As a young girl, I remember being told “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up.” It was expected that I would go to college. I didn’t have to ask anyone, I just went. I was the first in my family to get a college degree.
“Do all girls have to overcome what I did, just to have a chance? I hope not.” – Anita (see video below)
I was encouraged to focus on school before getting involved in a relationship. My early education involved sex education so I knew how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Later, I was an advocate for safe sex education so other girls would know too. I was taught that my body was my own and no one else’s. I got involved in V-Day to perform and produce The Vagina Monologues so other girls and women would know this too, in case no one had ever told them.
“When I was 11 years old, my father said, “We are going to church. There they forced me to take my vows with a man from the village.” – Addis (see video below)
Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money but we had enough. I wonder, though, if they would have had to trade my hand in marriage, what would have been their compensation?
“She’s already engaged. She just doesn’t know it yet. They will give us cattle.” – 13 year old Kidan’s mother (see video below)
I was given many chances.
As I often am when I think about humanitarian issues, I was struck by the immense contrast between my life and the lives of girls and women around the world. So as I was preparing to write this blog, I kept putting it off. I didn’t think there was any way I would be able to do The Girl Effect justice. But then I realized, it doesn’t matter what I say.
All it takes is one.
One girl to read my post and decide to learn more. One Dad telling her daughter that she’s valuable, just because. One Mom who teaches her daughter about her body so she can respect herself and know how to prevent unintended pregnancy. One of you to donate to The Girl Effect. Rinse and repeat.
That’s the power of The Girl Effect.
The Girl Effect is about giving girls a chance. And changing the course of history. One girl at a time. Please watch this video to learn more about The Girl Effect. Then read on to learn about what you can do to be a part of it.
What You Can Do
1. Learn more @ The Girl Effect website .
2. Give online or if you are in the U.S., text GIRL to 50555 to donate $10 (USD) to the Girl Effect (Go here for details).
3. Join the blogging campaign and help spread the word @ www.taramohr.com/joinus.