On January 14, 2016 the Ford Foundation, ITVS, USAID and Women and Girls Lead Global invited a diverse group of filmmakers, NGO leaders and educators to experience the impact of media and social change for women and girls around the world at a very special event at the Ford Foundation headquarters in New York.
With the new year upon us, Women and Girls Lead Global is excited to continue our work around the world and inspire social change through the art of storytelling. See what we’ve been up to in 2015 and where we are headed in 2016.
On October 11th 2015 in Gangni, Meherpur, two thousands students, parents and teachers took an oath against child marriage and to support girls education on the occasion of International Day of the Girl.
On September 9th, Women and Girls Lead Global and our partners ITVS, Ford Foundation, USAID and CARE hosted a Global Gender Gap Challenge at the gorgeous GitHub headquarters. The goal of the event was to create new design and ideas that will transform the lives of women and girls.
Thousands of young girls wrote passionate letters declaring their right to stay in school and out of child marriage to commemorate National Girl Child Day in Bangladesh this year. The Youth Summit and Letter Festival – organized by Women and Girls Lead Global, National Girl Child Advocacy Forum and Youth Ending Hunger-Naogaon – called on girls to write open letters to their parents, telling them why they didn’t want to marry young. Over 3,000 girls from 53 different schools in Bangladesh participated, sharing their desire for freedom and their disappointment that the law banning child marriage for girls under 16 is not being consistently upheld.
Bhagwat Thorat pulled each of his three daughters out of school when they reached puberty, fearful that if he waited too long to find them husbands they would have fewer prospects, that they would become victims to sexual violence, or if nothing else, that his investment in their education would end up benefitting the husband’s family and not his own.
Sufiya Kuhtan, of Tala Upazila, Bangladesh, became a child bride when she was only 13. By 14, she had already become a mother. When her husband, the only earning member of the family, fell ill several years ago, Sufiya had to overcome tremendous financial hardship to provide for her daughter Selina’s education and give her a better and more secure future. Their dream? That Selina will become a doctor.