Why The Eagle Huntress Is An Empowering Film for Young Girls

The Eagle Huntress narrated by Daisy Ridley follows the wonderful story of a teenage girl named Aisholpan who becomes the first eagle huntress in Mongolia.

We are introduced to Aisholpan at a boarding school located in a small town miles from her nomadic home because schools are quite far from where she lives. It’s the last day of school for that week and Aisholpan is taken home by her father on his moped. Her family are nomads that live in a simple circular hut in the midst of a vast barren plain edged by beautiful, rocky mountains. Her family consists of Aisholpan’s younger sister and brother, her mother, and her father.

Her father is one of the few remaining eagle hunters in Mongolia. For centuries Mongolian men caught eaglets, raised them, and used them to hunt for food to support their families. Since Aisholpan was a little girl she loved watching her father put on the eagle hunters’ garb and go out in search of food from rabbits to foxes. In fact, it was one of her joys to help her father with his eagle. As she grew older her father allowed her to play with his eagle as he saw her keen interest in becoming a hunter.

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Featured Video: African Women Musicians Join ONE for Strong Girl Anthem

Today ONE launched its Strong Girl anthem to empower girls worldwide and as a follow-up to its recent Poverty is Sexist report.

Strong Girl features vocalists Waje (Nigeria), Victoria Kimani (Kenya), Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania), Arielle T (Gabon), Gabriela (Mozambique), Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Selmor Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe), Judith Sephuma (South Africa), new talent Blessing Nwafor (South Africa) and the video stars Omotola Jalade Ekeinde (Nigeria).

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UNESCO Report Shows Sobering Global Education Progress

Fifteen years ago an educational framework was set in Dakar, Senegal at the World Education Forum that established goals to achieve “Education for All” by 2015. Since then, the number of children who are now out of school has fallen by half, but there are still 58 million children out of school globally and around 100 million children who do not complete primary education according to the report.

Of course, it is the world’s poorest children who are largely not attending school. In fact, poor children globally are four times less likely to attend school than the world’s richest children. And since the World Education Forum in 2000, only one third of countries have achieved all of the measurable Education for All (EFA) goals.

There has been some progress since 2000, however. 184 million children were enrolled in pre-primary education worldwide, an increase of nearly two-thirds since 1999. And yet, for older children, especially those who live in sub-Saharan Africa, 20 percent of enrolled children drop out before graduating.

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How Four Organizations Use Storytelling and Data to Highlight Women’s Health and Global Progress

Over the past few days several organizations have focused on International Women’s Day by releasing reports on the progress of women and girls in a variety of sectors through interactive web sites, data, as well as maps. The following have stood out during the week.

Doctors Without Borders

Women’s health care is critical in many low- and middle-income countries largely because women as well as girls continue to die in numbers that are not only too high, but oftentimes unnecessary. For example, 800 women still die from complications during pregnancy and childbirth. The vast majority of these deaths are preventable. And, 13 percent of the 22 million unsafe abortions result in maternal deaths. To convey this and other health data, Doctors Without Borders created a robust, multimedia online project, Because Tomorrow Needs Herwhere health workers and patients alike share their life experiences either administering care in low-resource settings, or seeking quality care with the burden of heavy obstacles like transportation, costs, and proximity to a health facility.

Through eight interactive chapters with compelling first-person accounts Doctors Without Borders highlights important women’s health issues including maternal health, fistulas, unsafe abortions, and sexual violence among others.

“It is unconscionable that in many parts of the world today, women have no access to quality obstetric care, when providing it is not complicated,” said Séverine Caluwaerts, an MSF obstetrician/gynecologist. “High impact, yet low-cost interventions by trained health staff can have a dramatic impact on maternal mortality.”

