“Because I am A Girl” fashion show

Around thirty young passionate and educated girls were campaigning for girl’s rights for gender equality, Wednesday evening (Aug. 8). Working with Plan International, a South Korean local NGO called The Change, held a “Because I am A Girl” campaign to raise awareness of the significance of girl’s role in society.

Girls of middle and high school students, walking confidently in a room full of around a hundred guests wearing a thematic wardrobe, to tell a story about girls forced to labor under violence and poverty.

By the end of the fashion show, girls and two boys came up to walk in beautiful outfits, in a way the guests could perceive the idea they want to show to the world, that boys and girls are equal. And that it was also to show how they want girls in the world to be a pride, educated, healthy girls, whose life are in their own hands.

Most of the wardrobes were designed and made by the students.

Several young girls who have dreams of a better life for woman and children in the world initiated the event.

Lim Hyun Jung, a 17 year-old high school student, founded The Change Organization 4 years ago. Now it grows to a group having 50 active members of girls and boys. They do campaign in many places in Seoul.

See The Change’s website: http://cafe.naver.com/thechange727/

Asked about the idea of the event, Lim explained, “We wanted to hold a walk for our campaign but seems it is not that popular here (in Korea), so we decided to make a fashion show for our campaign this time.”

When Lim decided to go to United States for her education, Lee Si Hyung, another kind-hearted and passionate 16 year-old high school student, took the responsibility as a current leader of The Change.

“Our vision is to help people understand that in many countries in the world today, children’s life are very deprived and they are not getting proper health care and fragile to diseases like HIV. Their reality is so sad,” Lee said to The AsiaN.

Lee described how many girls in developing countries were forced into labor and early marriages. Many young girls were sold for money because they live in poverty. When they got married, they then had children who would also be trapped in an early marriage as their mothers did.

“This is a vicious cycle in developing countries. We want to cut this cycle. We want to care enough for them. We (Korean) used to get help from other countries and now that we are developed, we want to give back.” Lee added. 

Lee dreams of building a school for impoverished children in India. She said that one of her goals now through The Change is to campaign for the Girl Child’s Day. “I hope that many people would know and celebrate the International Day of Girl Child.”

The Girl Child’s Day is an international day being observed by the UN on Oct. 11.

According to Plan International’s study for over 70 years of development in over 60 countries, discrimination against girls and women is one of the main underlying causes of child poverty. 

“Because I am A Girl” is Plan International’s priority project in the years ahead to promote equal access to education for girls as it is for boys. It is believed that failure to educate women would not only cost the society, girls themselves and women but also boys and men. A number of studies have shown that increasing the number of girls benefiting from education has a positive effect on a country’s per capita economic growth.

Meidyana Rayana Intern Reporter news@theasian.asia

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