Naceem writes about studying to become a doctor and how gender discrimination limits girls in her community.
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3 October 2019 | Volume 2, Issue 7
  A note from our editor:
In the latest instalment of our series Roll Call, 19-year-old Naceem takes us through a week in her life as a medical student in Morocco. She describes the gender discrimination she faces at the hospital and in her home. She writes about caring for her patients and her love of her studies. And she reflects on her hopes for girls and women in her home country.

You could be featured in Roll Call next! Use our submission form to tell us about your life and community.

Also in this issue, girls from Nigeria, Suriname, Argentina and Morocco share their favourite things about themselves. 19-year-old Tiyi Ayeva explains how she is helping Japanese students initiate conversations about gender-based harassment. And we highlight the work of architecture student and illustrator Kathleen Fu, who draws all things urban and landscape. Once you see her work, you’re going to want to give her a follow!

Enjoy reading.

Roll Call
A week in the life of a 19-year-old medical student in Morocco


هذه المقالة متاحة أيضًا باللغة العربية.

Meet Naceem.

Age: 19
Country of residence: Morocco
My favourite subject at school: Mathematics
The last thing that made me laugh: My sister’s joke
My dream job: A doctor
I’m currently listening to: “Allein” by C ARMA
My favourite item of clothing: A floral dress
My worst habit: Getting angry pretty fast
The last book I read: “Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green
I’m inspired by: Strong independent women

Today is my favorite day of the week. I sometimes find myself unable to understand why Mondays are so unappreciated by most people. To me, Monday is synonymous with a new beginning and allows me to have a fresh new start.

Anyways, like every morning, I went to the university hospital to do my training shift as a medical student. Today was a little bit disturbing because I had an argument with the attending resident. I announced to him my aim to become a surgeon and he replied that as future wives and mothers, women should adjust their careers accordingly. Busy, important careers are only for men. That is a common mentality in my country. Even if you’re highly educated, if you are a woman, you will always be seen as nothing more than a housekeeper and a procreation machine.

I was really happy to see a new patient this morning. As always, I struggled to learn her age because she can’t read, she wasn’t registered when she was born and she can’t remember which year she was born. Finally, after finding her identity card, I got all I needed. She was an 80-year-old female named Fatima [name changed for confidentiality]. Like Fatima, 42% of Moroccan women suffer from illiteracy and are deprived of their right to education.

When I asked Fatima about the reason behind her illiteracy, she shared, “Because schools are so far away from the villages and the males won’t let the girls go out alone. They say girls are better off staying home, taking care of the cows and the cleaning.”

Read more.
Around the world 
  What is your favourite thing about yourself?

Hauwa “That I don't hold grudges. I also really love the fact that I'm so passionate about girl child education. Where I come from, about 55% of girls are out of school. I believe that a single voice can make a difference.”
— Hauwa, 19, Nigeria
“I like that I truly do everything with love and my heart, because I was taught to do so by my parents.”
— Aimée, 20, Suriname
Sofia “That I try to look at the positive side of everything and face it with a smile. Also, my hair!”
— Sofia, 15, Argentina
“I would say that one of my favorite things about myself is who I choose to surround myself with. The people around me resonate with joy and encourage me to become a better person every day. I wish for everyone to be blessed with an entourage that will support them to become the best possible version of themselves.”
— Salma, 20, Morocco

Student essay
Gender discrimination is practically nonexistent in the Japanese vocabulary — I’m working to change that.
Gender discrimination in Japan
  By Tiyi Ayeva

I've been living in Japan for almost seven years and have fallen in love with so many aspects of Japanese society. The architecture (particularly Tadao Ando), the deep respect that people have for their elders, how much they care about manners. But there is one part of Japanese society I can't wrap my head around: how Japanese women are treated in the workplace.

I discovered this issue as a child. When I moved to Japan at the age of 10, my mother was the only working mother in my class and could not attend many school events, which were scheduled during the daytime. I began to ask myself and others why there were so many stay-at-home mothers. It was then that I learned about the unfortunate reality of working as a Japanese woman.

A recent poll revealed that three-fourths of Japanese companies have no female senior executives and the vast majority say women account for less than 10% of management. Because of familial and social pressures, women often quit their jobs after they have their first child. There are many cases of workplace sexual harassment, which serves as a deterrent for women to continue working.

Read more.
Artist spotlight
Kathleen Fu
  Kathleen Fu is an architecture student and illustrator from Toronto, Canada. She likes experimenting with isometric drawing to capture cities, landscapes and intimate moments of urban life. In her free time, she enjoys attending events in Toronto, going to film festivals and travelling.
Kathleen Fu
Get published in Assembly!
  Assembly publishes original work by girls, for girls. And we would love to include your voice! Send us your ideas and you could be featured in the next issue.
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