Because I am a girl

Lilli Eppinga, Staff Writer

In Nepal, a girl works from dawn to dusk for her master, dreaming with every aching bone in her body to learn. In delicate daydreams, she pictures freshly sharpened pencils, rows of desks, the chant of the alphabet.

Because she is passionate. 

In Haiti, natural disasters sweep the nation and girls are left to fetch filthy water and care for elders. 

Because they cannot afford to learn. 

In Afghanistan, a girl is married against her will at the age of 10 and gives birth at 11.

Because it has always been so for the women in her country. 


When parents have to choose, they usually send the boys to school. 

Leaving 600 million girls consumed in a sea of sadness and uncertainty that begins to swallow them whole. 

The light that was once their hope, curiosity and potential slowly withers away.

Because they are reminded of their duties.

They are told by men to cook.

To clean.

When many seek freedom they are burned. 

When many speak the truth they are stoned. 

When many go to school they are bombed, poisoned and shot.

Because we are girls.

Do not tell me the blame lies in their dedicated religion, in their fascinating culture, in their traditions. 

Girls are not the problem. 

They are the problem solvers. 

You want to slow the spread of aids?

Educate a girl.

You want to grow the world of economics? 

Educate a girl.

There are things we can do, 

More than just hearing it in the news.

Hearing the abuse,

We breathe in the whimsical fairytale of celebrities and diamond lives,

We feed off the media of poison.

We listen to the egotistical voices that rip spirits and hopes away from the grasp of our own hands.

Because we are privileged.

Our minds become choked and reality fades away. 

Change is coming. 

They will read, they will study, they will attend school. 

I dare you to tell me it’s a waste of time. 

If you try to stop them, they will just try harder. 

And in the end, they will not only endure.

They will prevail.


So, what exactly happens when those 600 million girls become educated?