Child rights ambassador Sarah Brown presented a special UK preview of a feature film on the transformative power of girls’ education, narrated by a host of Hollywood stars.
Campaigner, chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education and wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Sarah joined Intel, the 10x10 campaign to educate girls, and Plan UK, to host Girl Rising. The event took place at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) on April 11.
Directed by Academy Award nominee Richard E. Robbins, Girl Rising is a ground-breaking film that tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries, written by 9 celebrated writers, and narrated by 9 renowned actresses.
Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Plan ambassador Freida Pinto are among the star names narrating a mix of stories from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nepal, Peru and Sierra Leone.
Speaking ahead of the event Sarah Brown said: “We live in an era in which a girl can be shot for daring to go to school with her friends, or mocked by a government official for not choosing teenage marriage over her own schooling.
“This is why it is so powerful to have compelling films that pay tribute to the courage of girls attempting to overcome inequality and poverty."
The film’s screening was preceded by a Plan Talk featuring Sarah in conversation with Southbank Centre chief Jude Kelly. Education and Sarah’s life choices and challenges were among the topics of the talk devised by Plan UK, as part of its Because I am a Girl campaign.
Sarah has been leading global calls for equality in education since the shooting of 15-year-old campaigner Malala Yousafzai by the Pakistani Taliban.
Also on the panel is Shelly Esque, President of the Intel Foundation, who shared Intel’s programme for improving technology education amongst women and girls.
Intel is a passionate advocate of education of girls around the world, and has a number of programmes that help girls challenge gender stereotypes and inspire action and involvement in education.
A host of Plan supporters attended the talk and screening, including MTV presenter Laura Whitmore and Spooks actor Robert Glenister.
Tanya Barron, chief executive of Plan UK said: “It’s a travesty that so many girls are out-of-school and issues including child marriage and sex discrimination are keeping them out of the classroom.
“These problems do not always receive the public attention they truly deserve, which is what makes this film so special.”
If you would like to support Plan’s work for girls, please donate to our Girls Fund and sign our Raise Your Hand petition for girls education.