Malala, The Gender Gap, and Educational Inequality by Maelo Manning

By Maelo Manning

The gender gap which has been revealed by the A level results is worrying because it raises questions about the future of employment of females in our country. The divide that is created at A level will be carried into the workplace and will be an ongoing issue of gender inequality.

More girls are opting for English and creative subjects whereas boys are choosing maths and sciences, for example, boys took 4 out of 5 physics exams and two thirds of maths exams.

This gap panders to the gender stereotype which sets out boys as engineers and scientists and girls as experts in the humanities sphere.

One way of tackling this problem would be to change mind-sets in schools by breaking the stereotype that boys don’t read and by encouraging girls to pursue a career that involves mathematics or sciences.

However, the problem is that a gender related attitude starts at a young age and enforces the belief that boys should do the manual work and girls should sit down and write and draw. For example, girls are always expected to have neat and perfect handwriting whereas boys are expected to build Lego structures.

The situation needs to be reversed to demonstrate that boys can think creatively and girls can do the so-called ‘hard stuff’ which is science and maths.

It is ironic that in a year that Malala has been recognised as the icon of female education that a gender deficit is showing up with far reaching consequences.

Education is a way of taking advantage of equal opportunities and it isn’t there to enforce gender stereotypes.

Malala fought hard for a right to education and girls should see the world as their oyster.


‘Wheelchair Day’

Vice President Education and Access

This week the Sabbatical Officers at the Guild have been spending a day in wheelchairs in order to try and understand issues about accessibility for wheelchair users better, and to take them more seriously. I did my day in a wheelchair on Tuesday and thought it might be worth writing something short about it.

I want to stress that this post is more of an attempt to clarify my own thoughts and understand issues better, rather than a statement of my own fixed opinion. I would really encourage people to tell me if I am wrong or displaying privilege as I genuinely want to learn how not to do so.

The day did help me to understand certain things better, for example I had a couple of instances of things left in corridors that were impossible to get round, and I think I will look for and take action on…

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All in a morning’s work: British attitudes towards the EU, #Eurovision, and #equalmarriage.

@ellispalmer94’s take on #Eurovision2013, #equalmarriage and British attitudes towards the EU!!

Somewhere On The Left

Tonight, I’m attending an event at the National Liberal Club in London and so I thought that I would a blog about what has been on my mind this weekend: Europe, Eurovision, and equal marriage.

Let’s look at why Europe has been on my mind first of all. Firstly, on Friday, I attended the filming of the regional version of a popular current affairs show in Birmingham. My hosts were excellent, but both of the MPs that were on this edition of the show were fervent Eurosceptics from the opposite sides of the political spectrum. As I was watching the screening of this show from the gallery, I was forced to reflect on what I see as a strange aspect of British politics presently: Euroscepticism. What I fail to understand is why British political discourse is so anti-EU?

What has the EU done wrong for the British? Very little; in…

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High-speed rail? Yes, please – Musings on the 10:15 from Birmingham Moor Street to London Marylebone

@ellispalmer94’s must-read blog on high-speed rail…

Somewhere On The Left

The railway infrastructure of the United Kingdom is atrocious. Yes, I did just say what politicians should have said years ago. Something needs to be done and FAST. We used to have the best railways in the world; now, even debt-ridden nations such as Spain have better services than us. Why? Because they have domestic high-speed rail services and we, the nation that once had railway services that were the envy of the world, are now laughed at by other developed economies due to our lack of domestic high-speed rail services.

High-speed rail should have been done years ago, shouldn’t it? But it wasn’t, because of the inefficiency of the nationalised railways and then the relentless rush to make a profit by the privatised franchises. The Chiltern Railways service that I am currently travelling on is one of few remaining examples of reasonably-priced, efficient services. I travel frequently on services…

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UB Lib Dems present: End of year #LiberalCoffee with Lorely Burt MP

It’s finally here – the inaugural UB Lib Dems end of year celebration and our first ever #LiberalCoffee!! 😀

We have hired Six Eight Kafe, a venue which was recently voted as one of the top 50 coffee shops in the country, and will be providing food and drink.

Lorely Burt, the Liberal Democrat MP for Solihull, will be providing us with a fantastic insight into life at the heart of the coalition government, creating a stronger economy and a fairer society that enables everyone can get on in life, through her role as PPS to Danny Alexander.

Afterwards we will proceed to The Shakespeare Inn on Summer Row for the final Liberal Drinks of the year. Don’t worry though – they will be back in September!

Details on getting there are yet to be confirmed, but we will probably meet at University Station around 5.30pm and get the train to New Street.

Join the event here… 

P.S., This is a free event, paid for by the University of Birmingham Liberal Democrats. You do not need to be a member to attend, just click attending so we have an idea of numbers. If you have any questions or dietary requirements, please comment below or contact us via e-mail at or tweet us at @UBLibDems and we will get back to you as soon as we can