Thursday, October 17, 2013

Girls rising

Last night I sat in a picture theatre almost entirely full of women for a private screening of Girl Rising. It’s quite a film/documentary, and if you have an opportunity to see it, you should. In some ways I felt like it was preaching to the converted here, because the message is the value of educating girls, to a county’s economic prosperity, health and just about every other index of flourishing you could invent.

We are privileged to live in a country where it isn’t even a question whether you will educate your daughters as well as your sons, and even though I finished my schooling some time ago, I not felt once felt there was any difference in opportunity or choice between me and the boys in my classes.

But in many places of the world that is not the case, and those places are where these stories come from. Girls from nine different countries were paired with a writer in their own language to tell their story. I didn’t agree with every worldview and attitude it was presenting, of course (presenting the rather disney idea that you have the power to be anything you want to be and fulfil all your dreams etc irks me), but the film served its purpose in showing us what it meant to be born in girl in many countries, and what a difference it made if those girls could simply go to school (especially to their health outcomes, which we don't always think about when we think of education).

The main way presented to us to support the education of girls was to give financial resources, as is to be expected, but I did leave feeling more disgruntled with my job, with nit-picking my way through documents moaning when someone opens more parentheses than they close. And I walked to my car with another girl who was thinking similar things and said 'my dinner conversation was all about where I’m going to mount my flat screen TV'. But it can be hard to know where to channel your “white man’s guilt” when stirred in such a way.

Before the feature film we also saw a short film made by the BUMP mentoring program for young Mums, and few tears might have slipped down my face in the dark over that one also.

Then on Friday someone is coming into my workplace from the A21 Campaign, to talk to us about human trafficking in Australia. I don’t know who here is responsible for that, but I intend to go along.

So, by the end of this week I might let out a roar or two, before I charge off into the sunset the change the world.


Catherine said...

You go girl!

Ali said...

Just you watch me - if you can see me for dust!

(The dust might not necessarily be because I have stirred it up ...)