TYO Recommends: Friday, April 6

Despite the heralded strides of the modern age, women around the world still encounter a variety of glass ceilings at home, at work, in art, and in school. TYO investigates where these ceilings exist and efforts to break through.

In Borrowed Robes. For many families in Afghanistan, particularly of the well-to-do variety, the practice of Bacha Posh, or dressing young girls and boys until they reach WOMANHOOD, is alarmingly commonplace. Despite concerns by organizations like the Balkh Human Rights Commission, which maintains that the practice violates the human rights of the would-be women, families prefer the prestige male offspring offer. For children like Mehran Rafhat, it is part of a peculiar coming-of-age story that begs the question of when femininity will not be associated with ignominy in Afghan households.

Hope is the thing with feathers. Two hugely important projects right now are taking flight and bestowing hope on the women of the West Bank. The Palestinian Women’s Project is an online VISUAL MUSEUM combining photography, collage, and interviews that explore the social and political situation of Palestinian women and offer a helpful counter to the portrayals of these women in Western media. Also, in spite of the economic instability of the West Bank, due in large part to the lingering global recession, efforts like those shown in the following video by UNRWA give these women hope and the promise of progress in otherwise vulnerable situations.

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Tough Times? Tough Luck. According to Alexandra Shulman, editor of Vogue magazine, women have it TOUGH, especially in these trying economic times. “If you take time out and have children, it does damage your [career] trajectory in some way,” she maintains. She furthers this claim in her interview with the Observer, stating that there’s not much to be done about it. The UK's Guardian vehemently disagrees, citing lulls in the battle against women's regression in the workplace.

Art Breaching Boundaries. In Uganda, women are hitting a different kind of glass ceiling. Internationally, Ugandan women artists—painters, sculptors, authors, and the like-- are encountering great success in the ART INDUSTRY and on the global market . At home, a different story comes to the fore with many women struggling to gain recognition, let alone fame. We News investigates what might be the culprit.

Bikes for Bihar. The International Growth Centre in Bihar, India sponsors a research program with researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the University of Connecticut to investigate the educational impact and community reverberations of offering 14-year-old girls the money to purchase bicycles.

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Schoolhouse Thoughts. Students know all too well that butterfly feeling building inside them as the first signs of spring start to take hold—exam anxiety. Well, it’s exam time in Palestine and around the world, so TYO shares some thoughts on how to revamp standard studying practices to reflect more self-taught LEARNING that actually sticks. Don’t believe us? Just check out the video! And if your beloved little ones still can’t sit still long enough to make it through these tips, don’t jump to peg their RESTLESSNESS as the excessively leaned-upon ADHD. In the last decade diagnoses have risen by 66%, but is the illness really that prevalent? Or do environment and expectations carry weight?

Youth Unite in Washington. In case you missed it, TYO volunteers and translators Mohammad and Jamila rubbed elbows with former President Bill Clinton at last weekend’s 5th Annual Clinton Global Initiative University CONFERENCE series held in Washington, DC. Young university students from around the world joined the forum to share ideas and highlight efforts by youth to support their local communities with outstanding grassroots projects. During the annual service project, the TYO volunteers were able to strike a few poses with Clinton and daughter Hilary before the fabulous weekend came to a close!

And just in time for our Racing the Planet 50k in 50 Days Fundraiser with racer Usama Malik, the World Food Programme releases  its Food Security and Market Monitoring Report on the West Bank and Gaza, emphasizing the role of proper NUTRITION, diet, and exercise in the region.