Rising: Aissa's Story
Above, Aissa (centre) is an advocate for Mali's children at the United Nations
Mali is one of the toughest places on earth to be a girl. It ranks 176th out of 187 countries in the UN’s Gender Equality Index. Countless girls have their educations and opportunities cut short by child marriage, dangerously early pregnancies, and female genital mutilation.
But a new generation of young women in Mali is refusing to accept these limits. They are inspiring girls across Mali to claim their voices, resist customs that would harm them, and rise above the barriers that stand in their way.
Aissa, a 26 year-old woman is one of these leaders. Twelve years ago she joined a Right To Play program. Today she is the founder of “Femme Plurielle Mali”, a non-profit organization that empowers Malian girls using sports as a gateway to help them learn about their bodies and build their confidence. She says she learned the critical skills she now uses to unlock the power of Malian girls from Right To Play.
“GIRLS ARE TOLD NOT TO TRY ALL SORTS OF THINGS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR WOMEN. I WAS LUCKY TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF MY PARENTS AND RIGHT TO PLAY.” – AISSA