Everywhere But Home

Yesterday I had a fascinating conversation with the director of the Erdenet Children’s Palace regarding sexism in education and the way it affects Mongolian family dynamics. The Children’s Palace is the seat of this aimag’s branch of the Department of Children and Family Development (that’s a loose translation); essentially, it’s a youth center, offering classes in music, art, dancing, and wrestling, hosting competitions and plays, and providing a number of other services. It’s also where I’m taking music lessons in exchange for helping their director with her English. During yesterday’s lesson, we read and discussed a Time for Kids article on Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old Pakistani girl who was attacked by the Taliban last year for her women’s rights activism. We talked about how the  Taliban doesn’t believe women should be educated, or indeed do anything besides keep house and have children. As far as I’ve seen, that’s the effect…

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