Quality education for all = Gender equality

The 25th of September 2015, the UN set 17 goals to transform our world; called The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The ultimate goals is to tackle the most urgent problems while measuring progress and solutions. The SDGs are a common set of goals for all communities in every country. The United Nations hope these goals will point these communities in the right direction while holding them accountable. In this blog post we will go more in depth on goal 4 and 5 which is quality education and gender equality. We believe these goals  are necessary to achieve if we want a sustainable development.

“Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals based on their gender It arises from differences in socially constructed gender roles.”

Gender inequality remains a major barrier to human development. Through the Global Gender Gap Report, the World Economic Forum quantifies the magnitude of gender disparities and tracks their progress over time, with a specific focus on the relative gaps between women and men across four key areas: health, economy politics and education. Below there is a map of countries ranked according to calculated gender gaps. The darker the blue is, the less of a gap there is between men and women.


The map is from the The global gender gap report 2016 and it covers 144 countries. Despite massive progress, women’s rights remain a critical issue throughout the world especially in regions like North Africa and the Middle East. Gender inequality is a global challenge.

Girls and woman made major strides and has gotten more rights ever since 1990, but have not yet gained gender equality. Gender equality is necessary for us to be able to live in a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. To provide women and girls with equal access to education is sure will benefit all societies and the world’s humanity.

So, how do we best achieve gender equality?

There are a few bullet-points we can mention which would definitely help:

  • Ensure that leadership-positions are shared 50/50
  • Women into power
  • Women into non-traditional jobs

These points are more relevant for industrialized countries. When it comes to women in developing countries, there are other steps in the process that are more important:

  • Stop child marriage
  • Gender sensitive education
  • Stop the violence
  • End sexual harassement

All of the actions mentioned above are comprehensive. Therefore a great start would be to change the attitude all across the world, which has stuck from the past; women are less capable of working, and should stay home and take care of the children.

And what can Norwegian teenagers do in order to make a change?

We should for starters make sure that there are no gender inequalities amongst our generation, as we are the next one to rule the world. Norway are one of the most gender equal countries in the world, and therefore we should try to spread our culture and our equal society by making a campaign. A change of people’s minds across the world must sure be a good start in fixing the challenge.

Education in 2017 should not only teach languages and maths, but also morals. Education should enlighten people, and therefore it can be a key in solving gender inequalities.

Education is fundamental for the development of a society. It gives us knowledge so we can learn how to use our resources and build a nation piece by piece. It creates jobs and provides us with important science and information. There are major differences between developed and developing countries, and education plays a huge part of this gap. The developing countries are far behind us when it comes to infrastructure, technology, leadership and many fundamental parts to building a developed country. This is probably caused by their lack of education opportunities. The reason we find goal number 4, quality education, as one of the most important sustainable development goals is because education is not only a solution for goal number 4 itself, education can also contribute in solving several of UN’s goals.

Education is of course extremely important for our personal development and success.  First of all it is important for our health and happiness. When attending to school you take part of a society, gain social network and develop yourself as a wiser person. It provides you with a more secure future, with the possibility of getting proper jobs. Education also makes the world more peaceful, because we learn how to communicate and cooperate with other people, which is a fundamental for building a good leadership that listen to the people. And we become aware of our rights and responsibilities towards our society, which can prevent us from turning to illegal actions.

And let us not forget how fundamental education is for the economic growth within a nation. If we have the right knowledge we can produce more goods and services, become more productive and prevent unemployment. This is only a few of the advantages caused by education, and we can already see how it can affect almost every single goal on UN’s list. For instance; goal number 1 – no poverty, goal number 3 – good health and well-being, goal number 8 – decent work and economic growth, goal number 9 – industry, innovation and infrastructure; goal number 11 – sustainable cities and communities, goal number 13 – climate action, and goal number 16 – peace, justice and strong institutions.

What can be done and what can we do to ensure that everyone gets an equal opportunity for quality education? Lack of education remains one of the biggest and most important obstacles to overcome, in rural areas, literacy and numeracy act as significant challenges. Quality education for all might also help improving upon other global challenges, such as eradicating poverty, reducing inequality and raise awareness and knowledge regarding the climate. Most governments are committed to address this problem, but not all of their intentions translate into effective results.

One of the things we can do in order to help this problem, is to for example donate money to organizations that already work on the issue. An example of a good organization is “Khula Education”, They work in South Africa, which is one of the places that struggle with this issue the most. Their slogan, “without education there is no hope, without hope there is no future”. There are plenty of other places to go as well if one is interested in donating money. In Norway students receive a free education and it is guaranteed for all. Imagine the possibilities that would emerge if everyone had the same opportunity for education.

Raising awareness of the awesome benefits of education is also a way to help. We can do that by joining voluntary groups like “education for all”. Voting for the appropriate political party in relation to economical aid for education in other countries is also a way to have an impact.

