Girl Rising: How educating girls becomes a radical act

Have you seen the trailer for Girl Rising? It is a film depicting the struggles of girls from around the world as they attempt to go to school, stay in school, and generally fight to be educated. It’s Malala Yousafzai 2.0.

From the film’s producers, 10×10 Film:

Girl Rising is a groundbreaking film, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, which tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries, written by 9 celebrated writers and narrated by 9 renowned actresses. Girl Rising showcases the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world.

It’s a simple idea, really. Girls deserve to be educated. Period.

And yet, that is a radical idea in many parts of the world. Many know the story of Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head on the school bus after she became an outspoken proponent of educating girls in her then-Taliban-controlled country. She lived and has become a symbol of the resilience of girls all over the world and the very real danger they face just trying to do what comes so easily to boys — going to school.

Girls are getting beaten and doused in burning acid by people on the street — just for going to school.

In our work to make a more equitable world, free of sexism and misogyny as well as racism and homo/transphobia, we must not forget the girls — some of them barely older than my own daughter — who not only navigate a world that openly hates them, they must become brave warriors at ages far too young just to get what they deserve.

Girls not only deserve an education. They deserve justice. Our silence on the horrifying plight of women and children in other countries is a silence that speaks volumes. We are complicit in their torture, their rape, the violence that threatens their education, when we remain silent.

This matters.

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