Khansa during a climb in Cartenz Mountain, Papua. (Dok: Khansa)

Girls carry water for miles. They do complex maths. They play golf and polo. They read and write books. They raise money for good causes. They build robots and design apps to help people. They climb mountains – like Khansa, who climbed all seven summits in Indonesia, an enormous challenge. That they do all of this is demonstrated this month.

Yet they are also married off before they are teens, sold into the sex trade by their own mothers, and raped and murdered for not having the right boyfriend. This also happened over the past few weeks.

We cannot underestimate that girls will walk for miles to save themselves‚Äìor others‚Äìfrom harm or to find nourishment. On these journeys they encounter as many trials as any epic Greek hero. Many will survive to tell their tales, while many others will not. Those who don’t must be remembered and held up as our epic heroines.

Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music sang of courage to ‘climb every mountain’, but also to ‘follow every rainbow’, and this is what these girls are doing.

Ashley E. Remer
Girl News International

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