GIRL RISING How cultural beliefs CAN Disadvantage girls


No education means no freedom.

In many countries it is popular belief that women should stay at home with their kids. There is no need for women to go out and seek and education or pursue a career. Monetary issues will be taken care of my the man she chooses to marry. This lack of education leads to many women not having the capability to be independent. It makes female empowerment movements harder because uneducated women find it difficult to protest against the same men that provide for them and protect them. Because women aren't educated they either choose not to vote, or the government uses it as an excuse to refrain from giving them the franchise. This leads to the lack of female representation in government which then leads to fewer policies that assist women in countries that they desperately need these policies.


Because girls have little access to education, many impoverished parents see their daughters as economic strains. They don't think that their daughter will be able to provide for the family. The result of this mindset is that young girls, like Suma, are either aborted or abandoned at a young age. Some are sold as sex and domestic slaves or even turned into child brides. This is also why human trafficking numbers for women are so much larger.


It isn't just the lack of educational opportunities which leads to the little economic and societal power women tend to have all around the world. There are also social norms that damage the prospects of many women.

In many places women and girls like Amina are forced to cover themselves up. This dehumanizes women and makes it harder for them to be actively engaged in a world beyond their homes. Restrictions that make women driving, interacting with men other than their husbands or fathers and playing sports illegal, further narrows down the opportunities for women living in these kind of countries.

When there is such blatant disrespect for the human rights of women in certain societies, sexual and domestic violence is more accepted by those who live in these societies. This is why one out of every three women claim to experience physical and sexual violence, and why most of these acts of violence are actually committed by their intimate partner. When women experience such atrocities they are less likely to feel confidence in their abilities or feel any kind of empowerment. Many girls like Amina, who are given away as children as a bride, to much older men, experience domestic violence and rape. This just adds to the uphill road that women all over the world face towards equal rights.

Domestic violence is extremely high for the female population all around the world, especially because their human rights aren't respected legally and by society in general.


Although our first world problems, when it comes to women's rights, aren't nearly as substantial as many other countries', we still have a long way to go.

Although women in this country and many other first world countries have the ability to vote, serve public office, marry whomever they want to, drive a car, go to school and wear whatever they want, because our laws protect both sexes equally, there are still a lot of societal norms that we have widely accepted here in the west that are also inherently sexist. We can fix this by educating the next generation on what is unacceptable when it comes to the treatment of women. No one is born with sexism, it develops from what we see around us everyday, we must do our best to make sure that these ugly attitudes don't continue on corrupting generation after generation.


Many have said that without women gaining the opportunities to reach their highest potentials, many developing countries will have a harder time developing. There are so many women in the world, they make up half of the population. If only half of the population has the proper amount of rights and opportunities afforded to them, then we, as a global community, can only be half as effective.

Women's empowerment is for the good of ALL of us!



"Seven things women in Saudi Arabia cannot do." The Week UK. N.p., 27 Sept. 2016. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.

"Facts and figures: Ending violence against women." UN Women. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.

"Hotline Statistics." National Human Trafficking Hotline. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.

"About Us." Girl Rising. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.

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