In this video series, host Pashtana Durrani, Afghan human rights activist and visiting scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women, interviews activists and researchers in girls’ education from around the world. She celebrates the diverse backgrounds and accomplishments of these female researchers as they challenge stereotypes and highlight education for girls and women as an important vehicle for driving social change. Guests discuss some of their research findings and offer advice for girls—or anyone—looking to get into their fields.

Video 1: Educating Girls in Afghanistan with Pashtana Durrani, Human Rights Activist

From teaching girls English in her refugee camp as a child to founding LEARN, a non-profit that makes education available to girls in Afghanistan who don’t have access to schools, Pashtana Durrani talks about the subconscious upbringing that led to her career advocating for girls' education, in Afghanistan and worldwide.

Video 2: Youth, Media & Wellbeing with Dr. Linda Charmaraman, Senior Research Scientist at Wellesley College

Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D., senior research scientist and director of the Youth, Media & Wellbeing Research Lab at WCW, talks about navigating new territories as a first-generation immigrant and college student, dealing with rejection, and her research findings: It's not necessarily the technology that's the bad influence, it's how you use it.

Video 3: Fighting Violent Extremism with Education with Hauwa Ibrahim, International Human Rights Lawyer

Growing up in a small village called Hinna in eastern Nigeria, Visiting Scholar Hauwa Ibrahim became educated by accident. It was also by accident that she became an international human rights and Sharia law attorney and an assistant professor in over two dozen countries across five continents, including Harvard Divinity School. In this interview, she discusses her research on gender justice and Islam, working with the mothers of ISIS leaders, and the motivation behind why she does what she does.

Video 4: Human Rights Research with Heather Barr, Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch

Heather Barr of Human Rights Watch joins Pashtana Durrani to discuss how following her passion led to her work researching girls’ education, women's access to health care, child marriage, and online gender-based violence in countries across the world. They bust some myths about girls' education in Afghanistan and beyond, and Heather offers advice for anyone looking to enter the world of human rights activism and research.

Video 5: Tackling Structural Inequality with Nazan Bedirhanoglu, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Political Science

Wellesley College Post-Doctoral Fellow Nazan Bedirhanoglu, Visiting Lecturer in Peace and Justice Studies, joins her colleague Pashtana Durrani to talk about getting politically aware at a young age, and the opportunities for indigenous changemaking in Turkey and Afghanistan. Nazan discusses how Kurdish women inspired her career pathway and her current projects, including how patent protection impacted global access to COVID vaccines.

Video 6: Social and Emotional Learning Technology with Kavindya Thennakoon, Learning Experience Designer

Kavindya Thennakoon (Wellesley College Class of 2019) was born and raised in a close-knit community in Deraniyagala, Sri Lanka, which sparked her passion to bridge the educational divide that she saw firsthand. Now a learning experience designer building products that have reached over one million learners, Kavi utilizes emerging technologies and game design to make social and emotional learning accessible for every child, everywhere. In this episode of Summer School: Gender Equity in Education, she and Pashtana Durrani talk about why and how we can tackle large-scale social problems by educating kids ages 5-10.

Video 7: Education and Conflict with Dana Burde, Director of International Education at NYU

Political scientist Dana Burde, Ph.D., talks about her research on the interconnections between education and political violence. She discusses her mission to promote social justice and equity for all, and busts common myths about conflict-affected countries, Islam, and education.

July 10, 2022

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