“You now have a since of why it is so important to education girls. And yes, it is absolutely as important to educate boys. But around the world, girls face obstacles to education that boys don’t face-and boys are educated at ta much higher rate than girls. So what are these obstacles keeping girls out of school? And how do most of them stem from the root problems of gender discrimination and poverty?”
Today, we’re continuing to honor Women’s History Month by looking at Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone. What began as a film documentary, the book expands the work and mission of the film, which is to explore the barriers that girls around the world face in their pursuit of education. This book highlights many more stories than those limited to just the film, offering the reader an authentic and realistic portrayal of amazingly resilient and determined girls. Rich with details and research, the book opens with sharing The Stakes. Did you know that close to 62 million girls are not in school? This statistic alone can have a profound effect on our global systems, economies, health care, families, and cultures. Stone calls this the “Ripple Effect” and quotes former President Obama when he stated, “When a girl goes to school, it doesn’t just open up her young mind, it benefits all of us…Maybe someday she’ll start her own business, or invent a new technology or cure a disease.” He continue to elucidate on how the education of girls impacts families, communities, and entire countries. See image below for an infographic of this causal relationship.
To make these stakes even closer to home, Stone puts a face on the distant narrative. By sharing personal stories of actual girls around the globe explaining their barriers to education and what education means to them, Stone moves the reader to a more familial interaction with the girls. Though still on the outside, the reader is somewhat drawn into the girls’ life for a small glimpse through photographs and personal quotes. Stone continues to use maps, facts, and figures to explain the issues the girls face in their daily lives and in their pursuit of obtaining an education.
Finally, Stone, offers hopeful solutions that everyday activist can do to break down the female education barriers. She mentions UNICEF ambassadors, comic books as artistic activism, shopping for Fair Trade items, speaking out and writing about global educational inequalities, and using what you love to inspire change. Here, too, she presents personal narratives of change makers. As a final depiction of just how powerful change can be, Stone provides the reader with a peek into how the funds from Girl Rising have contributed to the success of specific, individual girls around the globe.
To find out more information about the film or book Girl Rising or to donate to the program, please visit:
For more information about programs fighting against educational inequalities for females, please visit: