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…
All right parents, who thinks they need to take parenting classes? Wait, scratch that. Better question: who has free time to go take parenting classes? Four parenting classes to be exact? Parents in one part of the US might be forced to find the time … or their kids will fail the sixth grade! Read more on TheStir…
Forget about marrying rich if you’re not rich already: a new study as found that the tendency to choose a spouse with the same income or education level has increased greatly in the past 50 years and it has actually affected the state of income equality in the U.S. Keep reading »
South Carolina legislators are trying to “punish” two colleges in the state for assigning books they don’t approve of. The College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate incorporated “books on homosexuality” as required reading as part of their new student orientation. The books in question are Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir Fun Home, about the lesbian author’s father and his struggle with homosexuality, and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, which tells the story of South Carolina’s first LGBT radio show.
To exact revenge on the institutions, state House legislators have “tentatively approved” a bill to cut $52,000 from the College of Charleston and $17,142 from USC Upstate. The amount of funds being cut are meant to be similar to the amount spent on implementing the reading campaigns. Republican Representative Garry Smith of Simpsonville says he set the cuts into motion after the schools refused to offer alternative reading for students. Keep reading »