We’ll tell you whether you should consider a job in engineering, film, technology or something else!
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Assembly

21 February 2019 | Volume 1, Issue 16
  A note from our editor:
Online quizzes are everywhere. Tell us your shoe size and we’ll guess your favourite dessert. Rank these literary villains and we’ll reveal your personality type. I’ll admit it: I pretty much always click on these links. And based on their popularity, I bet I’m not alone.

Which is why Assembly decided to get in on the action with our own quiz: the Full Force career quiz. And it is 🔥! Answer a few simple questions, we’ll match you with your dream career AND recommend an Assembly article about that field.

At Malala Fund, we know that the world works better when girls go to school. Through our Full Force campaign, we’re making sure that every girl learns the skills she needs for her future. You’ll hear more about this in the next issue of Assembly (hint: it’s themed!), but for now, enjoy taking this quiz.

Also in this issue, we sit down with Tabata Claudia Amaral de Pontes, one of Brazil’s youngest elected officials, to learn about her journey into politics. Girls from Chile, Germany, India and Turkey tell us what they do for fun. Ph.D. student İlayda Eskitaşçıoğlu writes about her work to help thousands of agricultural workers in Turkey access clean sanitary products. And two student illustrators discuss their recent Instagram project that confronted stereotypes about girls.

Enjoy this issue and taking the Full Force career quiz! Don’t forget to share your results on Twitter and tag @MalalaFund — we’ll be commenting on our favourite posts!




Giveaway
Take this quiz and we’ll match you with your dream career.
 
 
Q&A
 
 
 
From the south end of São Paulo to the halls of the National Congress: Meet one of Brazil's youngest elected officials
Tabata Claudia Amaral de Pontes
 
  By Bhumika Regmi

One of Brazil’s youngest elected officials has a message for girls: “these places are for us, too.”

Tabata Claudia Amaral de Pontes grew up in Vila Missionária, a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of São Paulo. Her father was a bus fare collector and her mother was a house cleaner. As a girl, Tabata didn’t imagine a political career for herself. “No one in my family went to high school. I was raised doing embroidery and thought that’s what I would always do — like anyone else around me,” she explains.

That trajectory changed when Tabata competed in a middle school math olympiad at the encouragement of her teacher. She was awarded a life-changing scholarship and went on to become the first in her family to graduate high school and one of few women in her community to attend college (to study astrophysics and government at that).

Last October, the constituents of São Paulo elected Tabata to National Congress as a Deputada Federal (Federal Deputy). At just 24 years old, she received the sixth most votes in the state.

I spoke to Tabata about her journey into politics, her experience being a young female leader and the importance of representation and mentorship for girls.

Bhumika Regmi (BR): Tell me about your background, where you’re from, what your upbringing was like.
Tabata Amaral de Pontes (TAP): In a poor São Paulo neighborhood, my life was like anyone else’s around me — until I had one big opportunity to attend a math olympiad. One teacher believed in me, pushed me and helped me compete. Because of that, I got a scholarship to a private school and everything changed. This was the first time someone asked me what I was going to do in the future, what my profession was going to be. Being in school helped me see a future for myself when no one had seen it for me before.

BR: Why is it important for girls to see people who look like them in leadership roles?
TAP: Many of our politicians think it’s OK if our whole cabinet, ministers, secretaries are the same. When I was in public school, it was very hard to see myself in a position of power. But it wasn’t because I wasn’t smart enough, it was because I had never seen someone like me in those positions. So you just assume that those positions are not for you. That’s why representation matters so much. When one girl occupies a space that is usually not for us, we’re saying to other girls that it might be harder for us, but these places are for us too.

Read more.
 
 
Around the world 
 
  What do you like to do for fun?

“For fun, I bake and do calligraphy. I like baking because I like seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they eat the food I make. I also like calligraphy because it helps me with anxiety and it relieves me from stress.”
— Annika, 14, Chile
“I like to spend time with my cousins and siblings. I also love to write stories and ride horses. I enjoy that every ride and every story I write is different, but there's still a sense of familiarity.”
— True, 16, Germany
True
Sayed “I like to read poetries and listen to songs because I feel refreshed. My mind and soul get soothed. Poems leave an impact on your soul and music takes you to another world.”
— Anshrah, 18, India
“I listen to music. I read and write. Also I chit chat with my friends. They are really important people in my life.”
— Şevval, 16, Turkey
Sevaal
 
 
Student essay
 
 
 
Shedding the stigma around Turkish women and menstruation
Turkish women and menstruation
  By İlayda Eskitaşçıoğlu
The Turkish Language Institute (TDK) recently updated the definition of the word "dirty" (translated as "kirli" in Turkish) to include "a woman who is menstruating."

This act was a reminder to Turkish girls that menstruation is seen as a taboo. In my own country, something so universal and so natural is seen as something shameful. Periods can be tough to deal with every month. But for some of us who don’t have access to clean sanitary products and who are told menstruating is dirty, periods can be even tougher.

There are thousands of young women and girls in rural Turkey who work as seasonal agricultural workers. From sunrise until sunset, they harvest in the fields. During the year, they migrate throughout the country for different harvest seasons. They work under harsh conditions while having their periods — and most of them don’t have access to clean and safe sanitary products. Sometimes they don’t even have clean water.

I identified this problem when I was a volunteer going through a list of items for an aid package being sent to families in need. Everything was included, from canned food to diapers, but sanitary pads were missing. It was as if these women did not get their periods. It was simply not discussed.

Read more.
 
 
Artist spotlight
 
 
 
Two illustrators show there is no typical — or right — way to be a girl
Like Other Girls
 
  By Omolara Uthman

College students Ellie Lee and Tara Anand were tired of hearing their peers tear each other down by asserting: “I’m not like other girls.” I’m not like other girls, they are petty. I’m not like other girls, they don’t like sports. I’m not like other girls, they cause drama. The popular expression perpetuates negative stereotypes about being a girl, generalises an entire gender and does more to set us apart than bring us together.

“The fact is that phrases like this are so normalized in society that we don’t even realize the damage it’s doing,” explains Ellie. “Think about how much hate for your own gender you must have been taught growing up to cast it away like that?”

The two friends are currently studying at the School of Visual Arts in the U.S. They decided to use their talents as illustrators to tackle the issue and show there is no typical — or right — way to be a girl. Ellie and Tara started “I Am Like Other Girls,” an Instagram project that featured illustrations of young women around the world along with a line about themselves: “I don’t like cooking and I am like other girls,” “I like math and I am like other girls” and “I cry a lot and I am like other girls.”

Read more.
 
 
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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