Have you ever asked a child, whether they’re your own, a relatives, or a friends, what they want to be when they grow up? If not, then you were definitely asked it when you were a kid yourself. Either way, the answers are usually something along the lines of “Doctor” or “Pilot” or “Chef”. They’re our dream jobs, our ideal futures, the thing we want to strive to be when we’re a proper, functioning adult.
That question is the basis of a new video from ONE.org, which features a group of little girls being asked what they want to be when they grow up. A very innocent question, and of course the answers are innocent as well – at least they are to begin with.
The answers soon take a dark turn, as the girls reveal that perhaps they don’t have such a bright future at all – because they’re not the ones who get to decide what their futures are.
The change in tone is to reflect the harsh reality for girls in the world’s poorest countries. The film is part of ONE’s #povertyissexist campaign, which demands world leaders invest in the world’s poorest women and girls, ensuring they are not left out of the global push for gender equality.
There are plenty of shocking statistics surrounding the issue, in 2017 UNICEF revealed that an estimated 650 million women alive today were married as children, a figure which is double the population of the United States and more than the entire population of the EU. In 2016 UNODC released a report stating women and girls make up 96% of those trafficked for sexual exploitation.
And in another report from UNESCO, they reported that half a billion women and girls are unable to read. Right now, 130 million girls are being denied an education.
“No girl wants a future where she’s denied an education, infected with HIV, or married off as a child, but this is the reality for too many girls living in extreme poverty,” said Roxane Philson, Chief Marketing Officer at ONE. “Until these barriers are broken, millions of girls in the world’s poorest countries are being denied the right to build the future they choose. This cannot go on - sexism is unacceptable - poverty can make it a death sentence.”
After watching the video, viewers are asked to join the Poverty is Sexist campaign by signing the Poverty is Sexist open letter - calling on world leaders to fight for a world where every girl has the chance to build the future she chooses.