By Taylor Rexrode
A documentary screening hosted by the School of Education has sparked a discussion among students about global education and inequality.
The screening of “Girl Rising” was at 3:30 p.m. Monday Kayser Auditorium, which was filled to near capacity.
The documentary, directed by Richard E. Robbins, highlights nine girls living in nine developing countries and their struggles to attain traditional education in schools.
In the one-hour and 40-minute film, the girls tell their different stories, involving rape, poverty, food insecurity, child marriage, slavery and homelessness.
But, as the film title suggests, the girls rise from their circumstances or vow to fight for equality, clinging to a hope that universal education is imperative.
Kathryn Mueller, director of the gender studies minor and senior lecturer in sociology, said her students reacted to the film by discussing ways to raise funds for the cause.
“What a difference this film made for students that saw it,” Mueller said. “My students talked to me about uniting together for a university project. It’s a great idea to have a major fund drive to help girls and their international education.”
Mueller said another screening is set for 9 p.m. Thursday in 345 Draper for those students who missed their chance.
Mueller said “Girl Rising” raises awareness and promotes a global change for girls around the world.
“This is one of several films that contrast American females and those growing up in other societies where rights are restricted, where women handle what we consider half the sky without any reward for doing so. We find that all around the world, particularly in developing countries, low-income women struggle for just a voice. With this film, it brings awareness and says, ‘We’re concerned and we want to lend our voice to this effort, to do what we can, to liberate our women around the world,’” Mueller said.
Benton Harbor, Mich., senior Sarah Johnson, an education major, left the auditorium wanting to continue the spread of awareness through her future career.
“As an English teacher, one of the things that I want to do is empower my students to think about the world around them. Showing them that there is a world bigger than them would help my students see outside their point of view so that they can help others,” Johnson said.
Dr. Brooke Blevins, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, helped coordinate the screening through 10X10.
10X10 is a campaign started by a group of award winning ABC News journalists in association with The Documentary Group and Vulcan Productions to reach global audiences and inspire individuals to take action for girls. According to the website they believe that educating girls in developing nations will change the world.
She hopes that students will realize the opportunity.
“As the film talks about, educating girls is the highest return investment for ending the cycle of poverty,” Blevins said. “We have the opportunity to change the lives of girls around the world in ways that are not too difficult, by supporting and providing funds for school.”
The film will be in Regal Cinemas nationwide between April 19 and 25.
Viewers can reserve seats at viewings in Dallas, Round Rock and Killeen by visiting the “Girl Rising” website, www.10x10act.org.
Supporters can join the education conversation through Twitter by using the hashtag “#GirlRising” or by joining the Baylor Girl Rising Facebook page.
Students can also donate toward the 10×10 Fund for Girls’ Education by texting “GIVE” to 55155 or by going online to 10x10act.org/give.