by Davinia James
Injustices Face By Others, Has Nothing To Do With Me.
Making a stand for girls’ education is a statement that many would disapprove of. There are 62 millions of girls who are being deprived of an education, and even though there are several factors to consider, being born a girl is the biggest one of them all.
The world is made of over 180 countries, where culture and religion vary. One way of life is not necessarily for all. What is the norm for one isn’t the norm for another, no matter how disturbing and unjust their definition of “normal” is.
All over the world, there are stories of girls who are facing their own challenges in becoming their greatest selves. They lack the opportunities and chances to acquire the basic human right of education.
A few years ago, the film Girl Rising made its debut bringing awareness of the injustices girls face worldwide. The purpose behind this film was not only to bring issues girls face worldwide to the forefront, but to answer the question: What happens when you educate a girl?
A question that seems so simple, yet profound when one thinks about answering it. The film tells the story of nine girls from different parts of the world, who are facing injustices that are heart-wrenching.
Sokha from Cambodia was a Cambodia child of the dump and an orphan.
Wadley from Haiti experienced Haiti catastrophic earthquake which destroyed her home and school.
Suma from Nepal was forced into bonded labor (modern day slavery) at age 6.
Yasmin from Egypt was raped but refused to be a victim.
Asmera from Ethiopia (13 years old) refuse to get married when she was told she must marry.
Ruksana from India lived on the street of Kolkata India, facing a life filled with danger.
Senna from Peru struggles to survive in a mining town, which is located on an impoverished hillside.
Mariama from Sierre Leone is a voice for those around her who listens to advice(s) she offers through her local radio show.
Amina from Afghanistan is restricted by her society and her gender. Her only place is at home and her role is to serve men.
These girls’ stories are only the tip of the iceberg. There are millions of girls with these stories and more devastating. Their gateway to freedom and a better life is through education, but many lack such opportunities. To add to the existing factor of being born a girl, poverty gives a more damaging blow.
When faced with this two factors, life can seem quite daunting. However, there are 62 millions of girls worldwide who are still dreaming. They have hope which allows them to look forward to the better days ahead, even though those days may seem far out of reach.
The stories of girls’ struggles vary between borders but they all lead back to the basic human right of gaining an education. It’s irrelevant to what country they are from because education means a lot to all. Without education there’s nothing possible for girls, especially when being born a girl is a major factor against them. What’s possible for a girl without an education? As a passed pre-school teacher, I recall a student asking, “If girls aren’t allowed to go to school, how do they grow up?” “How do they become mothers?” This came right out of the mouth of a 4-year-old. He has grasped how ridiculous it sounded that girls aren’t allowed to go to school.
“From an early age, I was taught that education would be my arsenal for breaking the intergenerational poverty cycle. I am on a continued path to strengthen my education and can say it has thus far proved to be a vital tool in powerfully breaking the chains of poverty as well as being a vanguard for a journey on unprecedented paths for my family.” Thoughts shared by Jamaican native Latoya Tulloch, who is a teacher in Japan.
Reality is beyond the comfort of our own homes. It’s time to turn off the tv and go out into the world finding our own truth. It’s time we start doing something now for the world and quit thinking that if its doesn’t directly affect us, then it doesn’t matter.
News flash! We all are connected, whether directly or indirectly. What we do now will reflect on generations to come. With each generation the platform to push change varies and currently “the best way to do so is through social sites,” states Lavinia Doctor, a high school student. Children and adults everywhere need to be brought up to speed on what girls are facing. They need to know girls are being tossed aside like trash and we need them to see that girls everywhere has value and worth. Hence, we the people need to take the initiative in being change and creating the change. Girls want the same opportunity as boys. Girls don’t want to be overlooked. They want to be embraced and granted the opportunities that will give them the chance to excel without limitations.
When girls are educated “everything” changes!!!
*She will transform her life, those around her and her community.
*She will help develop her country’s economy.
*She will break the cycle of just sending her sons to school because she knows girls’ education is just as valuable and important as boys’.
*She will put off marriage and having kids until when she’s ready.
*She is now presented with the opportunity to change the world.
As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Can you imagine a life without your education? I can’t either. A girl without an education is trapped in her own mind and life. That’s no way for anyone to live. They are prisoners and you are able to set them free with your actions. There’s great power in being able to read and write. Consider you are able to use this basic human right to transcend throughout your life. What an incredible opportunity but an opportunity that millions are craving for. You have the power to fill their plate. What will you decide today? They are ready to eat.