Discuss the global challenge of gender inequality

Gender inequality is a known issue, and has been a part of society for longer than recorded human history. The suppression of women has been clear, and still is evident today in a much subtler fashion. Gender inequality obviously causes issues for the gender that is being treated unfairly, but it also hinders society’s progression as an entity.

Gender inequality is slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past, as society progresses and people realize the importance and fairness of equal rights. However, unfair treatment and discrimination still roams, especially in the undeveloped countries (for both religious and cultural reasons)

. As previously stated, gender inequality is a hindrance to society’s progression. For starters, the discrimination against one of the two genders causes an inefficient distribution of the workload, as well as a separation of powers that isn’t efficient. If the male-gender is more likely to reach high up on the career-ladder due to discrimination of their gender counterparts, the most influential people will not be the ones that are the most suited to have said influence. This causes a reduced economic growth and wealth creation, along with a society roamed by suppression of individuals. Unchallenged cultures of male dominance lead to exclusion of many women. This effectively sidelines a large portion of the world’s talent, causing society to run at decreased capacity. Source

Though it’s easy to convince oneself that only the gender at hand suffers from the discrimination against said gender, there is a lot of proof that say otherwise (Source). The gender inequality and separation causes both genders to be put in certain roles, which effectively refrains them from taking certain actions. These set gender roles cause strong female personas to get shut down, and the emotional side of men to be frowned upon. This causes women to have an overall reduced self-esteem, whilst men will refrain from showing their emotions and contacting help when they need it.

Gender inequality has a lot of different sides to it, and negatively harms both humans economic social structure and their psychological state. We’ve come a long way towards racial equality, but women and men still don’t have equal rights. Gender equality is essential in order to maximize human progression and inevitably tackle other global challenges.

 

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The film ‘’Gran Torino’’ sheds light onto a matter that tends to be avoided in the current world society. Hmong people, and other racial group for that matter, have their own culture which differs immensely from the one surrounding the area they live in. This could lead to some complications, though usually minor. However, the movie ‘’Gran Torino’’ is an attempt to raise awareness of how these cultural differences could lead to issues on a larger scale, without anyone necessarily doing anything particularly ‘’wrong’’.

  • After the attack, Walt gets a haircut and shave, gets a new suit and goes to confession. What is the significance of these actions?

This action gives the viewer a transparent view into Walt’s feelings, and how he is readying himself for the inevitable death. His actions reflect his change of heart in terms of his views on the concept of life and society. He is ready to sacrifice his own life to ensure Sue and Thao’s future safety. This directly contradicts the personality Walt seemingly had at the very beginning of the movie.

What impression does he have of his son’s family from these scenes?

Walt seems to thoroughly dislike the vast majority of his son’s family and their social behavior. You get the impression that he wishes to distance himself from his biological family, due to their ideas and ways of life being so out of line with everything Walt stands for.

  • At the end of the movie, Walt sacrifices himself for Thao’s family and the neighborhood. Why did Walt do what he did? Would he have done the same for his family? What makes or allows a person to make such a sacrifice for someone else?

Walt sacrifices his own life for Thao’s family because he wants to save them from a life living in fear of the inevitable disaster. Due to how the Hmong culture is organized, the boys to go jail whilst the girls go to college. Walt wants to save Thao from his fellow Hmong people, as well as keeping Thao’s family away from the wrath of their own culture.

It is hard to tell whether or not Walt would have done the same for his own family, especially considering the major change of heart he had throughout the movie. However, I believe he felt a closer connection to Thao and his family than he did to his own biological family. Therefore, I think it’s safe to say that Walt would go to greater lengths to protect his neighbors than he would for his own family.

  • Walt’s wife had asked the priest to get Walt to confess. Walt is resistant until the end of the movie. Why does he change his position about going to confession?

Walt has made up his mind and has decided to sacrifice himself for Thao’s family, which means he is aware that he is most likely going to die relatively soon. A confession will, according to Christian beliefs, get rid of all your sins and ensure happiness after your death. I believe Walt was simply making precautions, in case he turned out to be wrong about his own religious beliefs.

