During the early fall a few years ago, I attended a viewing of the documentary film “Girl Rising.” This film showcases nine girls, each from a different country (Afghanistan, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nepal, Peru and Sierra Leone) as each of them confronts tremendous challenges and overcomes nearly impossible odds to achieve an education and pursue her dreams.

This film was truly an awakening for me in terms of the inequalities for women that exist in our modern day. As the girls featured faced systemic and personal injustice, their stories were somewhat painful but ultimately triumphant.

While girls make up almost a quarter of the world’s population, they still face the greatest discrimination of any group in the world. “Being born a girl means you are more likely to be subjected to violence, disease, poverty and disadvantage than any other group on the planet.” (IAmAGirl.org.au) In her 2013 Bloomberg Business post, Kathy Matsui references Goldman Sachs research that shows, “investments in female education can yield a ‘growth premium’ in GDP trends and that narrowing the gender gap in employment can boost per capita income.”

The basic human rights and even the economic evidence of empowering girls seem obvious; but the challenges and discrimination are often distant from an American perspective – or less obvious in our own culture.

YWCA Rockford has the honor of working with AAUW Rockford to bring to our community another important film for the awareness and advancement of girls’ empowerment: “I Am A Girl.”


“I Am A Girl” is a feature length documentary from Australian director and producer Rebecca Barry, depicting the `reality of what it means to be a girl in the 21st century.  As the girls represented in “Girl Rising” faced adversity and persevered, the girls in “I Am A Girl” also rise above the obstacles dictated by their culture. “I Am A Girl” follows the stories of six girls from cities around the globe, chronicling their experiences and challenges as they come of age within various cultures, from New York to Afghanistan.

For our organizations to share this important film and message with the Rockford community, we need your help. Please help us secure this showing with your advanced ticket purchase. We need a minimum of 65 tickets sold by September 10, 2015 to hold the showing.

Please reserve your seat today:

I Am A Girl, documentary film viewing
September 21, 2015
7:30 PM
Showplace 16, Rockford
Tickets: http://gathr.us/screening/11613