Points of Progress: Bedouin women are gaining ground, and more

Nariman El-Mofty/AP
Bedouin women lead a tour in South Sinai, Egypt, March 30.


For the first time, Bedouin women are becoming tour guides. Bedouin conservative ideals traditionally have not supported women working outside the home or socializing outside the community. But some women say their need for income to support their families is too compelling for them to stay at home. The women tour guides have faced resistance and are able to guide only under certain conditions: All of the tourists must be women, and the tours cannot go overnight. Attitudes among Bedouin tribes are changing, though, and a tribe member told a reporter that he’s tired of the ideology that a woman’s place is at home. Others observe that young Bedouin girls feel more empowered now and express their desire to follow in these women’s footsteps. (The Associated Press)


Why We Wrote This

This is more than feel-good news – it's where the world is making concrete progress. A roundup of positive stories to inspire you.

The country led the European Union in lowering carbon emissions. A report released by Eurostat shows that CO2 emissions constitute almost 80% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions and are a significant contributor to the rise in global temperatures. In 2018, the majority of the European Union’s 28 members experienced a decrease in CO2 emissions, and Portugal had the greatest percentage decline at 9%. Along with seven other EU members, Portugal is asking the EU to cut emissions to a net-zero level by 2050. The eight members also want to see 25% of the EU budget spent on fighting climate change and stipulate that the budget “should not finance any policy detrimental to this objective.” (Eurostat)

New Zealand

The country’s capital of Wellington is reconnecting with its Maori heritage. Today, only 3% of the population can speak Maori, even though it is one of the nation’s official languages. But the city hopes to change that. Landmark signs in Wellington are getting Maori names, and existing locations with Maori names that have long been mispronounced with improper phonetic spelling are being corrected. Wellington plans to be bilingual by 2040 and has given a new name to the city square: “Te Ngakau,” meaning “the heart.” There are also plans for a heritage trail that will point out locations of former Maori villages and historical points of interest. (CityLab)

Jorge Silva/Reuters
TĀ MOKO: Traditional Māori facial tattoos

United States

Principals across the country are helping their schools heal. The rising number of fatal shootings in schools has prompted principals to form a support group called Principals Recovery Network. After Columbine High School’s principal reached out to a fellow principal in Ohio whose school had just experienced a fatal shooting, the two benefited so much from the connection that they started contacting other principals whose schools had been the scene of shootings. Members support one another and advocate to provide educational resources in schools to promote nonviolence. (The Associated Press)

South Korea

Grannies are going back to school. As South Korea’s birthrate declines, schools are looking for ways to keep classrooms filled with students, particularly in rural areas. If schools closed, young families would have to leave. To avoid this, school administrators are turning to an unconventional pool of potential students: older residents, many of whom never learned to read. One grandmother now rides the bus to school with her granddaughter, not to accompany her but as a fellow third-grader. A septuagenarian attending her first day of school told a reporter, “Carrying a school bag has always been my dream.” (The New York Times)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Points of Progress: Bedouin women are gaining ground, and more
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today