Friday 11 October 2013

International day of the Girl

There is a state in the south west region of India called Kerala.

Kerala has the highest literacy rate - one hundred percent enrolment at primary school level - the highest life expectancy, is the cleanest and healthiest state, has the lowest homicide rates and is deemed the least corrupt state of the country. Kerala's educated population is connected to local and international media with dozens of newspapers available in multiple languages.

While there are of course, many factors contributing to these amazing statistics, there is one that really struck a chord.

Historically, Kerala has been a matrilineal society. Family inheritances, property and wealth were passed down from mother to daughter, rather than a caste or patriarchal system. Embedding in the culture of Kerala, a position for women that was characterised by independence, freedom and security that was unique to other parts of the country.

The high rates of female literacy, education, work participation and life expectancy means women are empowered to make choices. Choices that make a huge impact to their community.

I was lucky enough to attend a preview of Girl Rising a few months ago (trailer above). A film sharing the stories of nine young girls. Their journeys on this path to education are incredibly moving and powerful. Everyone needs to see it.

One of the points raised by the film in sharing these stories was that investment in a girls education has been proven time and time again to deliver the highest return on investment in the developing world. Educating a boy is equally as important, but there are significant barriers to accessing education for SO MANY girls. Changing this literally changes communities, for the benefit of everyone in it. 

Today, is the International Day of the Girl.

Today, sixteen year old Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Sakharov EU Human Rights prize. Malala continues to campaign for the basic right of education for every child, with such strength and grace in spite of her horrific attack by the Taliban last year. 

World Vision Australia is hosting screenings of Girl Rising across the country today (additional dates in Sydney & Melbourne), tickets are still available. I encourage you to go see it. There are other ways to get involved too, more information here.

Recently our sponsor child, Sonda from Bangladesh, wrote to us and shared that the project that has had the biggest impact on her family so far is the education provided on children's rights and protection. It has changed attitudes, she wrote. The implications of this have a value far greater than any donation. 

Belinda x

* This is not a sponsored post. I support World Vision wholeheartedly. This topic is one I'm passionate about and I've been drafting it in my head for some time. Today felt like the right time to share it.


  1. And this is why you rock! Being a former teacher I know that education can change the world but to see how far we still have to go is shocking. Thank you so much for sharing your passion and these important stories with all of us. It is people like you who start the ripple of change...I am off to watch now!

  2. Oh Belinda, that is powerful! I do know I have been up to my ears in busyness but how did I miss it was international day of the girl. I'd like to go and see the film. Watching the trailer I felt humbled, incredibly and ever so fortunate. Just catching up on your blog for the first time in months, your trip looked great, photos beautiful!! xx R

  3. Ohh good post! The trailer is great…a 'need to see; film. It left me feeling incredibly privileged and fortunate to have been born a women in Australia. I've been away from blogs and blogging for what seems like ages, just catching up - your trip looked great. beautiful photography!! x


Thanks for your comment, so nice to hear from you. Belinda x

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