Bring Back ALL Our Girls

Education , Safety and Violence

As an ardent champion for girls, I join the rest of the world in my outrage and sadness over the abduction of the more than 200 girls in Nigeria. We need to continue the fight for them and on behalf of the many girls around the world who have been abducted, who have been violated, who have been forced into marriage and who are living in a reality many of us can’t imagine.

One of the hardest things to accept is the girls in Nigeria were taken from school. Education is a key to future opportunities, to improving our potential in the world; being in school keeps girls away from violence and less vulnerable to child marriage. To be taken from a place that is supposed to safe is beyond comprehension.

When events like this happen, we see people throughout the world – online and in their communities – come together, use their voices and lend support. We saw this when Malala Yousafzai became a global face for education, and we see this now through the #bringbackourgirls movement. The reality is in some countries, it’s just scary to be a girl. In this community in Nigeria, that reality has created international headlines.

I hope these girls are found soon. I hope for a better world for all of us, so that girls in Nigeria – and in Ethiopia and Guatemala and the United States – can have full, healthy, and safe lives. I hope that as we fight for these missing girls, we keep fighting for girls that aren’t making international news.  As a global community we should bring all of the worlds’ girls back so they have the opportunities to reach their full potential. The whole world will be better for it.

Melissa Hillebrenner
Director, Girl Up