SITARA premieres on Netflix for International Women’s Day.
”I am a storyteller, but I am also a trouble maker”, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
One of the things I love most about International Women’s Day is how it unites so many people in our global community. Knowledge is shared across the globe, and significant issues are highlighted. I see how so many people who work toward a fairer world gets to take centre stage for a day. And it is truly inspiring.
Today is not only about the women who fought for our rights in the past or the women who are fighting hard today. It is also a reminder that we have a lot of work left to provide a better future for the next generation. We make the building blocks that construct their tomorrow.
So to celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, I have decided to write about the Academy and Emmy Award-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s animated film SITARA: Let Girls Dream that premieres on Netflix today. Set in Lahore in the 1970s we follow a fourteen-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a pilot. She launches paper planes into the air that fly across the city skyline far away on an imaginary journey. The story is told as seen through her younger sisters eyes unaware of the cultural barriers that will inevitably crush her older sisters dreams by forcing her into child marriage.
Even though this story is set in the 1970s, it is the story of 12 million girls who are forced into child marriage every year. That is 23 girls every minute.
”Sitara is more than a film; it is a movement that we want to start across the world, that encourages parents to invest in their girls’ dreams, freeing their daughters from the burdens of early marriage”, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy said in an interview for Refinery29.
In support of SITARA Chime for Change has launched the campaign #LetGirlsDream that encourages people to share their dreams and visions for a gender-equal future. At LetGirlsDream.org, educators globally have the opportunity to request a local screening, discussion materials and activities that encourage girls and young people to share their dreams and inspire one another.
By having this conversation we can create a better world together. Want to do more? There are many great organisations that work toward making a safer world for girls. Become a monthly donar for a cause you believe in, engage yourself locally or use your platform/workspace to spread knowledge.
I wish everyone a happy International Womens Day!