Women, girls & education

Man it’s been a busy month. For the past few weeks I’ve been working on my very first educational research paper. By research paper I don’t mean the ‘find 5 sources to support your ideas’ kind, but the ‘find a hole in all educational research, review 15+ sources scholarly studies, determine the problem and propose how you could address this in the educational research field’ kind. If you’re reading this and it’s something you’re good at…give me a shout. I think I could use a pep talk haha!

Image result for half the sky quotesIt just so happens that my free time has been consisted of reading and addressing women’s issues, so naturally when I had to choose a topic for this research paper my eyes turned to women in education.

Over the past month or so I had the privilege of reading Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof, and Sheryl WuDunn.

I’ve also been able to read and watch Girl Rising, a film and adapted book that follow the stories of young women and girls in communities around the world that limit their access to education based on their gender.

Also as part of a group I volunteer with, called the Open World Cause, we are working on developing a new project called What Will I Become. It’s been a really cool learning experience for me as I work with two other brilliant women in the cause that have amazing experiences abroad. We are working on surveys to talk with women in the Nepali community we’ll be visiting this summer to learn more about their education, the expectations laid upon them, and their dreams. In the end we hope to create a curriculum that can be used here in the United States within k-12 classrooms.

Talk about Girl Power.

This morning, after reading 10 studies about gender stereotyping and adequacy of curriculum relating to women representation, I was feeling EMPOWERED. If I’ve learned anything through these articles, the books, and the documentaries, it could be summed up in a few bullet points:

  • Educating girls changes communities, changes their futures, teaches them skills to support families, reduces number of pregnancies, reduces sex trafficking and helps break cycles of poverty.
  • Education in general addresses changes that need to be made in order to lower the maternal mortality rate.
  • Education informs communities of vital changes that need to be made in respect to gender based violence and traditions that are harmful to women’s health.
  • Education that addresses equality and importance of both women and men shapes the thinking of our students.
  • Educators must be aware of the materials being used, and choose literature and resources that show the importance of diversity to our students. That is just as much something they need to learn, as any other subject in school (if you ask me).

Though there are approximately 129468 other things I’ve learned, these are a few points that have stuck with me. This isn’t a blog post saying women are better than men, but saying that women should be valued for the amazing contributions they can make in this world. Men supporting women in communities around the world help make this viewpoint a reality in many cultures, hence the importance of educating men on these issues as well.

It’s always good to challenge your viewpoint and learn something new.

Follow the links about to watch or read some of the resources I’ve be reading/watching above. Enjoy these words, grab some wine, maybe your favorite women, and have some awesome discussions.

 

 

 

~Shelby

Fierce hearted Woman

I’ve been sick this weekend and ended up sleeping through church. As I’m sipping my morning coffee I was scrolling through some devotionals to help me kickstart my Sunday. I came across one called ‘You Are a Fierce hearted Woman.’ I silently acknowledged how right they were- I AM a fierce hearted Woman! So I clicked. (Proverbs 31 Ministries get me every time!)

This article, though short, reminded me of a few important things. The author, Holley Gerth, says how for a time she didn’t realize that broken people have sharp edges. She mentions that yes, following Jesus is an adventure, but it’s also more like going into battle.

It was helpful to think about this adventure as battle. Not in a pessimistic way, but as a reminder that you will experience victory, but also pain.

Holley uses the word disillusioned. I realized I resonated with this word just in the past week. I was telling my husband Marshall that I was feeling beaten down. We’ve been responsible as a newly married couple, following God’s word and waiting (always waiting) for his next step. (Especially experiencing this as Marshall applies for new jobs). And yet, it just seems harder than ever. Who knew waiting for God’s cue could feel like such a heart ache?

But I’m a fierce hearted woman.

Holley encourages us to fight on. That yes, things may be harder than you expected, but we are to be COURAGEOUS.

“Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD” 

(Psalm 31:24)

So for today, I’m grateful I missed church and scrolled upon this message. I’m grateful I have time to keep pushing and working.

It wouldn’t be an adventure without a few bumps along the way.

~Shelby

A Lesson in Authenticity- Rupi Kaur

Thank you Rupi Kaur, for yet again having me stop and think.

It’s crazy, but true to think we spend many years trying to be the person we think we SHOULD be. That ‘should’ word can be dangerous.

It’s only in the past couple years that I’ve realized the peace that comes from acknowledging my own interests, talents, skillsets, and self.

It’s also the last couple years that have been hard to become that person, defying what others mental image of me is. Some friends and family may have you pegged as one thing, but don’t be afraid to show them something else. Authenticity is worth it.

The truth is, since day one you’ve had the strength to be you. It’s worldliness, and lies that teach you other wise.

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