I wake to the sound of pounding. My mother is pounding groundnuts. She’s singing, her song keeping time with her...read more
On Wednesday, May 17th, World Vision Ireland hosted a screening of the documentary *Girl Rising* in Dublin’s Trinity College. There are 66 million girls who are not in school today. Education is the most powerful tool in the long-term, sustainable development of communities all over the world, and yet we continue to discriminate against our children when it comes to the provision of their education based on their gender. In many countries where families struggle to get by, if a choice has to be made about which of the children get to go to school, it is overwhelmingly the boys who are prioritised. *Girl Rising *explores what happens when opportunities for education are created for the children of the world who have been overlooked simply because they were born female.
Education of girls has profoundly transformative effects, not just for the individual herself but for her community, her society, and future generations. Girls who go to school are safer and healthier. They have children later than girls who don’t go to school, and they go on to educate their children. Their children are healthier too. Education affords them a greater chance of participation in higher-skilled work, and in leadership positions. It reduces the likelihood of them being married as children, or exploited in the sex trade. The number one cause of death among girls aged 15-19 is child birth. The lack of education for girls is a key driver of this.
*Girl Rising* illustrates the precariousness of life for girls who are not given the chance to go to school and therefore have very limited choices. Education is the opening up of possibilities and options. The film traces the stories of nine girls in developing countries. Each face the kinds of dangers that threaten millions of girls around the world; bonded labour, human trafficking, child marriage (since you started reading this, about 30 girls under the age of 18 have been married – roughly 38,000 girls a day). Though separated by great distances and differences of culture, language, and tradition, the common thread that binds these girls’ experiences is the life-changing impact of education.
You can find out more about Girl Rising and the issues is explores at www.girlrising.com