Writing about The Girl Effect really makes me appreciate my freedom. As a middle class, educated, white woman from a nice small town I had all the advantages in my life. I went to a good public school, took art classes, was in show choir and chorus. I left home and moved to the big city to go to art school. I learned, I laughed and I tried my hand at love. The world was open to me and I could choose to be anyone I wanted (well, at least to a certain degree).
When I look around at the world I know some girls just are not as lucky as I am. They don't get the freedom to enjoy their lives as others do. They are forced into the role of mother and wife as soon as their body allows it. Some of these girls are as young as 12 when they are married off to men they didn't choose. And I wonder how can they be happy?
So what makes these girls different from you and me? Not much, except the place and the circumstances in which they were born. Do they not want something more from their lives? Well, of course they do. But society and tradition has told their parents girls aren't worth educating. They have too much work to do to waste on anything as silly as education for girls. This need to change.
Allowing these girls to become educated young women before they are mothers would make a huge difference in the world and the town they live in. Imagine a world were woman were strong and they could take care of themselves and each other. They wouldn't be stuck in their lives as they are now. They could work outside the home and have careers. They could have the seemingly simple freedom to live the normal dramatic teenage life without the worrying if their children are safe at every moment.
These girls not only need a change, they need a revolution. The Revolution is not only for the girls themselves but the whole world. People need to know that these injustices are still going on. We bloggers are trying to change that, we are trying to get the word out about the reality of the others' lives. We need to show some humanity and some humility in pointing out how others live and trying to do something about it. And we have to do it with respect to all those involved with the changes or it won't work! Most importantly, we must remember to ask these girls themselves, "What do you want?" "How can we help YOU?", because it might be different from what we imagine.
So what can you? First you can learn the truth about the struggles of these girls. Talk about it, write about it. Give some money if you can.
What am I doing? I created this illustration. I am listing it in my Etsy shop and 25% of the proceeds will go directly to The Girl Effect. It may be a little thing but to me, if everyone does just one thing...it will add up. And we can make a difference.
|Raising Hands by bluehour studio|
To get a my Raising Hands (for The Girl Effect) Print click here.
This post is part of a week long Girl Effect Blogging Campaign. It was started by the wonderful Tara Sophia Mohr after she learned about The Girl Effect last year. She simply asked other bloggers to spread the word. Check out what other bloggers have written about the girl effect here. If you are moved. Write something in your blog and keep the movement going.