One month after their abduction, nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls are still waiting to be rescued. Considered ransom by Islamic radicals Boko Haram (loosely translated as “non-Muslim teaching is forbidden”), the girls are being kept in exchange for the release of convicted militants held by the Nigerian government.
Boko Haram’s tactics follow a strategic pattern of gender-based violence and mass kidnappings that has plagued Nigeria for years. Once satisfied to attack security forces, extremists descended upon villages, causing locals to take resistance into their own hands.
News of the insurgency has paled in comparison to a more universal narrative: the story of courageous women fighting for their education. Just before Mother’s Day weekend, First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted a picture of herself holding a sign that read “#BringBackOurGirls.” In a televised address last Saturday, the First Lady said she was “outraged and heartbroken” about “grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls.”
The situation has underscored the challenges faced by women in policy-making, education and human rights. Familiarize yourself with the issues in these magazines.
#BRINGBACKOURGIRLS by Frederique Rapier: Gender-based violence has long been a key component of extremism. This magazine shows how women are used as instruments of terrorism in both Nigeria and abroad.
Womens Rights by kat: From child marriages to equal pay, take a look at how women are fighting for their rights on all frontiers.
Nigeria Context by Bakbash: Religious, economic, and political tensions have been escalating in Nigeria for some time. See how Boko Haram is but one of the country’s looming threats.
Inspiring Women by Nazneen Rahman: First Lady Michelle Obama, Pakistani anti-Taliban activist Malala Yousafzai, and women’s rights advocate Ayaan Hirsi Ali are all women who overcame difficulties to become leaders. For examples of their work and the work of women like them, check out this magazine.
Feminism by Alexandra Garner: Being a feminist means caring about the fair treatment of women. In some places, the challenges are systemic. See what’s being done about it in this magazine.
Gender Equality by Malliga Och: Slowly but surely, the gender gap is beginning to close. As this magazine proves, however, there’s still plenty of work to do.