I Am Malala

One of my goals for Girl Rising is to give the girls positive female role models to look up to. Too frequently, women and girls are portrayed negatively in the media. Young girls, such as the ones in my club, are left feeling the pressures of societal norms. They will spend their lives craving the attention of boys, using their body to get what they want, and letting go of their dreams because someone has made them feel like their goals are not important. The list goes on and on, but it just proves that girls need us now more than ever before. 

This week we talked about Malala. My friend Jamie tagged me in this video on Facebook and I am so glad she did because it inspired my conversation with the girls. This was a very timely discussion considering she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize this past Wednesday, December 10. None of the girls had heard of Malala before so I took the time to share her story. I talked about how in many countries around the world, girls do not have the right to go to school. Girls are expected to fulfill their role in the home. Their voices are silenced and their brains are discouraged from learning. The girls and I talked about how lucky we are to have access to a free, equal education. Education opens doors to endless opportunities that so many girls around the world are not lucky enough to receive. The girls were heartbroken by Malala's story but they were also encouraged by her courage and bravery in her fight for educational freedom. 

I showed them this extremely powerful video of Malala accepting her award: 

How can you be more like Malala? 

That's the question I asked my girls at the end of the video. What can we do every single day to be more like her? She stood up for something she believed in even though it was dangerous. She didn't let fear silence her voice. She fights for the 66 million girls around the girl that are deserving of an equal education. If she can do it, why can't I? 

The girls brainstormed all the ways they can be more like Malala. Here's a few ideas they came up with: 
  • When someone's heart is empty, I can fill their heart by being their friend. 
  • Helping a teammate when no one else is. 
  • Standing up for myself when people are being unkind. 
  • Confronting bullies when they are hurting other people. 
Malala's book is called I Am Malala. I encouraged the girls to think of a word to describe themselves just like Malala did. "I am ___________________." 

I am powerful. 
I am amazing. 

I am important to me. 
I am independent. 

This is our time to make a change. Giving a girl the power of an education is the greatest gift she can be given. Lets empower our girls to know they are worth it. Let it end with us. 

"One child. One teacher. One book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution." 

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