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51% #1647: Girlhood, Globally

"Girlhood: Teens Around the World in Their Own Voices" book jacket
Courtesy of Workman
"Girlhood: Teens Around the World in Their Own Voices" book jacket

On this week’s 51%, hear from the author of a book highlighting stories of ordinary girls around the world, and then an animated film features a girl superhero to help children relate to COVID times.

Masuma Ahuja spent the last three years reporting on gender around the world, and the stories she uncovered about girls’ lives were almost always about sexualization, victimization or despair. She wondered what accounts of girlhood would be like if girls wrote them themselves, so she started reaching out to global development and community organizations who could connect her with local girls, as well as finding girls through sports clubs, writing workshops and a network of friends and journalists.

Ahuja wanted every girl involved in this project, with just a camera and some basic instructions, to decide how she would share her life and how she would be represented in this book, which is called “Girlhood: Teens Around the World in Their Own Voices.”

Ahuja, a former CNN and Washington Post reporter, compiled the book that offers insight into the day-to-day lives of 30 teenage girls from 27 countries and showcases their struggles, heartbreaks and successes through personal diary entries and photographs. Ahuja, a freelance journalist reporting on gender, migration and human rights, says the book began as a series for the Washington Post platform The Lily.

Masuma Ahuja is a freelance journalist based in London reporting on gender, migration and human rights. Her book, just out, is called “Girlhood: Teens Around the World in Their Own Voices.” 

And now, KALW’s Sandip Roy brings us a story about looking at the COVID pandemic through the eyes of India’s girl superhero.

That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Tina Renick for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. If you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at wamc.org. And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio

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