Monday, December 2, 2013

What is Girl Power?

"I think ‘girl power’ is when girls do or become what they want to be and don’t let anyone control them or tell them what to do. I also wanted to find out what others thought what girl power meant to them. So I asked girls my age (11 years old) about girl power but they didn’t have an opinion or answer for me. I actually expected that because my friends are not like me. It shows that they don’t think it is important or not relevant to them and don’t think about what is happening around them.

I also asked adults on Twitter, people I knew and my mum helped me by asking people too. Many different people gave me their opinions who were family members, random strangers on Twitter, activists, politicians, professionals, victims of abuse, from sports and entertainment.

Guess what, I also got very well known people to tell me what they thought girl power was. Even the Prime Minister, David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, gave me an answer! I think the Prime Minister has been listening to the Spice Girls. I have views from famous Pakistanis as well! Asifa Bhutto Zardari tweeted me. I can’t believe it because she is the daughter of the late Benazir Bhutto, who was the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. That is lots of girl power all by itself! Now Asifa and me are following each other on Twitter. I emailed Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai. It was very nice of him to reply, as he is such a busy man. More fathers need to be like Ziauddin.

It is good to see that some men are into girl power. However, lots of men and boys don’t respect women and girls even though they were born from women. Carrying babies for 9 months in the tummy is ‘girl power.’ Could men do that and cope? Men and boys often say it’s your job to make food and have babies, especially having baby boys. But we can do much more than that. Look at the amazing women who have given me their views. Salma Bi plays cricket in a men’s cricket team, Nadia Ilyas is a policewoman and Iram Sattar is a doctor!

I also started an argument on Twitter. Sumair Hisbani, who is a student in Pakistan, said women should stay at home. One woman, Miss Khalid, disagreed with him and said women should do the job that men are messing up. However, another woman Shahnaz said that girls should decide for themselves whether it’s staying at home or going outside to work. I agree with her because if you are doing something you don’t want to do, then it can’t be girl power.

Sophie Chaudry from India pointed out that it is a ‘man’s world.’ It would be great if for once it was a woman’s world but to be fair it must be an ‘equal world.’ The main message that came across to me from all the comments was that women and girls should “stand up for their rights.” This means ‘girl power’ will result in equality and a better life. For example, Kieran, who was forced into a marriage and beaten up by her husband showed ‘girl power’ because she had the courage to leave her situation. Girl power is life changing. Also, look at Malala, who fought for her education, now she is well known and is now fighting for everyone else’s education. So if we want to have equality, we need to have girl power to do it!" ~
Aaliya Goher

Check out the blog of 11-year-old Feminist activist and blogger, Aaliya Goher for all the answers.

Mine was: "Girl power is....the innate divine strength girls are born with that our cultures try to squelch and that we must reclaim throughout our lives."

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