Malala Yousafzay: A Voice for the Voiceless. The Norwegian Nobel…
It’s all about valuing the ‘disposable’ population.
“I started for 4Girls Glocal Leadership [4GGL] to make leadership development possible, not just for American girls, but for all girls – the largest number we’ve ever had on our planet– near one billion globally.”
—Jin In, Glocal Actionist
JIN IN: …Now, you may think girls in the United States are different from girls in economically poor countries. They are if you only look from the angle of problems. For instance, teen pregnancy is a problem in the US. In poor countries, it is child marriage. This is what I call the symptoms. The root cause, or what I call the disease, is exactly the same – not valuing girls.
When did you see girls as the game changer in development?
I attended a global development briefing where I met a gentleman specializing in poverty alleviation. He said his work had touched the lives of 100 million poor people. He then asked me about my work. When I shared with him my mission to develop powerful future women leaders who will transform their world, he was intrigued and asked me to tell him more. In the end, I asserted that:
Empowering girls is the most powerful force for change.
By helping girls reach their greatness, our world will in turn see dramatic progress, economically, socially, and even in governance.
Then he said something that shocked me. He said, “I have to commend you.
The population you are advocating for is the ‘disposable’ population.”
Although I knew he was right, it was still heartbreaking to hear those words. Girls were disposable – killed, sold, raped…because we do not value them. Isn’t that why we throw things away – because they have no value to us? This was my ‘a-ha’ moment. We had to transform mindsets – from seeing and treating girls in poor countries as disposable human trash to powerful human resource, tomorrow’s leaders. We must value and invest in future leaders. 4GGL’s vision and mission became clear.
The mission of 4GGL is twofold:
To develop powerful future women leaders; and to transform antiquated mindsets about girls, especially in the developing world.
Where do you see your work focusing in the future?
The resurgence of violence and extremism like ISIS and Boka Haram isn’t an accident. We have the largest number of young people on our planet today. Ninety percent are in the developing world. In fact, the majority of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia are young people.
One half of this enormous group – that’s nearly one billion girls and young women – are denied rights and their potential is wasted.
The other half – boys and young men – are the recruiting force for extremism.
Why are we surprised about the violence?
Girls and young women bear the brunt of this violence. To the survey question, “What is the most important issue to you and young women in your society?” from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, and the United States in between, the resounding answer was violence.
Therefore my strategy is to focus on this half of the youth population. Einstein said the solution will not be at the level of the problem – violence. So I am intentionally taking action for peace, to ignite an army of empowered future women leaders in peacebuilding. I envision thousands of them, future Nobel Peace Prize Winners!
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.
This is my invitation to you and the world – A Call to Action –
Join the Army and give the gift of empowerment to the world’s girls.