Another factor which might impact this particular matter is once again the major personality overhaul Walt underwent throughout the movie. He might feel more connected to his wife after learning about human relations from the Hmong people, which might be the reason he chooses to fulfill his wife’s last wish.

  • Walt locks Thao up. Why does he do this? Was locking him up the right thing to do?

Thao was under the impression that he and Walt were going to go over to the gang and battle it out. However, an armed battle of sorts was never Walt’s intention. Walt locked Thao up so Walt could sacrifice himself without Thao intruding or doing something that would lead to Walt dying without eye witnesses. Walt probably also wanted to keep Thao away for his own good, as Walt knew he personally had been scarred for life after seeing death and despair back when he served as a soldier in the army. Locking Thao up was the best way to ensure that things went the way Walt intended them to go.

I chose a volunteer program in Chile that works development for children at social risk. The program works to help establish a good community for children in the region, along with ensuring a positive future in terms of education and environment. I chose this program because I personally believe this particular program is working towards something that is essential to the worlds continuing progress.

I chose a school program situated in the US. It offers students a hosting family that will provide them with food and care whilst they finish their studies. This program focuses on high school and high school education, and provides a variety of different types of education all across the US. The reason I chose this one is because it had such a broad specter of opportunities, as well as reviews that upheld my expectations.

When living and studying abroad there are multiple things that could go ‘’wrong’’. This is what drives most people away from the concept of being an exchange student. ‘’Not fitting in’’ is essentially the main and possibly biggest fear that people have to face when they’re studying in a different country. There are huge cultural differences, which inevitably will lead to misunderstandings and other uncomfortable situations. However, this can be avoided (at least to a certain extent) through educating oneself on the cultural norms in advance. You could also just simply accept the situation and just kind of ‘’deal with it’’. This is the best solution, as it helps you rapidly convert into the new culture’s norms.

Chile volunteer program: http://www.ve-global.org
School program in the US: http://www.ef.no/

If you wish to read my resume, contact me personally.

Different varieties of English

The English language is spoken in every corner of the world, and its pronunciation diversity is vast. There are tons of different accents that all revolve around the same original language; English. The English language originally derives from The British Isles, but has since spread to practically every other part of the world through emigration and colonization. In this blogpost, I will cover a few of these English accents and explain what makes them unique and separates them from the rest.

Scottish English, or more specifically the Standardized Scottish English, is needless to say the English accent used and spoken in Scotland. Scottish English is essentially the result of a mix between the former language spoken in the Scottish area and English tracing back to the 16th century. Scotsmen have a very distinct accent that differs immensely from most other English accents. For instance, Scottish English has a very characteristic R-sound, not much unlike the R-sound used in Nordic countries. There are multiple phrases and words that derive from and/or are mainly used in the Scottish area. Words such as dreich (meaning dull/miserable) and drouhty (thirsty) are both typical English words that are mostly used in Scotland by Scotsmen.

Irish English also originates from The British Isles, and is another English accent that can be quite a pickle to understand in everyday speech. English was first brought to Ireland in the 12th century as a result of a Norman invasion. However, English quickly faded away in favor of Irish, and was not reintroduced before the British colonized Ireland in the 1500s. Ireland, like most of the English-speaking countries surrounding it, has a vast diversity in terms of accents. Irish English is a very broad term, due to the fact that some accents can sound near American-like whilst others have a very thick accent that can be hard for foreigners to understand. Whilst most other English languages pronounce the letter H as ‘’aytch’’, Irish English pronounces it as ‘’haitch’’. There are other differentiating characteristics as well, for instance in how the letter A is pronounced. Irish English tends to pronounce A more like an E in certain words, such as the word ‘’star’’ turning into ‘’sterr’’.

