Perceptions Post-Simulation Activity

This simulation has showed me how easily we can misjudge a different culture simply because of lack of knowledge. The adjectives we used to describe the other cultures were based on our one-sided view coming from our own cultures. I believe the main purpose behind this simulation was to show us how we need to become more open-minded so we are able to interact with different cultures. Since we have become a more global society and economy, it is almost essential we become accustomed to others’ traditions.

Perceptions both affect relationships between countries, but at other times they are ignored.  The biggest shift in perspective towards a country happened in 9/11. The US almost instantly changed their foreign policies involving not only the terrorists but also the entire Middle East. This change in perception was sudden, but it affected the political relations between America and the Middle East greatly. However, sometimes stereotypes and perceptions are ignored. For example, French people are normally deemed rude, especially towards Americans. However, this has very little significance in the economic relations between these two countries. The United States is France’s largest trading partner, other than the European Union taken as a whole. France is United States’ third-largest trading partner in Europe.

All in all, perceptions do play a role in global relations, but in order to become a successful global society, we must be able to keep an open mindset and accept others’ cultures and customs.

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Education for Developing Countries and Girls

Education is something we take almost for granted in the United States.

Symbol of Education

Symbol of Education

However, in many developing countries it is a blessing to get an education. It is even more difficult for girls to go to school because of the gender gap in many of these countries. The reason education is such a major issue in the world today is because the number of people between the age of 15 and 24 is at an all time high. In fact, in 2010 young people accounted for almost one-sixth of the population. Even though we should push to educate all these people, one in five young people from ages 15-24 in 123 low-and-middle income countries have never received primary education, and therefore lack fundamental skills. However, according to a UN report, secondary education is the greatest challenge for developing countries.

sub-Saharan Africa

sub-Saharan Africa

In sub- Saharan Africa there is only room in schools for 36% of all the children of secondary school age. Girls are still the first to suffer from the shortage of secondary school places. For every 100 boys in Kenya only 70 girls complete primary school.  That ratio drops even lower for lower secondary school where for every 100 boys there are only 48 girls who complete that stage of education. Of the more than one hundred million children in the world without access to primary schooling, 60 percent are girls, and in countries like Afghanistan, Niger, Nepal, and Yemen, female literacy is less than half that of males.

Education for girls is not an option, it is a necessity. Studies have shown that educated mothers are able to keep their kids healthier. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, children whose mothers have more than seven years of schooling have less than half the under-5 mortality rate of the children of uneducated mothers. Why are these girls not able to receive an education? The main reason for the lack of education for girls is cultural. Many girls receive verbal and physical abuse just for wanting to have an education and more options for their future than just becoming a wife and a mother. Even though there is still a need for an improvement, we have improved greatly in the last 20 years. More people have started wanting an education. 80% of young people apply for a primary education and 60% complete it.  We have come a long way, but it will still be a long time till we can provide education for everybody.

Extra Information

Why girl’s education is Important –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY0QXkYKXXQ

General Information about Girl’s Education-

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/uncategorized/time-for-school-essay-girls-education-in-developing-countries-mind-the-gap/1612/

http://www.ungei.org/

General Information about Education in Developing Countries-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/oct/25/developing-countries-secondary-education-challenge\

Pollution and Impact of Cars

Living in Houston, we see and use cars almost every day. They are one of the main types of transportation used in our community. However, every time we drive our car to a different place, we are actually emitting hazardous greenhouse gasses that are causing global warming and ozone depletion. Not only are these pollutants affecting the planet, they are hurting the people living in it, too.  Some air pollutants affect the respiratory, immune, reproductive, and neurological systems of animals. Other pollutants are major contributors to acid rain, which harm the soil, the waterways, and the organisms that live in them. In some cities where cars are constantly used, you can see the effect of air pollution just by looking at the sky at night. Smog is apparent in many big cities and is a result of air pollution.

However, cars do not only pollute when they are in use, but also while they are being made and disposed. When cars are being made, hundreds of gallons of gasoline are put in to the process. That is not even the worst part. The reason the manufacture of cars is so environmentally harmful is because of the individual parts of the car that are needed. The environmental impact begins with mineral extraction and go on to the air pollution from the machines that process them. There is also a release of toxic substances when the car is distributed.

Cars also harm the Earth while they are being disposed.  Many cars are left in scrap yards and “cherry-picked” for important parts that can still be used then left to rot. Others are crushed without being depolluted first, causing lead, nickel, and other toxic chemicals to leak into the Earth and cause significant environmental damage. We can all prevent this from happening by carpooling or taking public transportation, causing less emission. You can also recycle your car and prevent it from rotting and harming the soil around it. We all have a responsibility to do this because this is our planet and we will be living and driving in it.