Friday, October 23, 2015

Follow Friday - #15Girls

This week's #FollowFriday is a bit different in that I'm not suggesting specific people to follow. Instead, I'm recommending you follow a series of blog posts from NPR.

Throughout the month of October, NPR is running #15girls -- a fantastic series highlighting the lives of 15 year old girls. It's been wonderful so far, and I want to make sure you know about it.

As the first entry in the series notes at the beginning, "Being fifteen years old means very different things depending on where you live. In some countries, for girls, it's the point at which choices are made about whether you should continue with your education, get a job, get married." Fifteen is the year that many of these girls move from the pursuits of childhood to the responsibilities of being an adult, and the social, cultural, and familial constraints that come with them.

The stories in this series are not all rainbows and sunshine. Far from it, actually. Some of these girls face some serious problems on a daily basis. But each story does include at least one young woman trying to do something about it -- to improve her own life, as well as the lives of others.

The tag line for the series is so perfect: "Teens Taking Control and Changing Their Fate." Yes. That's what this whole self-rescuing princess thing is about. It's not about shying away from the problems. It's about putting on our protective gear, and getting down to business changing it.

I queued up each of the audio pieces before donning my headphones and spinning on my bike in the living room. Some were heart-breaking, while others were inspiring. Some of these young women are far more kickass than I was at 15.

The Surreal Reasons Girls Are Disappearing In El Salvador: #15Girls [audio and text, CN: violence]

Mean Boys Can't Keep Girls Off The Soccer Field: #15Girls [audio and text]

Meet The Cool Girls At A High School In Kabul: #15Girls [audio and text]

A Girl Gets Her Period And Is Banished To The Shed: #15Girls [audio and text]

A Teen Who Fled Syria Had High Hopes For Her Life In Lebanon: #15Girls [audio and text]

Where The Girls Are (And Aren't): #15Girls [text]

Being 15 Is Tough No Matter Where You Live: #15Girls [text]

(photo source: NPR)

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