By Punch Pulse Correspondent Niki Clark
Today, on International Women’s Day (March 8th), people around the world celebrate the potential and power of woman. But before becoming a woman, she was once a little girl. And as film “Girl Rising“ so eloquently shows, educating a girl can make every difference in the life she goes on to lead.
The statistics alone are staggering. The number one cause of death for girls between the ages of 15 and 19 is childbirth. A girl with eight years of education is four times less likely to be married as a child. And a child born to a literate mother is 50 percent more likely to survive past the age of five. Educating girls literally makes the difference between life and death.
Directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, and produced by the 10×10 campaign, “Girl Rising” tells the stories of nine extraordinary girls from nine countries. Their stories are captured by nine celebrated writers and narrated by nine renowned actresses. The result is a testimony to the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world.
The film starts with Wadley, a young girl in Haiti who is just seven when the catastrophic earthquake destroys her entire world, including her mother’s financial ability to send her to school. “I will come back every day until I can stay,” she tells her teacher when she says she must go until she can pay. Even a natural disaster can’t tame Wadley’s irrepressible spirit.
The film continues on, each story more compelling than the next. There’s Yasmin from Egypt who believes in herself so strongly that she’s convinced she’s a superhero, the only reason she survived an attempted sexual attack. And Azmera from Ethiopia, who refuses to be married at the tender of age of 13, despite a much needed dowry, and whose brother champions his younger sister’s cause to be educated and to be free.
Punch Pulse Correspondent Niki McMillan is a part time photographer; full time Red Crosser and 24/7 big sister to fellow puncher Lindsey. She loves travel, puppy kisses (especially from her own, ichabob) and invites to bourbon-orientated events.