme poverty. Also, explaining the different problems that arise from poverty such as a lack of access to healthcare or education can further bring awareness to the topic. Once that is done, NGC teams can use their resources and ideas to work together with others to help end poverty through their global partner.

Impact:

Extreme poverty is a widespread issue that has received attention but has yet to be eradicated. Through the F.A.C.E. goals, NGC teams can make ending it that much easier. Although it may seem that a group of high school students can only do so much, their efforts will go a long way.

The global partnership that the team supports will work to help make their efforts worthwhile and noticed. We are helping real people with real lives; we are making a difference. And while extreme poverty will not disappear in a day, our teams will be the drop in the water that causes a wave of progression.