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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Investigating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Africa, Afghanistan
Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12
Environment, Foreign Language, Health, Language Arts & Literature, Science, Social Studies & Geography

These teaching suggestions are designed to support interdisciplinary exploration of domestic and global gender equality. They may be used on their own or to extend students’ learning from the WebQuest Reducing the Global Gender Gap.

World Economic Forum - Global Gender Gap




Health: View the slide show Healthy Girls, Healthy Villages by Peace Corps Volunteer Vivian Nguyen. How do you think informal education opportunities, such as Camp GLOW, can make a difference in the health of women and girls? Why do you think the gender-specific camp format was successful? Create a plan for a camp or workshop that could address a health issue that is important for girls in the U.S. to learn about.

Social Studies: View the slide show New Opportunities for Women , by Peace Corps Volunteer Liz Lowe. In a country like Costa Rica, where women are relatively well-represented in leadership roles including the presidency, why do you think there are still barriers to women's full economic participation? What political, cultural, and historical factors do you think play a role? How does this compare and contrast with the situation in the United States?

Foreign Language: View the slide show Oportunidades Nuevas para Mujeres by Peace Corps Volunteer Liz Lowe. Choose one of the women highlighted in the slide show. Create a list of 5-10 interview questions you would want to ask the woman about her life and experiences.

Language Arts: Read the story Girl Farmer , by Peace Corps Volunteer Angela (Rich) George. Discuss how the author describes cultural norms related to gender and work in her host community. How would you have felt in the author's position? Write about a time when you witnessed or experienced gender-based assumptions. Use descriptive language to illustrate the setting, characters, and sequence of events.

Science: Read the story Angel by Barbara Arrington, about a young woman in South Africa, living with AIDS. Then read about gender inequalities and HIV on the World Health Organization's website . What suggestions would you make to reduce HIV transmission in areas of the world where women are disproportionately affected? 

Frameworks & Standards

Enduring Understandings

  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment influence numerous global issues.
  • Globally, there is a persistent gender gap in the areas of economic participation, education, health, and political empowerment.
  • Gender equality issues vary across cultural contexts.
Essential Questions
  • What are the major challenges to addressing the gender gap?
  • How can you help promote gender equality?
  • Why is it important to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment?

National Science Education Standards

  • Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
  • Personal and community health

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies

  • Thematic Strand IX: Global Connections
  • Use maps, charts, and databases to explore patterns and predict trends regarding global connections at the community, state, or national level
  • Explore the causes, consequences, and possible solutions related to persistent, current, and emerging global issues

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts

  • Reading: Informational Text
    • Craft and structure: Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints
  • Writing
    • Text types and purposes: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

National Standards for Foreign Language Learning

  • Communication
    • Standard 1.2:  Understand and interpret written and spoken language  
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