International day of the Girl Child, which is celebrated on October 11, aims to create awareness about the rights of a girl child across the globe. One of the basic rights every child has is that of getting equal opportunity to acquire education, which in a country like ours is usually neglected, especially in case of a girl child. According to a report published by UNESCO, Pakistan ranks the second with the most out-of-school children in the world with only Nigeria ahead of us. It also revealed that Pakistan is in the bottom 10 countries in terms of the proportion of poor girls who have never gone to school. It stated that 62% girls in Pakistan, aged between 7 and 15, have never spent time in a classroom. These stats are much higher in comparison to 30% in India and 9% in Bangladesh.
Educating women, in particular, has unmatched transformative power. It not only empowers them but also has a positive effect on their family and surroundings. Women with more education tend to have fewer children, which benefits them, their families and the society at large. Education is also one of the most powerful elements of improving people’s health. It saves the lives of millions of mothers and children, helps prevent diseases, and is an essential component of efforts to reduce malnutrition. Educated mothers are better informed about diseases; therefore, they take preventative measures, recognize signs of illness early and tend to use health care services more often.
To create awareness regarding the importance of girl child eductaion, SOC Films in collaboration with Chime of Change, created a series of short documentaries on young girls who want to achieve their dreams and aspirations to seek excellence in various professions in future whether it’s sports, literature, science, math, activism, or so on and so forth. Chime For Change, a global movement is aimed at strengthening voices speaking out to support the cause of promoting justice, health and education for girls and women the world over. These documentaries were screened at an event in New York on 11th October this year, which is also celebrated as the International Day of the Girl Child. The event was also featured in Huffington Post.
Areeba Fatima, a student of Dawood Public School, one of the biggest girls’ school in Karachi, is also featured in one of the documentaries where she expresses her desire to become a diplomat to be able to represent Pakistan at the UN and paint a positive picture of the country. The documentary can be viewed here:
Dawood Public School is among the very few schools that aim to empower women by giving them the confidence of facing the world through participation in many extracurricular activities including sports, debates, performing arts etc.