In this blog series, Koen shares some of his experiences from the making of Girl Connected. In his visit to India, Koen meets Ayesha, an international Karate champion and advocate for women’s safety. Koen remarks, “Girls as young as six years old come to her weekly class…When she enters the park for her training sessions, everything changes… Her speech becomes louder and clearer, and her body is strong and determined… This is where Ayesha is at her best, fulfilling her dream to become a teacher to other girls.”
In this blog series, Koen shares some of his experiences from the making of Girl Connected. In his visit to Bangladesh, Koen meets Latifa, a fourteen-year-old anti child marriage activist, driven by her own narrow escape from the fate of a child bride. Koen shares, “When you hear Latifa argue with the adults, you’d think she was 18… Then as she walks on to the next village, a duck crosses her path. She starts chasing it with a friend, giggling their way through the high grass. You look at her then and she’s twelve years old again, living the moments she missed when she went into hiding, fearing for her destiny.”
In this blog series, Koen shares some of his experiences from the making of Girl Connected. In his visit to Kenya, Koen meets Michelle Buyaki, one of six female engineering students in her class, and a powerful advocate for girls’ leadership in every field. Koen recalls an intimate evening with Michelle and her family in their Nairobi home. Over food and dancing, Koen reflects, “Once you get to know Michelle’s family: her mother and father, her aunt Vanessa, her grandmother and her siblings, you start to understand where goodness in people is born.”
In this blog series, Koen shares some of his experiences from the making of Girl Connected. In his visit to Jordan, Koen meets Ghazal, a stereotype-defying artist who invites other women and youth into her creative world. Koen reflects, “Ghazal might not seem so different from my own teenage daughter and the girls she hangs out with, but in her country she is truly unique…. Ghazal challenges the perception of onlookers, the common people on the street, while involving other women in achieving it…. I can’t think of a more peaceful, colorful and beautiful way of using creativity as a motor behind the liberation of young Jordanian women. “
Josi, Michelle, Ghazal, Latifa, and Ayesha live thousands of miles apart, but the five young women are connected by a single mission: improving the lives of other girls in their communities. In Women and Girls Lead Global’s new film made by Koen Suidgeest, Girl Connected, we meet young women from Peru, Kenya, Jordan, Bangladesh and […]
Women and Girls Lead believes that true stories about girls struggling to overcome adversity are transformative; they connect girls to each other across the world and inspire change. The Overseas Press Club of America – the country’s oldest and largest association of journalists engaged in international news – recently honored one of these inspiring stories […]
Girl Connected captures complex and inspiring stories of girls in five countries taking on the enormous challenge of tackling issues like child marriage, gender-based violence, reproductive health rights, and the many forms of discrimination girls face all over the world – all while balancing their lives as teenage girls. The film launched globally on our […]
This 16 Days of Activism, “Girl Connected” Ghazal challenges families to give girls the freedom to pursue what they love. Girls around the world are often discouraged or prevented from pursuing their dreams, especially when those dreams are deemed inappropriate for women and girls. Ghazal uses art and photography to fight repressive gender norms that try to silence girls’ voices. Her work inspires other girls to think beyond gender stereotypes and tell their stories.
This 16 Days of Activism, “Girl Connected” Michelle’s call to action for girls is to believe in their dreams and express themselves. Battling gender stereotypes to pursue her own dream of becoming an aeronautical engineer, Michelle also mentored other girls to pursue their ambitions. She says, “Our society will not improve through great ideas that are in minds and stay there. These ideas need to be heard.”
This 16 Days of Activism, “Girl Connected” Ayesha Noor encourages girls to take up self defense lessons and fight GBV. How will you fight for girls’ rights?