We have made large strides when it comes to providing quality education and gender equality, but we are still far from our ultimate goal. 57 million children still remain out of school, with more than half of these coming from sub-Saharan countries. And one third of developing countries are yet to achieve gender parity in primary education. If we want to achieve our SDGs we need to empower young women and lobby the government to provide free quality education for all, especially vulnerable and marginalised groups.



the presidential election prossess

The united states electoral college is the mechanism used to elect a new president for the U.S. people vote on representatives from their state, the representative then votes for the presidential candidate from his or hers party. Most of the states have a winner takes it all policy, where the party that gets the most votes, also gets all of the representatives. Many have claimed that this is an undemocratic way of electing a new president, since it does not take in to account all of the minority votes. The electoral college came to be as a result of the funding fathers trying to find a right way of electing a leader. They did not want the state to decide, but the also did not want an all out popularity contest, since they did not trust the common American layman. So they decided upon the electoral college, where the gave the people voting rights, while not voting directly on the president, but rather on a representative of the party.
to be continued…

the importance of knowledge in a changing world

how to uncover fake news:
1.Be sceptical about headlines, dont belive every headline you see, headlines are often used to attract people to fake news.
2.Look closely at the URL-address, many fake news sites imitates other news sites, a fake URL can be a heads up to fake news.
3.Investigate the source, make sure that you trust your source
4.Watch out for spelling mistakes and clumsy layouts, this is an indicator that the website may not be legit.
5.Assess the pictures, fake news sites can use edited pictures to fool you.
6.Check the dates, plenty of fake news sites gets the timeline wrong, double check this with other sources.
7.Check the writers sources to see if the are reliable.
8.See if other sites also report on the same story, if this is not true, the story is probably fake.
9.Is the story made for humor? It can be difficult to separate between fake news and humor. See if the site is known for satire and humor.
10.Some news are fake on purpose, be critical to everything you read, and never share something you think might be fake.

in the article from the New Yorker by Robin Wright, she  writes about the different mistakes made by the Trump administration. She points out the extreme lack of knowledge when it comes to foreign affairs, and gives specific examples to support her claim. His latest mistake, according to the article, was made on July 25t, during an appearance in the Rose Garden with Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Saad Hariri. “Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against isis, Al Qaeda, and Hezbollah,” Trump stated. Apparently this was all wrong, For a quarter a century Hezbollah has been part of the Lebanese government. It is difficult to understand how it is possible to make mistakes like this when you are in a position like Trump and his administration is, but non the less it happens frequently.
It is dangerous and harmfull to allow mistakes and false information like this to exist.



the global challenge of gender inequality

The issue of gender inequality is a problem that we have been struggling with for a long time. Women all around the world are being treated poorly in comparison to men.
The unequal treatment can be as subtle as not getting a promotion when you should have, but the problem gets allot bigger as well. As we can see in the new presidency of Donald Trump, very few women have been elected to serve on his cabinet.
There are allot of different ways women are being discriminated against. One of the important issues to deal with when tackling gender inequality is the issue of violence towards women and girls around the world. The World Health Organization reported in 2013 that 35% of women worldwide have experienced some type of violence in their lifetime.

A good example of the subtle difference in how people treat women versus men, comes from this site, where a man accidentally signed his work email with his female coworkers name. He then noticed how he was treated differently.
This is a global challenge because it affects all of us negatively. A solution to the problem might be to educate girls and boys growing up in less developed countries, so that they learn what they can and should expect from people when it comes to treating both sexes equally. Giving women and girls and education might also be a part of the solution in bringing poor countries out of poverty, giving women an opportunity to educate themselves will help them to eventually get better jobs and in turn improve the economy.

Gran Torino

Gran Torino
Gran Torino is a movie directed by Clint Eastwood and released in 2008. The movie is about an older man, and his life living alone after his wife’s death. His name is Walt, and the character is played by the director Clint Eastwood. In the movie we explore Walt’s relationship with the people around him. One of the most interesting relationships in the movie, is the relationship Walt shares with his family. We learn early on in the movie that Walt and his family view the world in a very different way, a line from one of his sons describe Walt as an old timer, with conservative views. They see Walt as living in the past. It seems like Walt on the other hand, thinks of his family as annoying, and they don’t share the same views. Walt and the rest of his family don’t understand each other.
Another relationship that play out in the movie, is the relationship between Walt and the priest. Before Walt’s wife died, she made the priest promise her that he would make Walt go to confession. Throughout the movie the priest continuous to confront Walt, and tries to make him go to confession. Walt holds back and says he won’t go. In a scene later on in the movie, we hear from Walt that he doesn’t respect the priest, he thinks he is a 28 year old virgin, who holds hands with superstitious old ladies. The relationship continuous to develop throughout the movie, and in heir last scene together they finally see eye to eye, when the priest says that he understands Walt’s anger. Interestingly through Walt’s and the priests relationship, we learn that Walt feels guilt for not knowing his sons as well as he should.
The last relationship I’ll talk about is the relationship between Walt and Thao. Thao is the neighborhood boy, and he is an immigrant. Walt is at first very annoyed by Thao, as well as all the other Mang people living in the neighborhood. As the movie progresses so does Thao’s and Walt’s relationship. They eventually grow to care about each other, as Walt learns that Thao is a boy more in line with his own way of being than his grandchildren for example.
The movie ends with Walt giving his life for the neighborhood, and Thaos family, by freely walking up to the gang that had been harassing them and getting murdered so that the gang would go to jail. His death signifies Walt taking back meaning to his life, and it signifies Walt’s change in opinion towards people. He no longer views the Mang people as a problem, but has now instead learned to care about them. In contrast we can see that Walt at the beginning of the movie, has a problem with almost everyone he meets, he misses his wife, and dislikes the dynamic of his own family. He doesn’t believe in the way things are being done in the more modern world, and it seems like he misses the old days. In the end of the movie, Walt has changed his views, and he doesn’t seem to carry the same anger and regret after the confession with the priest.
In the last scene of the movie, we see Walt’s will being read up to his family and Thao. The family waits in anticipation expecting Walt to give his Gran Torino to is granddaughter. He then surprises his family by giving Thao the car instead. He found a relationship in Thao, that he had lost with his family.

