"My shoes wear out from walking to school, and then I can’t go because we can’t afford new shoes," says a girl from Indonesia.
"I want to live freely," says another girl, in Egypt. "I don’t want people to dictate what I do. No one to control us, no one to hit us, no one to tell us what clothes to wear."
In Congo, a girl starts to list her chores: “Tidying the house, fetching water, preparing meals,” she says. “There are so many I can’t even name them all.”
Their voices are part of a chorus of more than 500 girls, ages 10 to 19, from 14 developing countries. They’ve shared their challenges and dreams with the Girl Declaration, a campaign started last year by the Nike Foundation.
The aim: to change the way the world thinks about girls, says Lyric Thompson at the International Center for Research on Women, which worked with Nike on the project.
Writing this week in the journal Science, Melinda Gates says that “no society can achieve its potential with half of its population marginalized and disempowered.”
They are the “engines” of global development, writes the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And they should be at the center of development plans and goals.
Photo: "I want to grow up and become a police. But I need to study in a good school for that. I want to become a police to protect the country." - Fiza, 13, India (Courtesy of Nike Foundation)
Frank McCourt, 'Tis
"Accepting that life is insane, that bad things happen to good people and that you can find the courage to be grateful for the good in every situation and still move forward is hard (even terrifying), but heroic."
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THE MAKING OF “IN VOLUPTAS MORS” – SALVADOR DALI BY PHILIPPE HALSMAN
"It gives me strength to have somebody to fight for; I can never fight for myself, but, for others, I can kill."
Emilie Autumn, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls