All children have a right to quality education. Yet some 61 million girls around the world are not in school—and the adult illiteracy rate for women is nearly twice that of men, with a devastating opportunity cost. What causes this disparity? Girls often face barriers to education due to cultural conventions. But just as culture can close minds and doors, it also has the power to open them.
Educating girls has the power to transform not only their lives, but their families and communities, too. That’s why our international co-productions model gender equity and opportunities for girls, challenging social norms and shifting attitudes about traditional gender roles and responsibilities.
Our powerful girl characters are champions for change, in coproductions that put girls’ empowerment at center stage. From clever Chamki on India’s Galli Galli Sim Sim to curious Zari on Afghanistan’s Baghch-e-Simsim, our inspirational characters help girls envision possibilities they may have never imagined, encouraging them to dream big and work hard to achieve their goals.
When girls are seen learning and succeeding, social expectations shift. In one example, Afghan children who watch Baghch-e-Simsim test 29% higher on gender equity attitudes than those who don’t watch. And fathers have changed their minds about sending daughters to school after watching the show, according to qualitative research. We’re nurturing progress on the greatest possible scale. In Afghanistan, where 3.1 million children age 3 to 7 children watch Baghch-e-Simsim, the now-famous Zari is inspiring an entire generation of girls and boys to see each other as equals.
When you support Sesame Workshop, you’re making a positive difference in the lives of children around the world. Join us!