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Holly Gordon Speaks at CEDAW

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There’s no more story exciting story or important story than the one told in that short video. And that’s when you educate girls, you really can change the world. As many of you know, the research is clear - an educated girl in the developing world marries later, she’ll have fewer children; she’s more likely to stand up to abuse and less likely to contract HIV/AIDS. When she grows up, she’s more likely to get involved in community leadership. She’s more likely to start a business, and when she earns money, she will invest 90% of her earnings into taking care of her family. And most important of all, an educated girl becomes a mother who will educate both her sons and her daughters equally. And that’s how cycles of illiteracy and poverty are broken. Girls represent untapped opportunity - for prosperity and for stability. And yet around the world, girls continue to face marginalization and discrimination. As a journalist, this is by far the most important story I have ever reported. And as a journalist, I know the power of story-telling to change the world. And that’s why I’m here to tell all of you about 10x10, a game-changing global campaign designed to bring the power... designed to bring the story of the power of girls’ education to the farthest corners of the planet. As Joy said, we’re a team of award-winning journalists who grew up within ABC News and with 10x10 we see an opportunity to use our core competency as story-tellers -- combined with deep strategic partnerships - to ignite a global movement for girls’ education. This is a story that everyone should know, and I hope you will join us. Here’s what we’re doing. We’re making a film and we’re launching an action campaign. Now that may sound like something you’ve heard before. But we’re doing things differently, and I’ll get to that in a moment. But first let me tell you a little about the film because it’s exciting. At the center of 10x10 is a feature-length film that will tell the stories of 10 extraordinary girls from 10 countries in the developing world. We’re going to Egypt, to Haiti, to Afghanistan and India, and we’re meeting hundreds of girls to find just the right story. Like Sokha, our Cambodian girl, - who was orphaned at ten years old and barely survived for four years picking trinkets from a smouldering dump in Pham Pen and sleeping on the streets. At 10 years old through a set of miracles, Sokha was rescued from the dump and given an opportunity to go to school. Two years later, she is thriving, and I met Sokha. She is extraordinary. She is at the top of her class and she is singularly focused on becoming a teacher so that she can pass the life-long gift of literacy to the next generation. Now, note I called our a project of film, not a documentary. And this is where you should pay attention. When we found our girl like Sokha, we’re introducing her to an acclaimed female writer from her own country - like Loung Ung, whose own story of escaping the Khmer Rouge became a national best-seller. Loung will use her own personal experience and her literary skills to transform Sokha’s story into an emotional and dramatic screenplay for the film. So that we have the power of truth, and the emotional power of fiction. We’ll do this 10 times. We’re telling 10 short stories of 10 girls from 10 countries with the help of 10 globally acclaimed writers. And I promise the results will be spectacular. Our director’s last film was nominated for an Academy Award, and we are incredibly excited about the creative potential for this one. But you’ll have to wait until Spring of 2013 to see the film, and it’s not the 10x10 film that I really want to focus on today. It’s the 10x10 campaign. Because as journalists we knew that during the course of making the film we would compress hundreds of amazing stories that wouldn’t make the final cut. And we knew that social media - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and beyond provide powerful platforms to share important stories with global audiences. So why not turn the traditional process on its head? Instead of making the film in secret and launching a campaign right before the film comes out, why not get going on the campaign to build momentum and get people excited NOW, and ask people to ACT on NOW behalf of girls. And so that’s what we’re doing. When we go Egypt, to Afghanistan, to Nepal, to Haiti for the film we’re capturing all sorts of photography and video and turning those assets into stories to fuel a movement for girls. Think of 10x10 as a giant advertising campaign for the power of the girl. But how can we reach the broadest audience and make sure our stories have an impact - that when people see our stories, they have an opportunity to do something to help? That’s where partnership comes in. Partnership is at the core of 10x10’s strategy. 10x10 partners, both corporate and non-profit, have the infrastructure, clout and networks to tell our stories and share them more widely. We’re creating innovative partnerships with non-profit organizations who work to improve the lives of girls everyday - like Room To Read, Plan International, CARE, the UN Foundation and Partners in Health. We’re making customized videos especially for them, to use globally and locally for fundraising and advocacy, to get more people involved in a 10x10 movement for girls’ education. So for example, if your daughter joins the UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign -- she will receive THIS flash drive with a story that we produced about a girl named Melka, who after escaping a child marriage herself, is teaching other girls in Ethiopia about their rights. And your daughter will be able to use that story - AND THIS TOOL KIT - to engage her friends, and her school, and her community to raise money for UN programs that end practices