Louisa Ackermann

Dear Girls of the World – A letter from Queen Rania of Jordan

As part of the “Girl Rising” project, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Queen of Jordan has written this outstanding letter to every girl around the world. The project, which encompasses a series of films directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, tells the stories of girls across the globe and the power of education to change the world. ‘One girl with courage‘, as their tagline goes, ‘is a revolution‘.

As a UNICEF ambassador and advocate for children’s education and women’s rights, much of her Queen Rania’s work relates to upholding world leaders to fulfill their commitments towards the second Millennium Development GoalUniversal Primary Education, and concentrating on the quality and calibre of the education of Jordanian children. She’s kind of a big deal. In her contribution to the project, she writes;

Dear Girls of the World,

Some of you will be familiar with the childhood rhyme, “What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of.”

Marketing and stereotyping combine to have us believe that you’re also made of pink dresses, pigtails, dolls, ringlets, ribbons, bows and tiaras. That you like cupcakes. That all you will want to be are wives and mothers. That you’re more “inclined” to the arts and “better suited” to caring professions like teaching and nursing.

And, maybe, that’s true for some. But my daughter Salma teaches me every day that there’s so much more to you – and for you.

Salma is 13, and I can count, on one hand (in fact, on one finger!), the occasions she’s worn a dress — and they’ve never been pink! Dolls always stayed on the shelf. She’s happiest dribbling a soccer ball past her brothers and scoring goals or building model airplanes with her father. She dreams of being an engineer. That’s my Salma; that’s why I love her.”

Let me tell you about 16-year-old Wafa Al-Rimi.

Some days in Yemen, there’s less than one hour of electricity, so studying is tough.

“We were tired of darkness,” Wafa said in an interview.

Rather than accept defeat, though, she built foundations under her dreams. With help from business mentors, she formed an all-female company that created solar-powered lights. They won INJAZ Al-Arab’s Best Company of the Year in November. Wafa and her friends are part of a new generation of independent-thinking Middle Eastern girls: torch-bearers and trail-blazers.

It won’t be easy. We have a long way to go. Increases in girls’ attendance at school and university are not yet reflected in politics, the job market or society’s mindsets. And there are still 5 million girls out of primary and secondary school across the Arab world.

But as the political, social and economic plates shift and settle around our region, there’s never been a better time for girls to rise up and share their talents with society. And, girls! Society has never needed you more.

We know that in every country around the world, healthy, educated girls can play a crucial role in stabilizing societies, resolving conflicts, bolstering democracies, strengthening economies and nurturing healthy and educated children.

But they can’t do it alone.

Role models can inspire. Campaigns can motivate. But if we want all girls everywhere to rise up, then we must find them, befriend them and support them.

If one girl with courage is a revolution, imagine what feats we can achieve together.

— Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah”

You can read the full letter here.

11 thoughts on “Dear Girls of the World – A letter from Queen Rania of Jordan

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