Catalysing the Girl Effect: the youth leader


Netsanet says that girl empowerment can help the whole community

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"The reason I am different from other girls is because before me no one ever managed to cancel their early marriage... I stood up for myself and said 'No!'"

When she was 13, Netsanet's parents announced she was to be married, but she refused, insisting she must finish her education first. Through a long, challenging process she finally convinced her parents to allow her to continue school. She is now working with people in her local area, arguing that girl empowerment can help the whole community.

Netsanet's film comes from a series that tell the individual stories of four Ethiopian young women who have succeeded against the odds. The films were shown in community screenings to facilitate discussion about the role girls can play, if given the opportunity.

Funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and The Nike Foundation in a partnership project known as Girl Hub, the films put girls and young women at the centre of decisions and dialogue, with the aim of equipping them with the resources and self-belief to achieve their potential.

The films were screened across Ethiopia with a particular emphasis on reaching rural audiences. Six radio debates were also broadcast on Ethiopia Radio and Television Agency (ERTA).

Watch more local heroines

Sisay's life has taken her from poverty to prosperity

Atikilt said no to early marriage and is now financially independent 

Despite challenges, Tirunesh is determined to continue her education

Related Links

The Nike Foundation - The Girl Effect

The Girl Effect on YouTube

From the BBC Media Action blog: Local heroines to inspire local people

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