like child marriage. Thousands of girls ambassadors, using 10x10 stories to scale a movement for girls’ education. And we’re partnering with corporations - because we believe when you’re trying to create transformational social change, forward-thinking corporations can be your most powerful allies. We’re thrilled to have the Intel Corporation as our founding strategic partner. Intel is innovative in that they’re supporting 10x10 across their business, engaging their 87,000 employees in the campaign, accessing their significant marketing budget to support 10x10 messsaging, and preparing their key leaders to talk about our shared vision that educating girls means a brighter future for all of us. When a corporation like Intel, and many of the corporations in this room today, emphasizes their commitment to educating girls, minsters in the developing world listen and graphic change becomes possible. Intel, and I hope some of you, will help to scale the movement for girls’ education. For example, if you happen to be at the G-20 Summit in Cannes in two weeks, you’ll see a video we created with Intel’s support - I’m not going either - you’ll see a video that we created with Intel’s support asking global leaders to prioritize girls’ education and women’s economic empowerment in their allocation of resources. Because Secretary of State Clinton is right - girls and women represent an enormous untapped opportunity for the world. Stories driving change. Stories driving a movement for girls. We’re working from the top down - Can’t get much higher than the G20 Summit - but also from the bottom up. Between now and next June we will bring the 10x10 campaign to 50 college campuses in the United States, in a two-year program that will culminate in the release of the film. We’re asking campus leaders to raise awareness and raise money - not for 10x10 but for our core non-profit partners - Care, Room to Read, Plan International - those partners who are actually providing services to girls on the ground around the world every day. Scaling a movement for girls. And we are asking celebrities, journalists and global influencers to get involved to lend their voice and their talents to the 10x10 campaign. Like Queen Rania of Jordan, who also likes clear podiums so... Queen Rania is one of our global champions, and she’ll be sharing 10x10 and the power of girls’ education with her 1.7 million Twitter fans in the Middle East and beyond. Queen Rania is helping to scale a movement for girls’ education. We want 1 Billion people in the world to come in contact with 10x10 stories, and we want to convert 1 Million of those people to take a specific action, like funding a scholarship, like providing a bicycle for a girl to get to school, or providing books so that she can read. And by the way, every single one of our girls in this film is teaching her parents to read. These girls are revolutionaries. Want to know what a revolutionary looks like? She’s usually about this big. She has a fire in her eyes, and she loves to learn. And we’re meeting them all over the world. 1 Billion people. 1 Million actions. Those are our measured goals, and I hope we exceed them. But having measurable goals is another first for a campaign of this kind. We’re measuring who sees our stories, and what they do as a result. We want to convert AWARENESS into ACTION. We’re just a few months in, and we’ve already reached over 2 million people with our stories. We’re just getting started. When the film comes out in theaters, we want to have our partners and advocates prepared. That’s why I’m here with you today. I couldn’t, as I said, imagine a better audience to help in this project. Together we can use that moment of the film’s release to galvanize all of our fellow girl-champions around the world to demand equality for girls everywhere in the world. So what can you do? How can you support our efforts? Here’s something really easy -- by the end of this luncheon join us on Twitter and Facebook and make a commitment over the next 18 months to share our posts and our tweets with your network. Each of you have a card on your table which gives you the opportunity to raise your hand and join us. If you are a corporate leader, consider joining Intel as a strategic partner for 10x10. Your employees and your business skills and your senior leaders - and that’s really important - all have a role to play in ensuring a brighter future for girls. If you are a non-profit organization, sign up to host a screening when the film comes out. You will be able to use that screening to raise funds and awareness for your own organization - again and again and again. If you are a college professor or a teacher, bring 10x10 onto your campus. Get students involved in being agents of change for the next generation. And if you’re an individual - and I shared this with someone on my staff, and he said “Holly - everyone’s an individual”. - Bring 10x10 to your book club - we have a book club toolkit, something for everyone - bring 10x10 to your book club or community group, volunteer to help spread the word in San Francisco, through the media and beyond. Host a fundraiser to benefit 10x10, or more importantly host a fundraiser to benefit a 10x10 partner. Please fill out the cards and leave them on your chairs. And let us know how you want to be involved. Because together we can seize this moment. We can build momentum. And we can use the power of collective action to demand transformational generational change for girls. Thank you.

Video Details

Team: Girl Rising
Duration: 13 minutes and 31 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Producer: Martha Adams, Tom Yellin, Richard Robbins
Director: Richard E. Robbins
Views: 38
Posted by: girlrising on Jan 30, 2014

10x10 Executive Director Holly Gordon addresses the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in San Francisco on October 17, 2011.

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