Girl Rising Partnership in India to Promote Girls’ Education

01 November 2013

USAID's Girl Rising Country Partnership seeks to increase public dialogue on gender and education issues to encourage community-level interventions to help improve girls' education.
USAID’s Girl Rising Country Partnership seeks to increase public dialogue on gender and education issues to encourage community-level interventions to help improve girls’ education. (AP Images)

New Delhi, India — The U.S. Agency for International Development’s new Girl Rising Country Partnership will use the power of the film Girl Rising to increase public dialogue on gender and education issues to encourage community-level interventions to help improve girls’ education.

“The United States recognizes the importance of girls’ rights around the world to be educated, to live a healthy life and to be treated as equals in society. Girl Rising is a film that uses the power of storytelling to deliver a simple, critical truth: educating girls is one of the smartest investments we can make to reduce extreme poverty,” U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy J. Powell said at an October 31 event at the American Center in New Delhi marking the International Day of the Girl Child.

At the event, the U.S. Mission in India hosted a screening of Girl Rising for 100 girls affiliated with the nongovernmental organizations Pratham and Katha, which receive funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The girls visually shared their dreams by writing aspirations on paper birds to be displayed at the American Center, symbolizing their dreams taking flight. A group of children from Katha also sang a song about empowerment.

The partnership is a collaboration among USAID, 10×10, Intel Corporation, the Council on International Educational Exchange, Vulcan Productions and the Pearson Foundation. Additionally, Cable News Network (CNN) is the international television distribution partner for Girl Rising. All partners are working to raise awareness and change attitudes and behaviors relating to girls’ education.

Girl Rising is a feature film by Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins that highlights the stories of nine girls born into difficult circumstances. Girls featured include Ruksana, an Indian pavement-dweller whose father sacrifices his own basic needs for his daughter’s dreams; Sokha, an orphan who rises from a life in a Cambodian garbage dump to become a star student and accomplished dancer; and Suma, who writes songs that help her endure forced servitude in Nepal.

By creating local-language releases of Girl Rising and follow-up teaching materials, this important public-private partnership will seek to make a difference in the lives of girls in some of the very places featured in the film, USAID said.