Solution for Patriarchal Societies: Malala’s Father’s TED Talk

As an independent American woman, understanding the meaning of patriarchy and a female being obedient towards her male counterparts is a difficult concept to grasp.

Malala’s father suggests a radical solution; to change societal norms is to break away from old family traditions.  He says he is proud of his daughter; he encourages her to be strong headed and to ask questions.  He enrolled her in school—uncommon for many girls in Malala’s community, and not only is he giving his daughter the gift of education and knowledge, but he is inspiring and challenging a community to change their cultural norms.

Readers I ask you: How do you think his message could transcend to Arab cultures like Jordan?   Do you agree with him or is it silly to question and challenge family traditions and cultural norms?

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2 thoughts on “Solution for Patriarchal Societies: Malala’s Father’s TED Talk

  1. The only way to freedom in a society is through education. In the Cuban poet Jose Marti’s words: “Ser Culto para Ser Libre.” By educating women we can cure most of the “ills” of the world. I trully respect Malala’s father for having the foresight to educate his daughter at what ever cost. If liberating women to be educated is breaking “cultural norms and traditions” then be it! Those cultures will be better off when women become the equal educated counterparts to men. At the same time, we will also cure the iliteracy rate troughout the world. When we educate women, we educate the rest of society. Language transcends through women. A society propers through education.

  2. Here are some comments by some peers about Patriarchy:

    I also push back against the notion of transcontinental solutions to anything. Activism depends on cultural context. Islamic feminism isnt the same as black feminism which isnt the same as white feminism. Freedom, is not black and white, and differs among people
    This is not to mention (in the States) the problems of Western feminism – often relatable only to white women, often Islamophobic, often inaccesible to women of colour and low-income women
    maybe the solution is transcontinental, but it can take a huge variety of forms. Think of Islamic feminism
    but also arguing that some of the cultural norms of Jordan cannot be empowering for women that live here, depending on their views and beliefs and philosophies, is an incredibly one-sided, and Western-oriented view on what patriarchy means and how women and men interact with it
    i had this argument earlier last term – we are not arguing that patriarchy and sexism do not exist in the middle east. it definitely does. but it is NEVER acceptable to downplay the levels of sexism and patriarchy in the united states. doing so perpetuates the idea that Western culture doesn’t have flaws in gender relations and only the “Rest” do
    doesn’t matter the severity and intensity of the patriarchy is what i am looking at and i am saying that the solution is transcontinental
    it’s a completely different culture and not in the same geographical region
    To these comments:
    I basically say that I am not looking at this solution as the end-all, be-all, But—if you watched the video—you will realize that this was a possible solution for cultural norms that could possible transcend across cultures. I also want to point out that I was referring to myself when I talked about being an independent American woman that cannot grasp patriarchy. Ofcourse the comment was correct the US does have patriarchy but the intensity and severity of it is completely different around the world.
    In addition, the solution to this cultural issue, may have an international solution. Look at the UN’s efforts http://www.un.org/en/development/devagenda/gender.shtml to internationally create civil rights laws. These are solutions in developed and developing countries because issues with sexual harassment, domestic abuse, abortion, and divorce happen everywhere!

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