PPES Peace Quilt at Godwin-Ternbach Museum

07 December 2008

In June we wrote about Dr. Rikki Asher, Director of Art Education at CUNY at Queens College and PPES volunteer, and her Peace Quilt project. (You can view the post here.) The PPES peace quilt will go on display next week as Dr. Asher curates an exhibit called Power to the Peaceful: Peace Quilts from Around the World at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum . Dr. Asher's Peace Quilt project begun several years ago at PPES has since grown and now includes the Human Rights and Social Justice Quilt and the Mandala Peace Quilt, among others.

The exhibit at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum opens on December 15th (this Monday!) with a reception that features a gallery talk by Dr. Asher followed by traditional Indian music at 6-7:30pm.

For the full article, visit the CUNY News Wire, here. The museum website can be found here.

We hope to see you at the Museum!


In related news, Wellesley College has a podcast of Economist Ann Velenchik's talk on "Girls' Schooling in the Developing World." With an economist's eye, Professor Velenchik examines the question "Why do girls get less schooling?", concluding that while it may be economically rational for individual families to keep their daughters at home, as a society it is a socially disastrous decision that negatively impacts not only this generation of women, but also future generations of children of both genders.

The podcast may be found through Wellesley's Itunes U frontpage at http://itunes.wellesley.edu/. The link will take you to the Itunes store; once there, the Professor Velenchik's lecture can be found in the Talks subcategory of the Faculty Presentations section.

A selection of Professor Velenchik's arguments are reproduced below:

On why daughters are kept home:

To the extent that daughters are better substitutes for their mothers ...than sons are for their fathers in labor market activity, we'll see girls in school less. And since in agricultural activity men's activities depend on physical strength in a way women's activities do not - so if you have a farm household and it's his job, the husband's job, to plow and clear and the wife's job to weed, the daughter can fill in for her mother in a way the son cannot fill in for his father. So little girls' time is valuable inside the household and little boys' time not so much.

On the immediate economic benefits (or lack thereof) of educating a daughter:

Another thing it depends on is the number of years the returns are earned by the household and that often brings us to patterns of behavior post-marriage. If you have a daughter and you educate her and she gets married and she goes to live with her husband's family and her income accrues to her husband's family, you have basically invested in nothing. ... If you invest in your son and he gets married and stays with you and takes care of you in your old age...then you have invested in social security, in essence. And so, to the extent that women provide income back to their families for shorter periods than men, because they move in with their husband's families, because they leave the labor force when they have children ... women's education may be a less good bet than men's. That has nothing to do with parents' affection for their children, it has nothing to do with social discrimination against women, it has to do with the reality of the way women behave and how that different from men behave.

On the flaw of rational and purely economic considerations in educating women:

And that, therefore, a rational decision process leads you to have more education for your sons than for your daughter's. The problem, as an economist, is that those rational, individual household level decisions lead to an outcome that we thing quite clearly is socially bad. That is, each parent rationally deciding to send his son to four more years of school than his daughter accumulates a process where women on average are much less educated than men, which makes it harder for them to compete and participate in the labor market, which produces higher rates of infant mortality and poorer maternal health than we would want as a society, so the question is how do we intervene? What do we do to alter that decision pattern? And the answer turns out to be really quite easy.

... If you think about girls' schooling as being the result of an economic decision, then the answer is an economic policy. We want mom's to send their kids to school, we have to make sending your kid to school cheaper or more beneficial. You have to change balance of cost and benefits. If you think about girls' schooling as a values issue, then we tend to come up with policies about requiring girls to go to school. Well, you know, if you can barely enforce any of the rest of your laws, you're not enforcing girls' truancy laws either.