When the issue is bigger!

by ADaydreamingWallflower on May 8, 2016 - 10:42pm

Education has been my main subject on News Activist. I wrote about the issues concerning women, students and teachers in the educational environment. In this last post, I will introduce you to the inequalities of the women’s post-education and, then, I will introduce you to an event I have went to called “Marche Monde” organized by Oxfam Québec.

Through the semester, I wrote about inequality in the education system in the world. As my first article was about the inequality of South African women’s access to university, I would like to end with the inequality of women in their post-education. According to an interesting article called “Why education doesn’t bring women equal pay: Gender barriers in work and politics need policy action” and written by the University of Vermont, women might have shrunk the gasp between their degree of education with men, but these always have better job. In a graphic, they are showing that women still only obtain 91% of men’s years of education. Moreover, they only have 70% of men’s rate of employment which is very low. The final data is that women only occupy 25% of parliament seats. As a proof, the article mentioned that in Haiti and in Qatar, women are still not represented in any government seats. This is huge.

An economist for the University, Stephanie Seguino, thinks that “education alone is not enough to solve this problem”. She published a study called “Global trends in Gender Equality” in Journal of African Development that gives us two reasons of the employment issue. The fist one is the exclusion from high-paying jobs and the second one is the disproportionate amount of unpaid household work. According to her sources, which are the World Bank and the International Labor Organization, men get 30% higher employment rates than women and, often, much more high in Latin America, Middle East, Africa or Asia. She said that this situation “perpetuates the stereotypes of men as the breadwinners of society” and that it has to stop. In fact, the problem is much larger. Adding to those previous data, women get only 77 cents on each dollar a man makes.

However, Seguino also says that there is improvement in Canada that just had increased women’s presence in the Parliament of 50%. She also mentioned Rwanda and Norway which also adopted political gender quotas.

This create potential gender conflicts. Seguino says that “for men to take a lower paying job is a real challenge to their identity, and that can create a gender conflict that we rarely discuss”. According to her, the rise of women obtaining manufacturing jobs make the men feel insecure, in other words.

I found that this article really linked with my first news summary “Should your Hymen Influence your Access to Education?”. Both of these texts shows the inequality between women and men in educational and post-educational system. In the first one, women could no have access to university when they were not virgin while men could. In the second one it is constant injustices towards women in the working environment. I think those articles introduced and concluded well my researches on the differences on the educational system in the world.

What I tried throughout the semester was to prove to the readers how education is an important issue that we have to work on. In my post “A-B-C... W-O-R-K”, I demonstrated how the condition of education in poorer countries as in richer countries were obsolete. Obviously, in poorer countries the conditions are much worst, but there are still some questioning to make about our educational system, even in Quebec. In that post, I showed you how Morocco tried to resolved the issue by creating literacy programs with the European Union which beneficiated a lot to the Moroccan women living in rural area. I showed you what Michael Gove has done for education in England as much in schools as in prisons. I showed you that the Indian government was having a plan towards education that was not going to let besides the disabled pupils.

I would love to say that Oxfam is an organization that only fights against the education issues, but I would lie. Oxfam is an organization fighting against inequality of rights and poverty in the world. They are making a strong campaign against the Panama Papers and the tax heavens. However, even if the education is not their priority, by working against the inequalities, they work against the women’s conditions which imply their access to work or their rights to have a good education and by working against the poverty they help child get healthier and get access to pure water. This year, they improved the condition of life of 100 000 Burkinabe and approximately 45 000 have access to pure water. In Burkina Faso, they also taught them sanitation and how to have good hygiene practices. In an indirect way, this help young people or older people to get access to a better education. They want equality and that include the right to go to school for everyone.

To get implied, I volunteered at their “Marche Monde” on May 6th of 2016. My “job” was simple, but very important. In total, there was three cars in the crowd. I was in one of them screaming slogans and entertaining the pupils on site.  The walk was not much long, but was well organized and the energy was amazing. It was sunny and warm and people came out on their balcony to encouraged them.

There was representative animation throughout the walk as the picture beside. That animation represented the 62 people on the planet that own the wealth of half of the poorest population on heart. They were having their drinks and cigars and were clothing in expensive clothes. Further during the walk, a small dance group also encouraged the walker at the angle of the streets Saint-Laurent and Prince-Arthur. They were pretty good.

It was very amazing all these young people in the streets walking for human rights. This year was the 46th anniversary of the walk and there were thousands of excited students. When I was chanting the slogan, they were answering to me strongly.

At the beginning, I was not very sure about what I had to do. I had not learnt the slogans, because it was written on the paper that Samajam, a percussion group there for the occasion, was going to scream the slogan and we would have to repeat them to encourage the teens to repeat with us. However, when I arrived, the women told me that we would not hear Samajam and that I would have to know the beat of the slogan. Fortunately, everything went well. Even if my job was simple, I think that I made a difference, I was there, I helped a good organization that fights for a better world.

In conclusion, we should not do volunteering to put on our CV or to get more chances to get in big universities, we should do volunteering by ourselves without any other thoughts than the one of helping. In the future, I will try to get more involved in the educational area, because it is an issue that is really concerning me. I think everyone has the rights to get a proper education.


Works Cited

University of Vermont. "Why education doesn't bring women equal pay: Gender barriers in work and politics need policy action." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160415081508.htm>.

The information about Oxfam were in a document they gave us before the walk. 


I think your work is very interesting because education have an impact on all of us. I previously wrote articles on multiculturalism and it relates to your volunteer project because I talk a lot about how education can help societies. I think that the organization you worked with could do some appointment with students in their class to teach them the information you are telling. It could help our populations in terms of being aware of the problem and makes them want to act and do some changes.