Case studies

The Sunrise Ceremony serves many purposes - personally, spiritually and communally - and is often one of the most memorable and significant experiences of Apache females today, just as it was for Apache women in the past.

First, by re-enacting the Creation myth, and personifying White Painted Woman, the girl connects deeply to her spiritual heritage, which she experiences, often for the first time, as the core of her self. In her connection to Changing Woman/ White Painted Woman, she gains command over her weaknesses and the dark forces of her nature, and knows her own spiritual power, sacredness and her goodness. She also may discover her own ability to heal.

Source: Becoming a woman (Apache people - North America)

CULTURE: Activities


1. How is racism expressed?

Using the wheel of discrimination and the notes from Culture answer the following:

What is the difference between individual and institutional racism?

List some individual and institutional examples of racism.

How can racism affect a person?

Visit the following Internet sites and answer the questions:

Becoming a Woman

1. When were Apache people banned from performing their ceremonies?
2. When were Apache people allowed to perform their ceremonies again?
3. How is this an example of institutional racism?
4. How did the ban affect the Apache peoples' cultural identity?

Anti-Defamation League

1. What is the main message of this page?
2. How do children develop hatred?
3. What are the 3 main points to remember when talking to children?
4. What is the effect of hatred on someone's personal and cultural identity?

Artists against Racism (quotes)

1. What does Dan Aykroyd say about racism?
2. List 3 artists' quotes about racism.
3. Explain this quote: Racism is a disease that deteriorates peoples' self worth and self esteem. We are all created equal with special gifts and if we reach out to each other in sharing these gifts, we all become richer. Roy Henry Vickers

Holocaust history (Hungary)

1. How many Jews were killed in the Nazi pogrom? (a pogrom is an organised massacre)
2. What were the Jews forced to wear on their clothes? What effect did this have on the people?
3. Why is racism wrong?

Southern Law Poverty Center - Every day action (requires Adobe Acrobat)

1. List some examples of bias shown on pages one and two.
2. List some strategies a school can use to deter hate behaviour on pages 2 to 4.
3. The Internet is being used by hate groups to promote racism and intolerance. What strategies can be used to counter these groups?
4. Why is it important to stop hate crimes?

Summarise your findings, focusing on how racism is expressed by individuals and groups.

How does racism impact on personal and cultural identity?

2. How is sex discrimination expressed?

Example 1

Of the 130 million children in the world now excluded from education, two-thirds are girls. In addition, Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where access to education is falling.


Example 2

Example 2a

If the manager of a company said that male employees would be considered for the supervisor�s position first, this would be �direct� discrimination on the basis of sex.

Example 2b

Marissa has a casual job as a Kitchen Hand in a hotel. The Head Chef has posters of topless women pinned all over the kitchen sink area. As everyone has the right to feel comfortable at work, the posters are inappropriate for the workplace. The employer should have had them removed, as pinned up, they contribute to a sexually hostile work environment.

Example 2c

During a job interview, Sarah was asked whether she intended to have children. Somewhat taken aback by the question, she said that she would eventually like to have a family. Although Sarah was the most qualified and experienced candidate, she did not get the job. She later heard that the interviewer did not like to employ young women who may become pregnant. This is discrimination on the ground of potential pregnancy.

Example 2d

Ann was employed in a small recreational club to carry out bar work and table service. She had been employed with the club for over 18 months when she informed her supervisor that she was pregnant. Her supervisor asked her when she intended to stop working and commented "it doesn�t look very nice with you doing table service while you are pregnant". Her shifts were reduced from 36 hours per week to 9 hours without consultation. This is pregnancy discrimination.

Source: Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Australia)

Example 3

The Council of Europe began collecting data in the late 1980s and, in a submission to the Council in 1988, it was estimated that some 5,000 boys and 3,000 girls were working in the streets of Paris alone, although this estimate was later queried. The non-governmental organisation Defence of the Child International has cited 1,000 children working as prostitutes in the Netherlands. A study published in 1996 underlines the alarming growth of prostitution among Russian, Polish, Romanian, Hungarian and Czech children.

In Asia, because groups working against commercial sexual exploitation of children have been active there for longer and have been able to build up a more accurate picture, data are more complete. As a result, it often seems that Asia is the worst affected region. In 1991, a survey by India Today put the number of child prostitutes in India between 400,000 and 500,000. Estimates of the child sex industry in Thailand vary between 80,000 and 800,000. This latter figure comes from the Centre for the Protection of Children�s Rights, which has been working in the field for 18 years. In Indochina, after a decade of restriction on most forms of prostitution under communist regimes, Vietnam and Cambodia have serious problems of child prostitution and trafficking. Sri Lanka�s sex industry is known to have grown to around 20,000 children today. The problem of young girls, in particular, being kidnapped in Nepal and shipped across the border to India is acute.

Source: World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

These are three diverse examples of sex discrimination and exploitation.

Let us analyse these examples with specific reference to Article 8 of the Convention:

1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.
2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.

Example 1 is about exclusion based on gender.
Example 2 shows a variety of discriminatory behaviours based on gender. These are adult examples but the behaviour is learnt as children.
Example 3 is about exploitation of children, both boys and girls, by adults.

Each example impacts on the right of the child to preserve his or her nationality (personal and cultural identity).

What can be done to provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity?

Visit the List of nations, go to your national and/or state government Internet site:

(a) Find your national and/or state laws about sex discrimination.
(b) Find examples of discriminatory behaviour like those above in your own country.
(c) Once you have gathered the laws and examples, design a series of strategies for your community that:

  • raise people's awareness of the laws
  • show why the behaviour is wrong
  • show how people can use legal ways in your country to combat this type of behaviour (e.g.
  • can provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.


Internet sites:

1. Racism

Combating racism and intolerance
Campaign against racism and fascism
Stop the hate
National civil rights museum (USA)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Artists against racism
Crosspoint: antiracism
Kick racism out of football (U.K.)
Crosspoint (link page)
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Australia)

2. Gender

Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women
World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Australia)

List of nations


Based on the activities, create a home page called CULTURE IS OUR HERITAGE.

Completed material should be posted on your school's web site. 

Please supply the project officer with: 

  • URL 
  • school name 
  • country 
  • e-mail address 
  • contact person 
  • 1-2 sentences about the work.
If you have any problems in doing this, please contact the project officer.

 Project officer E-mail:

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