Girls Learn International

Fighting for girls education with a new MN club

Bridget Baker, Staff Writer

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Even the smallest of actions can make a difference in a movement. Two MN students are contributing by creating a new club with Girls Learn International, an organization under the Feminist Majority Program that advocates for female empowerment.

Girls Learn International, or GLI, has over 200 U.S. chapters in 31 different states. Their goal is to give young people a voice in the feminist movement and promote global education rights for women.

Junior Brindavani Mudhapati, one of the founders of the MN chapter, was motivated to become a part of this program partially because of her familiarity with the problem.

“I’m from India and I’ve experienced this poverty…I’m here getting so many opportunities whereas my friends in India, they don’t have the same opportunities because of these obstacles.” Mudhapati said.

India is one of 12 developing countries partnering with GLI to improve women’s education. Women in India are 20% less likely to be literate than the men, according to the 2015 CIA Report.

Because of these disadvantages, Mudhapati wanted to start GLI regardless of the existence of similar clubs. While Amnesty club also centers on human rights, Mudhapati thought that creating a demographic-specific club was important.

“In Girls Learn International, we focus solely on education rights of women, especially in developing countries. We wanted to bring more awareness to that and empower girls in our area to do so,” Mudhapati said.

Junior and GLI co-founder Anna Gurnett also has a passion for the issues.

“Getting more involved with the school and the community and informing more people about girls’ rights around the world would be major goals for us,” Gurnett said.

MN Spanish teacher and GLI advisor Amy Roberts was impressed by the girls’ dedication to the subject.

“To see students with such passion inspires me, therefore, I was more than happy to be a part of it.  I truly believe education is one of the greatest gifts we can provide to individuals and their community,” Roberts said.

And they’re not alone. The first meeting attracted 20-30 like-minded individuals.

“We didn’t put it on the announcements because we wanted to see how many people showed up just by word of mouth, and we actually got a lot more people than we thought,” Gurnett said.

For now, Millard North’s GLI chapter focuses on discussion and spreading awareness about girls’ education and the club. In the future, they hope to plan activities and get more outside of the classroom for their cause.

GLI meets every 2 weeks for about a half hour in Ms. Roberts’ classroom, Room 2108.  The next meeting will be after school on November 28th.

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