(Omar Terrones, far right, is a member of the Girl Up club at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, CA)
Hi! I am Omar Terrones, a member of the Girl Up club at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, CA with Teen Advisor Rocio Ortega.
I was one of the first few people, as well as the first and only boy, to join the club back in its inception.
As a Girl Up club member, I strongly advocate for this cause because I believe women should have equal rights and the same opportunities as men.
I proudly take initiative and give my perception on why boys should join and support this cause at school.
Recently, I had the chance to interview Su Balasubramanian, who works with the organization Plan International about their report Because I am a Girl — “The State of the World’s Girls 2011: So what about boys?” which focuses on engaging boys and men working towards gender equality.
1) How are you involved in Plan International (and explain the goals of Because I am a Girl)?
Su is part of Plan International’s and Plan USA’s Girl Management. She says that Because I am a Girl is an initiative to empower girls and to campaign and promote girls’ rights.
2) What is your view on the involvement of boys and men in supporting the rights of girls and women, and the importance of gender equality?
“I truly believe that boys are part of the solution to make sure girls have the same opportunities,” said Su, “Boys play such an important role that it is inclusive and it is a huge part of what we (Plan International) fight for.”
3) Can you tell me about Plan's new Because I am a Girl report? Do you feel its emphasis on the involvement of boys for achieving equality for women and girls is a key milestone for the field?
Each year, Because I am a Girl focuses on something new. Su stated that next year’s report will be focused on education.
Su says that the emphasis of boys achieving equality for girls is very important to the field because it is progressive.
She also added, “It’s not just men and boys in the U.S. that should contribute to this cause, but that girls’ fathers need to take action and speak up for their own daughters.”
4) What encouraged you to engage in this cause and how have you raised awareness?
Su was encouraged to join this cause because of her father. Her father is from an undeveloped village in rural India where he worked in a farm without much time to go to school.
He didn’t want his children to go through what he was going through so he came to America. Because of her father, Su was able to receive an education and to express herself. She joined Plan International to give girls an opportunity to be heard and get an education.
On raising awareness, she will have a marketing campaign in the spring with its main issue on girls.
5) What is your perception on the future of Plan International and its goals?
Su says that Plan International will keep getting stronger and mainly focus on achieving girls’ rights by marketing and advocating in raising awareness all around the country.
It was a privilege to be able to talk to someone with the same passion to help girls.
At first, I couldn’t believe I was getting this opportunity.
I was a little nervous when it was time to contact Su but I took a deep breath and thanked her for taking her time off to do this interview. She was very modest and kind.
It means so much to me that Girl Up gave me this opportunity
Being part of Girl Up has motivated me to advocate for this cause.
I will continue to raise awareness because I know that I'm changing and making a better life for a girl in need. I'm utterly grateful to be part of this wonderful movement.
This has been a great experience! “Who run the world? GIRLS!”