First Lady Michelle Obama has joined citizens of the globe in calling to #BringBackOurGirls. The hashtags and photos ask for the release of the 200+ Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped from their boarding school by a militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, which opposes education for girls and women. Of course, this crisis needs more than just signs and tweets. But at least this sign-holder has the most powerful man in the world’s ear. [Twitter.com/FLOTUS]
Eight more girls have been kidnapped by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram from the village of Warabe, Nigeria, police there said yesterday. Three weeks ago, Boko Haram — who oppose the education of women and girls — kidnapped 200+ schoolgirls from a boarding school. Rumors are circulating that the girls will be sold into sex slavery to other religious extremists. In Tuesday’s attack, a villager said Boko Haram arrived inside trucks carrying guns and kidnapped the eight girls, ages eight to 15, along with food and livestock. [Huffington Post; Guardian UK]
The leader of Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group responsible for kidnapping hundreds schoolgirls from their Nigerian boarding school, has vowed the girls will be sold.
Between 200 and 300 teenagers were kidnapped at gunpoint from their school in mid-April by Boko Haram, which opposes education for women and girls. Some of the girls managed to escape; the rest were hauled into the woods, where they have been held ever since. Relatives of the girls have been claiming the girls are being sold as sex slaves, which Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau all but confirmed.
In a video message, Skekau took responsibility for the kidnapping. According to the AFP, he said, ”Western education should end. Girls, you should go and get married. I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah.” No one quite knows where the girls are located right now, but they are reportedly being sold to religious extremists and trafficked to Chad and Cameroon, neighboring countries in Africa. Keep reading »
It’s been two weeks since 234 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from their school and they are no closer to being found. The kidnapping is believed to be orchestrated by a group of Islamist militants called Boko Haram (whose name translates to “Western Education Is Sine”), though they have yet to claim responsibility for the mass abduction. Boko Haram has ties to Al Qaeda and is especially opposed to education for girls.
The girls, ages 15-18, were kidnapped at gunpoint on April 16 when militants stormed the Government Girls’ Secondary School boarding school in Chibok, in the rural northeastern state of Borno. Their school was the only one still open in the area; all other nearby schools were closed due to security threats. Despite the presence of guards, the girls were taken at gunpoint, loaded into trucks and carted off to the nearby Sambisa forest. Not much has been done by Nigerian security leaders to ensure the girls’ rescue, and their families have received little information.
It’s a tragic, gut-wrenching story that we wish was getting more international attention from world leaders. Here are five essential things to know about the kidnapping. Keep reading »
The race to find a silver bullet to solve the “Where are all the girls in science and engineering?” puzzle is fast and furious. And as someone who works to encourage and support women studying in science and engineering fields, I worry our efforts often end up pitting the “pink sparkly girls” against the “digging for worms on a rainy day” ones.
I was one of the girls digging for worms. Rainy days were awesome when I was a kid: I would throw a swimsuit under my play clothes and hit the street. My mom use to talk about her horror of finding me building a mud dam in the street, trying to keep the river of storm water from getting to the sewer system. (Of course, that is also one of my favorite memories from childhood.) For me, science has always had a hold on my brain and heart. From archeology to the space program, I loved it all. Okay, maybe not genetics. Fruit flies were sooooo boring. And with my gift to kill plants, botany was a huge failure for me. But as a biology major, I had to take it all. Keep reading »
A study by Leeds Metropolitan University tested 1,500 students on their academic abilities and how they performed during their first year of university. What they found was that female students were more resilient than their male counterparts, and that students who were more resilient in their freshman year would go on to do better overall. For years now, women have outperformed men in university settings, this study helps to cement that. Read more about the study on College Candy…