15 November 2018: Underage, Under Pressure.

Every year, 15 million girls under the age of 18 are married off to men they have never met against their will. The circumstances differ, but the outcome is nearly always the same: these girls are deprived of a formal education; there is no safe environment for them to call ‘home’. These unhappy, much too young girl-brides usually endure years of suffering without any chance of escaping their enforced fate. This, contrary to popular belief, is not solely a problem of countries like Africa and Asia. In North America, for example, it is not beyond the realms of possibility to see a girl forced...

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Letter from the Editor: XXIII

Dear Reader, When we  talk and write about ‘girls’, it is fair to assume that we are usually referring to every female under the age of eighteen. However, beneath this assumption lies an underling – and harrowing– truth: many of these girls are forced to function as ‘adults’, often from as young as twelve years old. This is due to the strict rules of the societies in which they live. Though this is not always obvious, what we are left with is an example of girlhood that is poised between two contradictory points– an alarming juxtaposition of child and woman, out of which emerges a girl who...

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15 January 2018: The wind of change ruffles the veils.

There is something happening in the Middle East and Arabic countries. Towards the end of 2017, serious reforms were introduced in Saudi Arabia. Women will be allowed to drive, and they are now permitted to attend sports and other festivities in stadiums. With the news of women being arrested for taking the wheel only months ago, this is a huge step forward. In late December, it was announced that after 39 years women in Tehran who do not wear the hijab, as required by strict dress codes, will no longer be arrested. While this is also a good step, it is clear if it will be fully implemented...

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Letter from the Editor XXI

Dear Reader, There’s change in the air, and the wind is blowing from the East. Saudi Arabia faces major changes in women’s rights, Iran is heading for turbulent times, and recent events are forcing people in Pakistan to the streets. And there is so much more news from girls around the world that contributes to the mosaic of their everyday lives—we invite you to get to know future NASA scientists, South African activists, Indian initiatives for girl’s rights and plenty more. We hope you find them interesting and entertaining and become part of their story by sharing. With strength and hope,...

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30 December 2017: New Year, New Girl?

Dear Reader, In his seminal 1972 study, Ways of Seeing, John Berger  analysed the prominence of the male gaze, stating that ‘women were the principal, ever-recurring subject.’ Since then, there have been many feminist iterations that have spoken against the objectification of women in all forms media: from the pioneering texts of Simone De Beauvoir, Judith Butler and Laura Mulvey, to the all-girls-to-the-front ethos of the Riot Grrrl movement. Their aim? To return women to the forefront, not as objects of art, but as makers of meaning. Indeed, the question of women’s...

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15 December 2017: Is Hijabi Barbie the plastic promise?

Dear reader, Perhaps Mattel had a different kind of discussion in mind when they released the newest ‘Shero Barbie’ – a hijab-wearing Barbie, made in the image of Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. Mattel surely expected people, especially women, to praise the inclusive approach, the recognition that hijabi Muslim women are a part of everyday life, and so is their fashion. However, now several women are coming forward, Muslim and non-Muslim, to criticise the most recent addition to the Barbie girl gang. If a hijab wearing woman is glorified for her decision to wear the veil, is she...

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Letter from the Editor XIX

  Dear reader, This month’s issue is still influenced by #metoo—the movement has just been named “Person of the Year” by TIME Magazine. Their subtle, clever and artistic move on the cover is a strong message to us all: there are many more women out there who, voluntarily or not, remain unnamed and unseen. At Girl News, we try to make girls and their stories more visible, and we hope that you amplify our effort by sharing them. Whether it is to shed light on continued abuse in Myanmar and Nigeria, young girls joining the ever growing female STEM group, or the discussion about the new...

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Letter from the Editor XVIII

Dear Reader, The last issue of GNI looked at modernising the old model of ‘the princess’ into an empowering contemporary role model for girls. This issue explores the twists and turns that exist on the road to empowering young women. While girl activists as young as 13 are standing up for their rights all across Africa, an eight-year-old Australian girl lost her life while drag racing. It is so important to encourage young women to be bold and achieve their dreams, however, we must also consider the fearless becoming dangerous, as young women are entering into systems that have...

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30 November 2017: A is for…Ambition!

One of the first things we learn at school is the alphabet, right? But what if instead of A for Apple and B for Banana, young girls across the world were encouraged to learn that A can stand for their ambition, or that B might stand for their need to be bold? And so, we turn to this month’s issue of GNI, and the importance of fostering an early sense of ambition, boldness, and character within young women. Most importantly, it is for those women who are now grown up and  ‘in the know’ to share their experiences and to support young girl audiences with their ambitions. This, of course, was...

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15 November 2017: Kick Ass, Princess!

  “I’m not anti-princess […], but –“ Lisa M. Dinella states during the first few sentences of her article. That’s not as bad as many other sentences that start with “I’m not (xxx), but –”. Still, she makes a clear point of why it’s a good sign that superhero costumes finally become more popular this Halloween than princess costumes. While I can’t really identify with any of the Disney Girls, I think that’s going in the wrong direction. Dinella’s conclusion is as simple as it’s deceiving—because princesses are associated with typically female, therefore weaker or less powerful traits,...

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