Gender & Culture

5 Dec

      Earlier this semester, I attended a photographic exhibit entitled Her Story.  The exhibit was comprised of 36 photographs of girls up to the age of eighteen.  The photos were placed throughout the Powerscout Centre and were strategically positioned to draw comparisons between Irish and African girls.  Every photograph was accompanied by each girl’s unique story.  As I went throughout the exhibit I made sure to read the majority of stories so that I could connect to the young girl in the photograph and see them as a person as opposed to just a face.  The exhibit highlighted the struggles that young girls face today, especially in underdeveloped areas like Sierra Leone.  The exhibit aimed to “empower young woman all around the world” and to bring light to issues young girls experience today such as gender discrimination and assault.

      After I walked throughout the exhibit, I attended a talk that included Laura Whitmore and Cherie Blair.  The two women discussed Plan Ireland, which is associated with the exhibit.  Plan Ireland aims to help women all across the world and provide them with an education that they are denied.  I was shocked to learn that today, there are 66 million women who have been refused schooling simply because they are a girl.  This exhibit helped me realize that while The United States and Ireland have different cultures, they are similar in their steps toward equality for women.  Men and women alike have realized over the past fifty years the discrimination and unfair treatment that woman have experienced solely due to their gender.  While Ireland, the United States, and other countries are still in the process of establishing absolute equality between genders, Her Story made me realize how fortunate I am to have the option to attend a university everyday.

      People of all ages attended the photography exhibit.  While attending the talk, the room was crammed with people who were eager to learn more about how they could help and participate in the cause.  The young Irish girls featured in the photography exhibit attended the opening as well.  I am so happy I had the opportunity to attend the photography exhibit because I was able to immerse myself into Irish art and culture.  By exposing all genders, cultures, and ages to the discrimination that people face today, as opposed to ignoring it, we are able to face these issues and deal with them head on to create a brighter future for all.



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