By Zoë T-D. ’17
Global Issues is a class co-taught by Beth Lantz and Abbie Isom with seven students — Katchene K., Racy M., Ava L., Izzy R., Ben S., Ana P., and Zoë T.D. For the past two months, we have been talking about how to combine math and humanities in looking at gender inequality across the globe to understand the issue, what the most effective solutions are, and how we can do better work to promote equality. We each wrote a paper focusing on progress in gender equality in different countries based on United Nations (UN) data about political representation, primary school enrollment, and wage sector participation, and then worked together to discuss what we decided are the three most pervasive barriers to gender equality today: inequality in private and public decision making, violence against women and girls, and gender-based discrimination in law and in practice. Last Thursday, March 3rd, we participated in a section of a TakingITGlobal online conference focusing on International Women’s Day. We heard about the issues indigenous women in Canada are facing and how they are taking action from a Metis woman, and about women activists in Egypt from an Egyptian university student. When asked what we should be doing to help women struggling with gender inequality and other problems, both of them said the same thing: read and share their stories. When women are able to share their stories and be heard and recognized, they gain power and agency. So in honor of International Women’s Day, the Global Issues class wanted to share what we’ve learned about gender inequality around the world.