Doin’ It In A Dress

I was never one for school dresses. I remember when I changed primary schools in year 6, I wasn’t allowed to wear my preferred shorts and polo shirt to school. So instead, I had to wear a school dress. I resented putting it on every morning because I just wanted to wear shorts and be able to run around. At the time, I had no idea how valuable this school dress was to me. It is only now, that I realise the full potential, power and empowerment a school dress can bring to the world.

I am currently sitting in our University’s library, studying away for one of my final essays. And I’m wearing a school dress. Why you may ask? Well I’m doing it in a dress so girls in Sierra Leone can wear a dress and attend school too. It only costs $300 to send a girl to school for a year. And if she does attend school, she’ll less likely be married off before she’s 15, less likely to contract HIV/AIDS and is more likely to earn 10-25% more money for every extra year of schooling, and reinvest 90% of her income back into her family (OneGirl.org, 2015)

“Let us pick up our books and pens, they are our most powerful weapon.’ Malala Yousafzai

So in October, I’ll be wearing my school dress with pride in the hope that more school girls in Sierra Leone and other African nations can do the same. If you want to see me do something in my school dress, name your price, donate and I’ll do it.

If you want to do your part to help, you can donate directly to my page here – http://www.doitinadress.com/adelaide-haynes

I believe that every young girl has a right to education and unleash their knowledge, power, beauty and wonder onto the world. So let’s make this happen!

My super cute school dress with a difference
My super cute school dress with a difference

Bring Back Our Girls, Bring Forth Your Support

#Bringbackourgirls

Bring Back Our Girls has been a twitter phenomenon, capturing global attention on the 234 Nigerian school girls missing due to internal terrorist regimes. This horrendous incident occurred on the 15th April, taking a few weeks for awareness to capture the world. I became aware of this movement a week ago and have since actively followed, retweeted and researched the development of the #bringbackourgirls.

Sourced from http://rosearomas.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/mala.jpg?w=529
Malala Yousafzai showing her support. Sourced from http://rosearomas.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/mala.jpg?w=529

I personally support and participate in this online ‘clicktivism’ because being a young woman in the 21st century, I know and believe that education should be granted to all, regardless of race, religion, culture or gender. With the admiration of activist Malala Yousafzai and her powerful words “Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons,” (Yousafzai, 2013)I hope to one day be an activist involved with human and especially women’s rights. 

Clicktivism is the online activity of sharing, liking, commenting, retweeting information about a concern or cause, whereas activism is the physical act of doing something such as protesting. (thetrashlab, 2013) Despite the criticisms of clictivism being ‘slacktivists’, activism would not be possible without the online support of the clicktivists.

However, here I am, sitting at my computer screen, here in Australia, and not in Nigeria protesting and pressuring the government on a physical level. But does that mean that my support is insignificant? Despite the fact I may just be involved in the ‘clictivism,’ creating awareness is the biggest and most difficult step in order to make a difference. That’s why the involvement of high profile celebrities (as pictured below) furthermore perpetuates awareness and involvement.

 High profile people showing their support and creating global awareness, such as Justin Timberlake, Drake and Bradley Cooper Sourced from http://blog.lib.umn.edu/isoke001/gwss1005-2014/rmdbg.jpg
High profile people showing their support and creating global awareness, such as Justin Timberlake, Drake and Bradley Cooper
Sourced from http://blog.lib.umn.edu/isoke001/gwss1005-2014/rmdbg.jpg

 Whilst I might not be able to make a physical contribution to the issue in Nigeria and I am absolutely privileged to have the freedom, rights and opportunities to attend university (which is even financially supported and encouraged by the government), I am able to fully appreciate and maximise the chances I have here in Australia. The youth of the world are the future, (Strauss, 2011) we have power and we have the ability to make change, whether it be online or in the real world.

 

Further Related Readings/Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsB2qtDaiRw

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-grant/are-you-a-slacktivist_b_4390258.html

 

References

Yousafzai, M 2013, ‘Our books and pens are the most powerful weapons’, transcript United Nations, The Guardian, 12 July, accessed 07/05/2014, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/12/malala-yousafzai-united-nations-education-speech-text

thetrashlab, 2013 Slactivists vs. Activists (online video), 15 April, viewed 07/05/2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EQFKKJBjwE

Strauss, J 2011, Youth movement in a culture of hoplessness, Aljazeera, 8 October, accessed 07/05/2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/occupywallstreet/2011/10/2011107172820297149.html