To be born a girl in Afghanistan is often to be ushered into a life of servitude, where girls have very little worth and very dim futures. Amina is forced to marry at 12, to bear a child though still a child herself -- while her own brother is given her dowry money to buy a used car. But Amina, whose name was changed and story portrayed by an actress out of concern for her safety, has had enough, and she is fighting back.
CNN Films' "Girl Rising" tells the stories of Amina and other girls from around the world and how the power of education can change the world. Learn more about the girls' inspiring stories.
(From 10x10) Ten Times Ten LLC/CNN
"What if a girl's life could be more?" When Azmera turned 13, it was time for the Ethiopian girl to be given to a stranger in marriage, like her mother and grandmother before her. But Azmera refused. Azmera is fearful, but she is not alone. She has a champion beside her: an older brother who would give up anything for his sister to be able to stay in school. Together, brother and sister dare to reject her fate. Ten Times Ten LLC
"Poetry is how I turn ugliness into art." La Rinconada, Peru, is a bleak corner of the world that regularly turns out two things: gold from deep within its mountain, which is immediately sent far away; and despair, which remains. Senna's is the poorest of the poor mining families clinging to that mountain. Every day is a struggle. Yet, somehow, she was given two magnificent gifts: a father who named her for a warrior princess and insisted that she goes to school, and a talent with words. And when Senna discovered poetry, everything changed. Ten Times Ten LLC
"Change is like a song you can't hold back." Suma's brothers are sent to school, but her parents have no money for a daughter's education. Given into bonded servitude at age 6, Suma labors in the house of a master from before dawn until late at night. For years, the Nepali girl suffers in silence, until music gives her a voice. A stroke of luck and kindness gives Suma a chance to go to school -- and a crusader is born.
"I will come back every day until I can stay." Wadley is 7 years old when the world comes crashing down around her. When Haiti's catastrophic earthquake destroys lives, homes and families, Wadley's happy life with her mother, filled with friends and school, becomes a struggle to survive in a teeming tent city, devastation and grief all around. But Wadley believes she is meant to do something special with her life -- and that the way to begin is by getting back to school. What happens when this irrepressible spirit confronts a system that tells her she is unworthy of an education is an inspiration to the world. Ten Times Ten LLC
"Now there's nothing to stop me. Nothing in the world. Nothing in the universe." Mariama describes herself as a typical teenager, which in itself is remarkable. Her poverty-stricken country, Sierra Leone, is still recovering from a brutal decade of civil war. But Mariama isn't looking back; she is the voice of the future. She is the first in her family to go to school and already has her own radio show and dreams of being a famous scientist and a television star.
Ten Times Ten LLC
"He was strong, but I was stronger." An Egyptian girl of 12 whose family can't afford to send her to school has very few options. She can become a street kid; she can become a bride; she can become a target. Yasmin -- whose name was changed and story portrayed by an actress out of concern for her safety -- is lured into the trap of a sexual predator. But what she doesn't become is a victim. Yasmin becomes a superhero. Ten Times Ten LLC