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Sex Trafficking of Girls Is an Underground American Problem

Last week I saw someone in my Twitter feed mention the new movie, The Long Night, that was recently featured on the New York Times. The Long Night is an online film by Tim Matsui and Media Storm and funded by the Alexia Foundation about girls who are sex trafficked in and around Seattle. I immediately watched the entire movie and sat there in stunned silence! I just … Continue reading Sex Trafficking of Girls Is an Underground American Problem

10 Facts About Female Genital Mutilation You May Not Have Known #EndFGM

Today marks the UN’s International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. It is vitally important that we raise our collective voices today and frequently throughout the year to help stop the violence against young girls who are literally mutilated in the name of culture and custom when they have to endure a lifetime of pain and agony. I just finished the riveting book The … Continue reading 10 Facts About Female Genital Mutilation You May Not Have Known #EndFGM

Upcoming Conference: Women Advancement Forum (Banjul, Gambia)

Over the next few months we will be helping to promote one of the largest women’s conferences in Africa – the Women Advancement Forum. The forum will be held May 24 – 29, 2014 in Banjul, Gambia at the Sheraton Hotel. The Women Advancement Forum (WAF) is Africa’s most attended global gender conference. WAF is a platform that recognizes women’s advancement and empowerment is amongst … Continue reading Upcoming Conference: Women Advancement Forum (Banjul, Gambia)

The Importance of Clean Cookstoves – A Personal Experience

When I was in Tanzania in October I went into a traditional Massai hut where a mother was inside making beans in a kettle over a red hot fire. The fire was ridiculously hot and I couldn’t believe how the woman and her family could endure the heat and smoke from cooking. While I was in Ethiopia last year observing frontline health workers with Save … Continue reading The Importance of Clean Cookstoves – A Personal Experience

Push the Envelope for International Youth Day

To celebrate International Youth Day today, join Catapult.org, the leading crowdfunding site for girls’ and women’s issues, and fund a program that will specifically help girls in developing countries. Projects can be funded quickly and simply on Catapult.  OXFAM: Provide education for 6,000 girls in Pakistan’s flooded regions by flood-proofing 30 schools and campaigning for the right of girls in education: http://shorefi.re/1exHyDd Global Fund for Children: Help 42 girls … Continue reading Push the Envelope for International Youth Day

The Importance of Education for Girls

Much of yesterday’s Women Deliver 2013 conversation centered around education for girls. Without at least a primary education girls in poor and middle income countries cannot properly contribute to their country’s economy nor to their household. Girls who are fortunate to prolong marriage are able to attend school longer than if they are married away by their family. Being married off instead of staying in school … Continue reading The Importance of Education for Girls

Key Tweets from Investing in Women’s Reproductive Health Session #WD2013

(Above) Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO , Global Fund for Women Storify by Social Good Moms Mon, May 27 2013 19:42:41 Key Tweets from Investing in Women’s Reproductive Health Session On the first day of the Women Deliver 2013 conference, here are key tweets we read during the plenary session: Investing in Women’s Reproductive Health Equals Investing in Economic and Social Progress for Everyone WatSanCollabCouncil@WatSanCollabCou … Continue reading Key Tweets from Investing in Women’s Reproductive Health Session #WD2013

A Look at Pathfinder’s ‘Women Who Dare’ Series

Pathfinder International, a leader in women’s sexual and reproductive health, launched a new series called, “Women Who Dare” on International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8. The series of interviews and stories feature daring women around the world who are doing groundbreaking work on behalf of women and girls. Women Who Dare includes Q&As with world leaders like Nafis Sadik (first woman to head a … Continue reading A Look at Pathfinder’s ‘Women Who Dare’ Series

Day of the Girl Posts From the Global Team of 200

As you probably already know yesterday was the first-ever International Day of the Girl. (Global Team of 200) Members of the Global Team of 200 wrote poignant posts about Day of the Girl and what it means to them. Read the posts here: DayoftheGirl More posts about International Day of the Girl: (Impatient Optimists) International Day of the Girl: What Is It and How You Can Help (Babble) 3 … Continue reading Day of the Girl Posts From the Global Team of 200

Female Genital Mutilation Banned Under New Somalian Constitution

Somalia has a new government and with it a new provision in its constitution in Title 2: Article 15: Liberty and Security of the Person that bans female genital mutilation (FGM). The new law states: Circumcision of girls is a cruel and degrading customary practice, and is tantamount to torture. The circumcision of girls is prohibited. According to several reports between 90% to 95% of all … Continue reading Female Genital Mutilation Banned Under New Somalian Constitution