Singaporean English, or Singlish is the English accent of Singapore. Singapore is a rather small country (geographically speaking) located in Asia. Though English is one of Singapore’s official languages, the use of Singlish is heavily discouraged by the governing entities. There’s a movement to wipe out Singlish in favor of a more standardized English, as Singlish is considered low-prestige by most. Singlish is a result of the British colonization, where the people of Singapore were forced to learn English. However, after Singapore became independent from Britain, Singaporean English began living a life of its own. Elements from a variety of different Asian languages were added and built into their English language, turning it into something you could call ‘’English with heavy usage of slang’’. Singlish has elements from languages such as Malay, Cantonese, Tamil and, obviously, English. Singlish is quite different from most other English accents, due to the simple fact that it’s a result of short-termed heavy influence from other languages. Words that are Singlish-specific include but are not limited to the following:

Kena and Tio (essentially means coming in contact with someone/something. They’re used as a replacement for words such as was/got).

Lah (means ‘’just’’ in the context when you’re rushing someone to do something.)
Example: Just do it – Lah do it!

These are just some of the English accents you’ll find around the world. Every version of the English language is unique in its own way, and differs from the rest of the herd. It’s hard to define what is and isn’t English, as you no longer have a ”better” or  more”original” English to go by due to its vastness. English is the single most widespread language in terms of geography, making it the biggest and arguably most important language for years to come.

Fake News – When hatred empowers the continued creation

Over the course of the last few years, fake news has gained a lot of attention internationally. This is due to the fact that fake news has started impacting the outcome of our actions on a much higher level than before. In this particular blogpost, I will explain exactly why fake news are created, and why it’s a danger to our democracy.

Fake news is essentially just an opinionated depiction of someone turned into a story that does not comply with actual facts. They’re rarely made to put the depicted person in a good light, but rather to damage their integrity and lower their reputation. Fake news utilizes the current public portrayal of a person or group, and makes up a story that seems believable based on what the public already knows. However, these stories are based on deliberate lies. They’re tailor-made to cause upsets surrounding certain people, without the story itself differing too much from the public depiction of said people.

Now, why is this such a danger to our democracy? The reason fake news put the integrity of democracy at risk, is quite simply because it leaves so much room for individual people to greatly impact other people’s opinion. They can sway someones idea on a matter without having to convince them through well-constructed arguments and facts. Rather than having a proper discussion, someone can just construct a story that discredits the opposing view. This has an even greater influence on countries like USA where the political system only allows two parties. Instead of the two parties discussing and trying to prove the other wrong, they can choose the strategy of undermining the other instead. This inevitably leaves the country with two candidates that no one is fond of, because both sides are trying to push the other down rather than pushing themselves up.

Fake news aren’t only developed to cause upsets surrounding certain individuals, but also, like most things in today’s society, done for the money. These fake news stories are often stacked with advertisements and commercials, which means the creators gain money off of it. They’re dependent on, not only people who believe these stories, but more-so the people who don’t. When a person who believes the story sees it, they might take notice of it but generally not think much more of it. However, when a person who doesn’t believe the story sees it, they are much more prone to sharing the news story in order to warn others about publisher or the story itself. This generates a lot more money income for the creators, as someone sharing their fake news means more people are going to click on the link and see their aids. In other words, the story-creators don’t depend on people to blindly believe them, but actually rather the opposing. The hatred for fake news empowers the creation of fake news.

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It appears that the answers from the students differ greatly depending on where they’re from. The American students seem to focus more on an in depth understanding of why fake news is getting attention, whilst the Australians focus solely on how it affects them personally. The American student, Jefferson, says ‘’ Fake news is not a new concept, but has recently gotten lots of attention as a result of some of the candidates, like Donald Trump, who is now the president-elect of the United States.’’. This statement sheds light on why fake news is getting attention. The Australian student, Annabel, says ‘’ Using sources that are filled with fake news and lies contribute to creating a report or essay that is riddled with falsehoods and can change your view on your topic’’. This statement, on the other hand, revolves around the how it affects us.

KIVA

Panha lives in Cambodia, and is looking for a loan of 600$ in order to pay for his school fees. His partner risk rating highly rated, which means theres a very low risk of not getting your money back. He was born in 1996 and he lives at Kean Svey District, Kandal Province in Cambodia. He is a student and he lives with his parents. He doesn’t have enough money on hand to pay his current fees. Therefore, he spoke to his parents about it and they agreed that he would request a loan to make the payment so that he could complete his education. This loan is special because it provides children from low-income households with access to education.

