Year: 2016

One New Year’s Resolution to Keep: True Solidarity

Women aren’t free until all women are free. Our rights are not fulfilled until all of our rights are met. It is time for us to take things personally and it is time to show true solidarity. Girls’ Globe is all about raising the voices of women and girls and sharing inspirational stories to create lasting change. We bridge the gap between cultures and communities and have become a global network of young women and grassroots organizations working tirelessly to improve the lives of women and girls in their communities. We also bridge the gap between young women and international decision-makers, creating meaningful meetings for young women to hold leaders accountable and for leaders to learn from true changemakers. We know that more needs to be done – especially after this year. 2016 has been full of scary events that have deprived people of their dignity, rights and lives, and it is more important than ever to stand together and stand up for each other. We cannot move forward if some of us are held back. We need …

Hearing the Women of Kyrgyzstan: One Story at a Time

Written by: Lena Shareef We had a few more questions left in the interview. My friend, Olivia, and I were sitting on the floor of a three-room house in At-Bashy village, which is in the middle of Naryn, a rural province of Kyrgyzstan. I zoomed the camera lens in slightly on Vineira, a young Kyrgyz woman we met through our translator, while Olivia sat to my left conducting the interview. This was our second time visiting Kyrgyzstan and our second time interviewing Vineira at her home. In addition to telling stories of change at Fenton, I run a non-profit media organization called GIRLWITHABOOK Movement, which advocates for girls’ education and gender equality. My team and I are working on producing a documentary series about what it means to be a girl in Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, India, and Nepal. In October 2015, we embarked on a four-month trip, a month in each country, to identify and interview girls and women of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds about what being a girl personally means to them. Because the …

OK, Ladies – Now Let’s Get in Formation

Yes, you caught me, I totally stole the headline from Beyonce, but it is only because it very well captures what I wish to put forward in this post – the importance of sticking together when times get tough. However, let’s start with a short recap of the year of 2016. 2016 has been a year of some, to say the least, surprising turn of events. Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, the government in Poland suggested that it would be a good idea to deny polish women the right to their bodies, and the U.S Government found it to be no problem to finish the North Dakota Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. On top of that the war in Syria is a never ending story (why can’t they just stop?) and keeps forcing people to flee their homes at the same time as racist and opportunist parties get ever more supporters around the globe, especially here in Europe. Two years ago, when the Swedish Democrats became the third largest …

Left Behind: Education Equity as Key to Poverty Alleviation

Written by: Rose Frullani-Bacon Poverty is far from a 21st century issue. People around the world have been struggling to make ends meet for centuries. All the while, leaders, governments, faith groups, non-profits and other organizations have been tackling poverty head on. Today, many argue that education is the closest thing that exists to a silver bullet for breaking the cycle of poverty. Not only can a formal education provide people with the tools they need to attain financial stability, it can also empower those who break out of poverty to “pay it forward” and give back to their communities by becoming teachers, advocates and leaders. Though many non-profits and foundations have made it their mission to ensure that people in developing countries have access to quality education, there still remains an incredible and unacceptable gender gap in opportunities to go to school and ability to stay in school. Globally, a third of countries have more boys enrolled in primary school than girls. In some parts of the world, gender equity gaps in education are vast. …

A Day in the Life of a Working Nepalese Woman

This post was written by 2016 LEADer and Women LEAD Blogger, Samika Mali Whether it is a weekday or weekend, my mom wakes up every day at 6am and sweeps the entire house. Preparing lunch every morning until 9am is a compulsion for her no matter how sick or weak she is. Then, in no time, she has to gulp down her lunch, get dressed, and rush to work. After a long day at her shop, she returns home tired and exhausted. But she doesn’t get to rest. Though her duties as a businesswoman are over, her responsibilities as a housewife have not ended yet. In the evening, she has to serve food to all her family members and do the dishes. Then, she cleans the whole kitchen. Sometimes, she even mops the floors, throw the clothes in the machine to wash, and sits down to help me with my projects. Finally, her day ends. Growing up, I saw my mother balance her life as a successful business woman in a culture where women are …

A Vote Against Self-Interest: Trump and Internalized Misogyny

Written by: Cesar Lopez “Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.” — Margaret Sanger In the aftermath of a turbulent and anxiety-filled election season, many of us are left to ponder, how and why did the United States elect Trump as president? This is especially puzzling, considering a major portion of Trump’s voter turnout were women. Although race and class are all specific categories which differentiate who voted for who, the fact remains, a significant portion of women casted their ballots for Trump. A man who on numerous occasions has: Tied women’s worth to their desirability and appearance, Criticized women for having a voice, Freely objectified women in public forums and Fat shamed and belittled women’s bodies, to name a few. So, why did such a large number of women vote for what seems to be blatantly against their own self-interest? What’s at work? While many of us are familiar …

How I Fell in Love with the Women of Iran

When I landed back home, I was bombarded with questions from curious friends: What was it like to cover up all the time? Did I feel restricted in any way? Could I go shopping on my own? Was I free to walk in the streets without my husband? Was I even allowed to talk to men? I went to Iran for my honeymoon – and ended up falling in love with the women. Those bombarding me with questions were my friends, young, highly educated Swedish women, and this reminded me of how little most Europeans know about Iran and everyday life there – I was certainly no exception. But when boarding the plane to Tehran, little did I know what a mark the trip would make in me. An all-girls guide to – Tehran? Almost ten years ago I found an unusual travel guide in a Parisian bookshop – a city guide to Tehran, written for young women by French-Iranian journalist Delphine Minoui. Far from your ordinary Lonely Planet, the guide is like an informal …

Involving Men and Boys in Efforts to Achieve a #BetterLife4Girls

One may wonder why men and boys involvement in matters like teenage pregnancies and child marriages is important. Well, it is clearly because behind every teenage pregnancy or child marriage, there is a male involved. In the wake of the movement to end child marriage and teenage pregnancy, young people, parents, religious, cultural  and community leaders have to be called to action. Because these are issues that affect girls directly, it is of peculiar interest how pivotal the male voice has to be to make sure that the plight of a better life for girls is heard. The fight for gender equality remains incomplete without male involvement as we stated earlier this year here on Girls Globe and we won’t repeat the statistics. One part of of our agenda, from our recently concluded community dialogues in the eastern part of Uganda on ending under-age marriages and teenage pregnancies by Reach A Hand, Uganda supported by UNFPA Uganda, was to capture voices of men and boys as a way to continue involving them in anti child marriage and teenage …

“Speaking the Unspeakable”: Sexual Violence in Conflict

Their suffering and desperation was so great that they begged them to kill them, to end their pain once and for all… but the men who had been raping them replied, “No, we’re going to leave you alive so you can die of sadness.” This is the harrowing story told in the documentary “The Uncondemned” of the first time genocide, rape and sexual violence were prosecuted in an international tribunal. But this isn’t just a story of sadness and grief; it’s also a story of hope and healing. It is a story about the three brave survivors and witnesses who testified at the tribunal, identified then only as JJ, NN and OO. Co-director Michele Mitchell said: “In the face of enormous tragedy and pain, the fact that three of them were laughing about the plane journey shows their great resilience and demonstrates how they had kept their humanity.” I was privileged to watch this amazing documentary when it was screening in New York City. I left the theater with a heavy heart, but also feeling extremely encouraged and …