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Production, reproduction, and empowerment: The future of women in Africa

A-Level Year 2 Economics students joined a lecture and discussion at the Oxford Martin School in on the Future for Women in Africa. The Martin School at the University of Oxford is a world-leading center of pioneering research that addresses global challenges.

The session was led by two expert academics, Professor Jo Boyden, Director of Young Lives and Professor Sandra Fredman, Director of the Oxford Human Rights Hub. The discussion covered a very wide range of subjects including recognition of unpaid domestic labor, the value of education for young men and women the issue of women’s rights in Africa. Students were able to link the event to the Development Economics they are currently doing in A-Level Economics.

Juhyun Rori Kim, from South Korea, A-Level Year 2 student: “It was interesting to see how development process in Africa, especially Ethiopia, is different from development process in South Asia that I have learnt before and the different obstacles they face. Furthermore, it gave me the grasp of how practice is much more difficult than just theory. I had never thought that education can affect negatively on society in some ways. It was really an amazing presentation.”

Christabel Diva Tony, from Indonesia, A-Level Year 2 student: “It was a brilliant talk: well researched and informative. The talk also gave me some information about how education is not always positively affecting the economy. For example, girls are being educated in Ethiopia using time and resources but they do not utilize the education that they have gained staying at home doing mundane housework. This means waste of resources at the end, which is negative to the economy.”

Fatimah Ibrahim, from Nigeria, A-Level Year 2 student: “One of the most interesting things we discovered was how natural disasters affected the number of early marriages in Ethiopia. It was interesting to see a connection between two things that seem unrelated. It was also good to know that school is often seen as a barrier to better work rather than a force for progression into work.”

All in all, this was a very stimulating experience that we can all gain from in a deeper understanding of Development Economics and the potential contribution that women can make to the development process if they have access to quality education and employment opportunities. Just another great example of the opportunities EF Academy Oxford students have to engage with the academic life of the university!

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