We're a little behind on this one - but that's not to say we weren't celebrating the ladies. The other day we came across this article chock-full of good info about gal-focused education initiatives around the world. It stirred emotions up deep inside of me. Good and not-so-great...both strong enough to inspire action of some sort.
It prompted us to think, "Heck yes, let's hear it for the gals!"...because Thursday, October 11, 2012 marked the first-ever 'International Day of the Girl' - a day to fight for, recognize and celebrate girls' rights around the world. We think that's just awesome. The message behind this special day has become that much more real and powerful with the story of a courageous young woman named Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot last Tuesday by the Taliban.
Malala started speaking out when she was just 11, after the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan and started closing girls' schools. Malala wanted something that we sometimes take for granted - she wanted an education. Is that too much to ask for? She dreamt of being a doctor. Sadly, Malala's struggle to get access to an education is battle that is all too common around the globe. 250 million adolescent girls are living in poverty. Millions of them don't go to school. This is disheartening...and that's an understatement. I can't find a word for the feeling in the pit of my stomach that this notion gives me. It's just so incredibly sad.
Last year, Malala was nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize, which is organized by a Dutch organization called 'KidsRights'. She also received one of Pakistan's highest civilian awards for her bravery. She is someone who was not afraid to stand up for what she believed in, even if it put her life at risk. She is amazing. She should be celebrated. We are celebrating her. And her mission.
And, today - and every single day - we are celebrating girls like Malala around the world. The crew here at Ethnotek have traveled to villages around the world and have seen and celebrated the incredible artisans we work with, many of which are women who are experts at their craft - and for that, we are blessed. Recently we were talking to a member of the Tribe who visited master weaver Vankar Shamji, of Bhujodi-Gujarat, India where the India 8 THREAD is woven. She shared beautiful insights gained from her experience, notably that the weaving process starts and ends with the women of the village. To me, this was poetic. It's special. The women have a very important role in the making of many of our textiles. And so we feel inclined to share these stories. Stories that empower the gals around the world.
In reading this article, we came across an initiative deemed Brave that features an amazing film called 'Girl Rising', that is a feature film and global campaign with the message: Educating girls in the developing world will bring transformational change.
We just couldn't keep this beauty to ourselves (because remember, sharing is caring).
This film tells the story of 9 unforgettable girls from 9 countries, selected in consultation with 9 acclaimed women writers. As the girls fight to get an education, the writers act as their voice which might otherwise not be heard. Each of these heroines is struggling to achieve against nearly impossible odds. These are stories of triumph, pain, courage, tragedy...and, above all, determination.
10x10 - Educate Girls. Change the World.
Check out the trailer...we dig it.