You may have already heard of Girl Rising, the new documentary that everyone has been talking about. In this film, Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins paints the story of nine young girls from nine different countries as they strive to learn against all odds. Their uplifting stories exemplify the power of education and its potential to change the world.
Through the words of nine writers and the voices of nine A-list actresses, this film has created enough buzz to land it on the box office charts—a feat which is near unseen for cause-focused documentaries. At No. 5 on the New York Times Most Popular Movies List and having sold 100,000 theater tickets in its first month, Girl Rising is making its presence known.
But more than popularity, Girl Rising communicates an important message for global education. According to World Bank measures, a girl with just one extra year of education can earn up to 20 percent more as an adult. In addition the individual benefits of schooling, education can have a multiplier effect on the community by improving knowledge about health and promoting savings. Robbins makes a similar case for female education:
Educating girls makes such obvious sense. An educated girl will in turn educate her own children — boys and girls — not only in arithmetic and in how to write and read, but also in how to stay healthy, how to work and save. It’s the multiplier effect writ larger by every generation. If you get sick, you might well go back to the hospital. But if you get educated, you never forget that.
With the tireless use of social media to raise awareness of this film, Girl Rising has proved itself an impressive medium for communicating the promise which global education holds for those in developing countries.