Cambodia is located in South-East Asia, right next to Thailand. Cambodia is a peaceful country, however there is political tension. One of the political leaders is currently living in exile I France.

Kiva.org is a website where you can invest in other people and their work. Rather than straight up donating money to people in developing countries, you loan them money to help them out. Once they’ve used the money to invest it in themselves, they will (hopefully) pay you back.

-Ole, Frederik and Simon

Dear President-elect Donald Trump, why climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future

Climate change is the outright biggest threat to mankind that we know of today. You disagree, and I’m aware of that. However, arguing against scientifically proven facts with empty statements that aren’t backed up by factual information is merely pointless. This is why I’m writing this blogpost, in hope that you and many other devoted republicans can take a step back and widen your horizon, in order to see the matter at hand from a different perspective. A perspective that, fundamentally, does not revolve around the bold statement that climate change is a hoax solely invented by a certain group of people for economical purposes.

You and, surely, a lot of others, seem to live under the impression that climate change is nothing but a scam invented by either the Chinese or scientists. This is a fair enough assumption given the circumstances of the world we all live in today, however, you seem unable to back it up with legitimate facts. This belief that you continuously endorse has no factual basis, whilst the opposing side along with people who believe in climate change, possess facts that back up their claims. If you want to defend your views on a matter, it is a better move to boost your own credibility, rather than trying to discourage someone else’s.

Rising sea levels, worsening air conditions, CO2 emitting. These are all consequences caused by fossil fuels and has a direct correlation to climate change, and it is scientifically proven (http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/). All of these changes will (unless excessive growth is stopped, of course) inevitably cause a rapid transformation of the world as we know it today. It will cause drastic changes to the ecosystems, the food growth and the overall organizing of the coexistence of species.

One of the issues that causes the ignorance surrounding this subject is the incorrect terms that are so misleading and consistently used. There is a reason people opt to use the term ‘’climate change’’ rather than ‘’global warming’’. This is due to the fact that the term ‘’global warming’’ causes people to believe that it’s the warmth itself that is the problem at hand. If they don’t personally notice a drastic temperature change, then their automatic reaction is to jump to the conclusion that it’s not that big of a deal after all. The warmth is not the issue; the issue is the change that the climate undergoes.

In a simplified sense, climate change means that warmth is being emitted from our fossil fuel and energy usage. However, this does not mean that rising temperatures is the only thing we’re supposed to be noticing. For instance, Europe, and especially countries like Norway, rely on the gulf stream as a source for heat. Once climate change causes rising temperatures, the poles will melt and will blend in with the gulf stream, causing the heated water streams that Europe previously relied on to slowly fade. In other words, the warmth will cause lowering temperatures, which contradicts your apparent impression that you’re supposed to witness nothing but heat.

To summarize, your stance in the environmental debate is rather ignorant, not only to the existence of climate change, but also to the arguments and facts that come along with it. Climate changes does have a heavy impact on our planet, and your way of counteracting proven facts with false statements does nothing but destroy the very world we live in.

Challenges of living in a foreign culture

Cultures around the globe differ significantly in a multitude of ways. They’ve all developed in different areas with different languages and different possibilities, laying the groundwork for a variety of lifestyles that aren’t very similar in terms of ways of thinking, comprehending and communicating.

Cultural differences are vast, which is why integrating someone into a culture that they previously haven’t had any encounters with might lead to misunderstandings. The main issue lies in understanding the norms of the new culture, as that is the first step towards integrating oneself into a new society. It is excessively easy to quite simply stick to what one is used to rather than trying to change your own view on life as a whole. The beliefs that everyone shared where you came from are suddenly unheard of in your new culture. This undeniably leads to a feeling of being lost and a feeling of discomfort, which is the biggest driving force towards forfeit (giving up on the idea of integrating into the new culture).

