Everyone is born with basic human rights and related entitlements being a human being but it a continuous struggle for some of them especially for girls and women across the globe. Still in the world millions children are out of schools and most of them are girls and many of them are forced to be young brides. Many women are deprived from basic health services, education, economic opportunities etc. Living free from the violence is a human right but many women experienced this violation of right every day and sometimes more than once in a single day. Though there are definitions which define violence but I think once you are denied from your basic right that is violence.
Sometimes visible scars are enough to tell that you are victim of being denied for your rights but there some scars on soul too. I met many women and girls during work who have these invisible scars being denied from their rights. I can tell you about a school principal in a village school located in remote settlements of Multan which is a district of south Punjab in Pakistan who experienced this violation every day. I can tell about another woman who is living in same village who will tell you with a smile that her husband beats her every day as this is a normal daily routine. Denied from the rights are most acceptable social norms in the society. It is so invisible that one hardly feels it.
I cannot forget another 10 years old girl who dropped out from school because of another girl was eloped living close to her house; and her brother stopped her from attending the school. You will be thinking why she is being stopped to attend school? This unseen fear of losing respect in the community is so strong that no one can break it in a single year. In one of the village of Vietnam “One boy is equal to a child but ten girls are not equal to a single child”. Does not this statement take your heart away and make you feel sad? Yes, I could feel my face wet. These are only few examples. There are thousands of stories which are never written and listened because no one knows them.
To highlight some of these untold stories CARE and its partners has initiated a campaign which is called Women and Girls Lead Global to support social change in different communities by using local media and engagement activities. The concept of campaign revolves around character driven storytelling inspires audiences and drives dialogue on key gender issues include health, education, violence, economic opportunity and participation. Sample films include Half the Sky, War & Peace and Revolutionary Optimists, Solar Mamas, Iron Ladies of Liberia, Solar Mamas and others. Initially this campaign will be rolled out in nine countries with different levels of engagement at local level. Among these nine, five countries are considered as countries for social change i.e. India, Bangladesh, Kenya, Egypt and Peru. Remaining four will be taken as Public Awareness countries and these include Jordan, Malawi, Ecuador or EI Salvador and either Nepal or Mozambique. I will be managing this campaign at CARE USA with other colleagues for one year.
This campaign has reminded me another campaign I was working on in Pakistan called “It is my Right, Make it Right” through various engagement activities including animated sequel called Dunya Aur Larki (World & Girl) calling for action at local, national and international level. I can see a strong tie when RIGHT is considered Right than no one can stop a girl and women to take the global lead as they are holding half the sky. I can feel the power in the voice of little girl who is singing a poem in local language by the end of this documentary. You can feel the power too!
Helping Girls into School: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eS1GXe1-vCY
To know more about:
Dunya Aur Larki: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teU9nCH918k
Dunya Aur Larki: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejHaCjT0kBU
Women & Girls Lead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cne3okW4b6k

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