“Girl Rising” Film Brings World Together, Helps Discuss Issues in Athens

How much different would your world be if the women in your life didn’t have an education?

That is the question the Ohio University Women’s Center posed to students on March 6, following a film screening of “Girl Rising,” a documentary that focuses on the global struggle that women and girls face in receiving an education.

“(The film) focuses in regards to economic disparities for women and how that’s connected to education, connected to health, connected to access to resources to combat sexual violence, etc.,” Dr. Geneva Murray, director of the Women’s Center, said.

Though the film screening was intended to be a focus and celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, Dr. Murray used this opportunity to speak about how the themes of the film could be translated back to small town Athens, Ohio. She challenged the students who attended the film screening to connect the issues back to this community and wonder, do we live in a world where these issues are before us? Is there something we are not seeing?

Athens County is the poorest county in Ohio, according to Cincinnati.com. It may not be war-torn Sierra Leone, or a Peruvian mining town, as featured in the film, but women (and men) in this county are unable to access a substantial education because of some of the same reasons the nine girls of “Girl Rising” cannot.

Athens may have far more resources than remote corners of the world, however, Dr. Murray said, school must be cancelled on days of heavy rain or snow, keeping children from their education. And even on clear days, Athens does not have the funding to provide total busing to every student enrolled.

“It’s important for us to always think in terms of how we’re connecting locally and internationally, it’s not easy for us to think about how things are going out there, but it’s also equally important to think about how it does connect to our experience here, both of what we can learn from, as well as some other issues that we still need to overcome.

To learn more about the Girl Rising film, click here: https://girlrising.org/

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