The problem with fake news

News outlets and the general media is the main place in which the public gets their information. We often take the credibility and the factual accuracy of the media for granted, and we might believe anything we read, see or hear from the news. This is a big problem, not just because of the inaccurate information, but because it threatens the democracy we live in. People who read and believe false news, are unable to make real informed opinions and decisions.

Take president elect Donald Trump as an example. He’s been on the record lying on countless occasions and spreading false rumors. At first new outlets and the public took Donald Trump as a joke and didn’t mind his inaccurate statements. But he quickly became a media sensation. One day after another you heard about some wild statement from Trump. He’s lying became so common that he could say anything and people would believe it. This is a great example of how you could say almost anything as a public figure and some people will take it as facts. If we all receive the news we want, and agree with, we will end up talking past one another. Donald Trump was elected as a result of an uninformed public. The people are in powered by information.

As an example of how easy it is to create a fake news story, take a look at this fake story about the pope and Trump. It may seem legit at first glance and if shown on tv, people would probably take it to be true.
breaking-news (1).png

An issue with such a large number of people being uninformed and getting fake and biased news, is that refuting the unreal and inaccurate facts that they belive, will only make matters worse in many cases. This is the whole problem with the modern media. There is so much bias and fake coverage in the world of news, that we can pick and choose what we want  in order to satisfy our beliefs. And as a result we end up talking past each other.

Today we talked to students from South Africa about fake news, via skype. We’ve als0 gotten allot of input from other students, including students from a school in Bergen. We have a padlet where we write information and thoughts about the issue, and we use this to share information and connect.

Dear president-elect Donald Trump

Dear President-elect Donald Trump…

Dear President-elect Donald Trump, have you seen the movie Before the Flood? It’s a documentary featuring Leonardo Dicaprio, and it’s about the dangers of global warming and what we need to do in order to stop it. In the movie, Leonardo Dicaprio travels the world and shows us how far global warming has gone. In the movie, we learn that 97% of scientist believe that climate change is real and that it is caused by humans. Even though such a large number of scientists agree on this issue, over half of congress say they believe that climate change is a hoax. The US is one of the biggest emitters of fossil fuels and greenhouse gasses in the world. The US needs to set an example, and reduce the amount of fossil fuel spendings and lean towards renewable resources. This is why it is so important that the president-elect takes global warming seriously, and we urge you to look away from your political interests and focus on the importance of preserving the earth for future generations.

Dear President-elect Donald trump, according to New York times, global warming may indeed be the sharpest example of how policy in Washington will change under your administration.

-You have called human-caused climate change a “hoax”. Here is one of you tweets: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” On December 30, 2015, you told the crowd at a rally in Hilton Head, S.C., “Obama’s talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it’s a hoax. It’s a hoax. I mean, it’s a money-making industry, okay? It’s a hoax, a lot of it.”

-You have also already vowed to “cancel” last year’s Paris climate agreement, which commits more than 190 countries to reduce their releases of planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution, and to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, Mr. Obama’s domestic climate change regulations.  

Dear President-elect Donald Trump, we are aware of your plans. Withdrawing the laws that ensure some safety. Removing to-be-former President Barrack Hussein Obama’s start of improvements, CO2 cuts. With a force of nature as our opposition, we need to act accordingly. Simple measures won’t be enough, slight differences won’t help and worst of all; you’re plan will be disastrous. Not only will it affect the Americans that you will be responsible for when you enter the White House, but also us, the people of the world. Acknowledge the fact that you were wrong. Acknowledge the fact that your changes might lead us into a direction where our blood will be on your hands.

Dear President-elect Donald Trump, if you’re not planning on watching Before the Flood, which I suspect you won’t, at least read this from the European premiere in London October 2016, where DiCaprio introduced the film as follows: “Before The Flood is the product of an incredible three-year journey that took place with my co-creator and director Fisher Stevens. We went to every corner of the globe to document the devastating impacts of climate change and questioned humanity’s ability to reverse what may be the most catastrophic problem mankind has ever faced. There was a lot to take on. ll that we witnessed on this journey shows us that our world’s climate is incredibly interconnected and that it is at urgent breaking point.(…)