“Girl Rising” and Worldwide Girls’ Education

Only 30 percent of the girls in the world attend secondary school. In developing countries, one in seven girls is married off before age 15, and worldwide girls as young as 11 are forced to work as prostitutes.

These harrowing numbers are what drove director Richard Robbins and a team of former ABC News journalists to create Girl Rising, an independent film showcasing the global benefits of educating girls. The umbrella for the film and its social campaign is 10×10, a nonprofit devoted to educating girls worldwide in countries where girl power is sometimes woefully overlooked, including areas in South America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

The film follows the lives of nine girls from developing countries, explaining how better access to education would transform their lives. The film pushes a conversation that seems all the more critical after the shooting of 15-year-old education activist Malala Yousafzai by the Taliban last year.

Girl Rising will have its nationwide release on March 8, International Women’s Day, and then after the premiere people across the country will have the opportunity to host screenings in their communities. Watch the powerful trailer, and then go to the 10×10 website for more information on how to submit a screening request. This film should be required watching for anyone who ponders on the role of girls in this century.

And if supporting girls’ endeavors isn’t enough to draw your attention, Girl Rising also has a woman-powered all-star narration crew that includes Meryl Streep, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys and Kerry Washington.


Associate editor of Ms. magazine