Advancing the Feminist Cause but at What/Whose Cost?

GirlThe Brazil National High School Exam (ENEM) recently made headlines for its inclusion of several controversial questions. The nationally administered exam included two questions that asked students to take a stance on women’s’ rights in Brazil. Two of the multiple choice questions included excerpts from prominent feminist scholars while the essay’s theme was the prevalence of violence against women in Brazilian society. After the test was administered, the questions caused national debate. Students and politicians alike used social media to express feelings of disdain and support.

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COP21: Include African Women

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Edna Kaptoyo and Priscilla Achakpa discuss the importance of African women’s voices at COP21. See full video here.

In the video above, Priscilla Achakpa of Nigeria and Edna Kaptoyo of Kenya discuss the importance of African women’s involvement in the Paris Climate Change Conference given the disproportionate effect that climate change has on women in developing countries. Achakpa and Kaptoyo explain that in rural communities, women are the main source of labor in a family. This means that the woman is responsible for collecting water and firewood for the household, along with completing other agricultural and household tasks. When lakes dry up as a result of climate change, it is women who are expected to walk to the extra distance to the next available water source. This can prove to be a dangerous and grueling task.

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The Ultra Rich and Education

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan with their daughter, Max.

This week Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, his wife, announced that they would be donating a large percentage of their fortune to charity over the course of their lifetimes- roughly 99% of their Facebook shares or about $45 billion. This announcement came in the days leading up to the birth of their first child and was delivered as an open letter to their daughter. They framed their announcement as part of their vision for the better world they hoped for for her in her lifetime and to many this was heralded as a generous and selfless decision. And maybe it was to a certain extent. But by putting their money into an LLC, which is what Zuckerberg and Chan have announced they are going to do, they will avoid paying a large sum of taxes on their enormous fortune. So what might the real effect of their decision be, and in particular what could it mean for the state of education in the United States?

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