Written By: Kashika Narang
This past Thursday on October 22nd, HerNetwork partnered with Charles Schwab to hold a screening for the film Girl Rising with a follow up panel discussion. I had the privilege of attending this event and was able to learn more about the lack of opportunity for education towards girls and the impact it holds over their lives and communities.
Girl Rising is a film that focuses on nine girls living in developing countries, facing and overcoming incredible challenges that most of us could never imagine dealing with. The collection of these stories serves as a voice for all girls to have the rights towards education, self-empowerment, and the potential for achievement.
“Educated girls stand up for their rights, marry and have children later, educate their own children, and their families and communities thrive.”
The film features girls like Senna. Senna is from a Peruvian mining town in which she and her family struggled to survive. Through the help of the organization CARE they were able to move to a better city that offered more education and safety. Senna was able to attend school and gain her passion for poetry, which she claims, is her ability to turn ugliness into an art. Senna now attends university and has gained a strong personality that she uses to advocate for improvement for her old school and home.
The screening of the film was followed by a panel discussion with Adaiah Rajas local survivor of human trafficking, Sarah Durfey Director of Abolitionist Network, Steven Procopio Program Director of Roxbury Youthworks Inc, and Laura Johnson Associate Dead of SED student affairs.
The panelists addressed questions of issues regarding lack of education and opportunity for women as well as the issues boys face globally and locally in the US. They also discussed current conditions of our culture of sexualization that demeans women and adds to the inequalities women face. They bring up an important fact that in order for change and a better future we need to take responsibility of unveiling hidden truths that we are afraid to view. We are able to watch films like Girl Rising and help people distanced from us but it is harder for us to view local issues that we will have to relate to. In order to do that we must face the potential for unfortunate things to happen to us and to the people we know.
I recommend everyone to watch Girl Rising because it unites women and men to address the lack of opportunity for education and issues of poverty. It is a film that empowers you to face these issues and take action for a better future. This film also reminds us through the representation of the nine girls that we are all fighters, and can overcome struggles through uniting people with a common goal and empowering each other and ourselves.
Click here to learn more about Girl Rising.