Hmong women break with traditional roles
Here’s a short snip-it of an article on the topic of Hmong women, traditional roles and how that plays out in American society.
June 11, 2012
By GOSIA WOZNIACKA, Associated Press
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — In a crowded refugee camp in Thailand, Misty Her often sneaked away to a school house and listened through a hole in the wall. She knew she could never attend, being Hmong and a girl.
For centuries, the Hmong — an ethnic minority group clustered in Asia’s mountain villages — held to a rigid division in gender roles. Boys were revered and nurtured. Girls were men’s property, to be married off for a dowry, forbidden to study or work.
Even in California’s Central Valley, where Her’s family and other Hmong refugees fled en masse after fighting in America’s secret war in Laos, rigid roles endured. But Her would help break that mold.
Now 36, she overcame resistance, got a college degree and climbed the career ladder. She became an assistant superintendent with the Fresno Unified School District this school year.
So Vicky Xiong teaches embroidery to her 12-year-old daughter Rachel Lor, who plans to become a fashion designer someday.
“The hope,” Xiong said, “is that our girls can realize that you can be successful and still be Hmong.”
via MPR News
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