Gender Bias: 178 girls still missing for going to school
Roughly two weeks ago [April 16th] about 240 girls were abducted from a school in north-eastern Nigeria. From reports the scene played out like something from a B list movie, six flatbed trucks roll up to a school, armed men storm the building, and just like that, they were taken. Unfortunately Liam Neeson won’t be saving the day.
The big question is probably why– The answer is unsurprisingly, because they are girls. In modern circles, we like to think that gender bias has been minimized and that women are given a fair shot at education. Unfortunately there are those of us [as humans] who think that women are inferior. That we need to swing the immutable religious hammer, [which was the case in this situation] and stop the march of progress. The girls were taken for nothing more than learning physics.
What is more disgusting is that the government, shortly after the abduction claimed that they had rescued all but eight of the girls. When the parents of the missing children stepped forward and called bullshit to those claims, the government quickly did a 180 and pulled the press release.
The Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden”, has been determined to be responsible for the abductions, reports suggest that the girls are being sold off to be slaves or to be married, presumably to men who have no scruples to buying a stolen girl and making her his wife.
With a story as charged as this, you would think that the media would be all over it. Did you hear this story? I wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t, with little to no media coverage in the US it seems as though most people are turning a blind eye to the issue.
The big question is why? This should be the story of the month, people should be rallying for these girls, they wanted an education, we all remember the news coverage of the girl who was shot for the same reason not too long ago.
Maybe in America we are more worried about the next top model than the welfare of people in other countries, maybe it is an issue of the general public being tired of the US trying to police the globe like we know better, or maybe it was just a slight misstep of every media outlet in the US. Whatever the reason, these events are a cold, hard, reminder that the world as a whole is definitely not conducive to progress — at least in the case of women.
Thanks to I fucking love science I was made aware of this petition at change.org and alhough [as they note], petitions are far too easy to come by, it is worth at least trying to make some sort of noise to raise awareness about the situation. Who knows, maybe if we make enough noise someone will hear us.
It doesn’t sound like help is coming, since the government says they can handle the situation by themselves. But allowing a group to get away with something like this is just giving them the power.
Think about your family, your children, your brothers or sisters — what if you lost your children simply because they wanted an education? What would you do? The truth is there isn’t a whole lot that you can do, but that doesn’t mean you should just go back to your regularly scheduled programing either.