Educational inequality examined at 'Girl Rising' event

On Nov. 25, the Women’s Resource Center and Sigma Sigma Sigma presented a screening of the film “Girl Rising” followed by a Q and A session for audience members to raise awareness for educational equality of women globally.

“Girl Rising,” directed by Richard E. Robbins, followed the stories of nine women around the world and their fight for equality and education. Each of the girls who were featured met with professional writers to capture the struggles and triumphs they endured. The powerful tales portrayed barriers that women still face today around the world when it comes to receiving an education for Eastern
Michigan University student audience members.

The Student Center auditorium was full to capacity with students curious and eager to gather a deeper understanding of the oppression women face globally as well as new ways to get involved.

“My friend is in the sorority and I was interested in seeing the film,” EMU freshman Casey Belcher said.

Myra Phillips, a graduate student, was curious about the film and decided to come to support.

“I saw it in my announcements and it looked interesting,” Phillips said. “I hope to find it intellectually stimulating.”

Throughout the film audience members were exposed to the eye-opening facts showing both the treatment of women globally and the benefits that can come from educating a woman:

• 66 million girls are out of school every day across the world and million others struggle to stay where they are.

• 33 million fewer girls are in schools than boys.

• 14 million girls under the age of 18 will be married each year, which calculates to 13 girls every 30 seconds married around the world.

• Girls out of school are more susceptible to diseases like HIV.

• 50 percent of sexual assault victims worldwide are under 15 years of age, prompting parents in many of these countries with high assault cases to marry off girls as young as 7-years-old.

• The number one cause of death in girls between the ages of 15 and 19 is childbirth.

Educating a woman can change the world in many ways. Putting a girl in school can prevent more than 700,000 of the worldwide HIV cases by building economies and reducing poverty. An educated girl brings new ideas and growth to areas that are currently struggling economies. Despite the positive benefits that occur with equal opportunity in education, many countries still oppress woman.

In the U.S., many girls struggle to receive an education despite the opportunities available to them.
Girls Group of Ann Arbor provides resources to girls in the hopes of opening doors and bringing an education to girls in the area. Resources include one-on-one mentoring to develop character, leadership and self-confidence, as well as help with homework, summer camps and college preparation opportunities.

Girls Group mentors are providing social and emotional support, guidance and many resources to assist girls in achieving their dreams for a future. The encouragement and support each girl involved in the Girls Group program is helping to build future musicians, artists, business owners and many successful women who will help shape the future of the U.S.

EMU students will find that there are many ways to get involved and help change the lives of young girls from the area. Their site provides information on volunteering opportunities, donations and upcoming events. Girls Group is currently providing support for 30 middle school, 50 high school, 50 first-generation college students and mothers in the local area and with the help of volunteers to reach out to girls in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.

For more information, go to

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