Direct contradictions between cultures are another issue that prevents integration. In the movie, The good lie, a character Jeremiah decides to give food to someone who really needed it. Jeremiah was from Sudan and had recently moved to The United States. He worked at a supermarket and was supposed to throw away old food and replace it with new food. However, despite direct orders from his supervisor, he gave the food to a starving woman instead. To Jeremiah, this was the ethically right thing to do. His boss, on the other hand, didn’t share the same views and culture, so his focus was on the economic aspect of it. This shows the clear contradictions between cultures that have derived from very different areas with a different basis for survival. Jeremiah was used to a culture of cooperation, where people worked together to survive. The owner of the supermarket grew up in the US in a time where food had never been scarce. His focus was on making the most money, which was considered much more essential in the US culture than the Sudanese culture.

-Written by Ole and Leon

My advice to the minister of education

It is evident that technology can be a huge advantage in terms of learning and tutoring. However, in today’s schools with the current systems the teachers and students are unable to use it to its full effect. This is because the technological utilities are not optimized to its full potential, nor are they designed with user-friendliness as a top priority. This causes frustration among both the students and the teachers, and makes it hard for them to bother putting time and effort into learning it properly. Therefore, I would personally recommend that instead of putting work into finding new ways to complicate the variety of technology that can be applied to schools, the effort should be focused on making the technology easier and more user-friendly.

-Written by Ole and Frederik

News Broadcasting – Republicans vs. Democrats

In the US, news broadcasting differs significantly from how it is arranged in Norway. American news networks and newspapers often have their own stance in political matters, and are not afraid to reveal it. Therefore, there are certain news sources that will focus on showing what’s good about one political side, whilst degrading the other. This blogpost will give you a quick overview over what kind of political stance the different news sources have, which can help you avoid being persuaded by biased one-sided news broadcasting.

Fox News
Fox News is a news network that launched in 1996 and is a self-proclaimed neutral news broadcaster. Though they deny bias in news reporting, the vast majority of the public struggle to believe that they aren’t biased towards the republican side. Fox News is known to be the biggest supporter of Donald Trump as far as networks go, as well as deliberately working against Hilary Clinton and her campaign. Their articles are fairly one-sided, and are seemingly written in an attempt to blow up any negatives about Hilary Clinton whilst suppressing anything that puts Donald Trump in a bad light.

CNN
CNN is another American news network, which launched in 1980. They strives towards keeping a high level of neutrality in their news reporting, and unlike with Fox News, the public commonly approves CNN as a neutral broadcaster. Their articles try to keep a non-biased stance without leaving out essential information. The way they write articles revolve around neutrality, which makes it easier for the reader to receive information about both sides of the case. However, this also leaves out the ability to convey convincing arguments in the article, which could remove certain aspects of news sharing.

The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post is an American newspaper that puts its focus towards supporting left-winged politics. They’re known for news casting that heavily promotes democratic political views, and was originally launched as a counterpart for the right-winged newspaper ‘’Drudge Report’’. Their articles are biased towards the democrats and Hilary Clinton, and attempts counteract Donald Trump and his political stance.

Drudge Report
Drudge Report is a politically conservative newspaper that backs up under the republicans and Donald Trump. Drudge Report is known for not necessarily being factually correct and choosing a good story over accurate and correct journalism. They have a story of misinterpreting stories and even fabrication, which questions whether they can be used as a factual news source. Drudge Report has been defined as ‘’a conservative news aggregator’’, and that definitely comes into play in their articles. Their written news reports are heavily biased towards the republicans, whilst also pushing down the democratic views.

The media and their view on the candidates and their spouses
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both have each their respective spouse, in Melania Trump and Bill Clinton. Due to the fact that Bill Clinton is a former president, the media portrays Hilary as someone who shares the same values and ideals as him. Bill Clinton was renowned for being a popular and highly rated president, which makes a large impact on both the media’s along with the public’s view on Hillary and her stance.

Melania Trump is a former model who, unlike Bill Clinton, does not solely boost her spouse’s reputation in the presidential debate. Melania is originally from Slovenia, in other words she is not ethnically speaking an ‘’American’’. The media tends to use this particular piece of information to target Trump, since his choice of wife contradicts his view on American immigration and his stance on foreigners coming to the US. Those who are not in favor of Trump seem to hold his wife’s mistakes and wrongdoings against him, more so than with Hillary and Bill Clinton. For instance, she allegedly nearly ripped off Michelle Obama’s speech according to people who are not in favor of Trump’s campaign.