Featured Illustration: Camila Rosa
“Come on, not again,” is what I am told at times when I try to start a conversation about gender. I don’t think it would be fair to say that gender as a subject has not been vehemently researched or spoken about. However, gender discrimination continues to be one of the critical issues of contemporary society. Patriarchy is rooted in modern culture, which in turn gives rise to problems such as disproportionate access to education, lack of equal employment opportunities, job segregation, and the absence of decent healthcare for women across different cultures and communities.
Although the extensive and intensive research done on the subject of gender has suggested a wide range of solutions to the problem of gender bias, encouraging representation for women across different professions has been highlighted as one of the primary measures. Consequently, it becomes significant to empower women who tell women’s stories and encourage representation across a wide range of mainstream platforms. Global Girlhood is one such platform that has done tremendous work in promoting the voices of women by interviewing and publishing inspiring stories from local communities and strengthening intercultural, intergenerational, and interdisciplinary dialogue among women belonging to different areas.
I recently got an opportunity to interview the founder of this amazing organization, Pranjal Jain, and the following is an excerpt from the conversation that I had with her.
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What is Global Girlhood? What was the idea behind the formation of this platform?
“Global Girlhood is an eight months old publication which is my love letter to the world. At Global Girlhood, we try to create a space to grow and multiply representation for women. Global Girlhood as a platform intends to revolutionize the way womxn interact with each other. Our journalists collect stories by interviewing strong womxn from local communities and we try to share the same stories with our connectivity contributors and womxn belonging to different communities. By getting a reaction from womxn relating to different areas of the world, we try to encourage intercultural dialogue. We also rely on our social media platforms to spread these stories to the world. “
Gender equality has been a persistent issue for a long time now. Global Girlhood has been and continues to work in that area — how do you think can gender equality be achieved, if at all?
“Gender inequality is indeed an important issue in our society. In an ideal world, all the genders would be considered the same. However, to achieve gender equality in the real world, it is essential to educate women to be strong while holding on to their own. It is of primary importance to highlight their journeys to empowerment and amplify strong women’s voices from local communities. It is necessary to empower women as much as possible.”
What do you think is the role of social media in activism, given the ongoing censorship laws vs. the freedom of expression debate?
“Social media is unquestionably a democratic place to share views and ideas. Social media platforms have unleashed power and encouraged global citizenship to a greater extent. It has also become a means for more and more people to connect with one another and become aware of the world outside of their respective areas or countries.”
There has been a lot of discussion around the loopholes in the existent education system in our society. What do you think is the role that our education system plays in making students aware of the various types of discrimination existing in the world?
“History books in schools do not teach us about discrimination or slavery to the extent that we need to know. In schools, it also becomes important to know about the authors and the communities that they belong to. Some books do not teach about colonization or do not adequately represent the underlooked narratives. One gets to learn a lot more in college through a mix of exposure and experiences.”
How can one join Global Girlhood if they desire to?
“If you visit our Instagram handle and look at our bio, you would see a link to a Google form. You can apply through the same form to either become a journalist or a connectivity contributor at Global Girlhood. Journalists interview people and collect stories, while connectivity contributors react to the interviews in different artistic ways. We encourage and welcome more and more contributions through our platform.”
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Global Girlhood is a unique platform attempting to empower more and more women to share their personal stories. This was a lovely conversation with Pranjal that helped me gain a deeper understanding of a variety of perspectives. I wish both Pranjal and the Global Girlhood team lots of love and success for their future endeavors.