GIRLS SOUND OFF ON THE TOPICS THAT MATTER TO THEM.
What music are you listening to now?
What’s an issue you wished more leaders talked about?
What are you really good at?
In Assembly’s “Around the world” series, girls sound off on the topics that matter to them.
Want to share your thoughts? Use our submission form to be featured in a future issue!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
“An ‘I'll do it tomorrow’ attitude only brings ‘I should've done it yesterday’ consequences.”
— Heloisa, 19, Mozambique
"Being happy is a decision you make every day and it's the key to personal freedom. I like to think of happiness as a choice because it has helped me feel in control of my life rather than being a pure product of my surroundings."
— Anna, 17, Austria
“All opportunities have a limited window of time to grasp them.”
— Shifa, 18, India
“Someone who I consider to be very clever had once told me that our grades don't define who we are. I scowled at that at first because for many of us school and university is all the life we've known so far. However, all grades do is measure how quickly and efficiently you learn and memorise things. They don't measure kindness, empathy, love or loyalty — some of the most important values out there, in my opinion.”
— Julia, 20, Luxembourg
Who or what inspires you?
“Two years ago, my mother went through a very difficult time — through a mammogram it was discovered that there was a cancerous development in her breast. She always remained optimistic and looked at the positive aspects of life, like that the cancerous growth was found at an early stage. Her ability to remain strong and be a bright light through that taxing time inspires me to always look on the bright side of a situation in the face of hardship.”
— Katrina, 16, Jamaica
“Spirituality, cultures, sciences, landscapes, good energies and good deeds.”
— Catalina, 16, Colombia
“Being the first in any male-dominated field takes a lot of courage. I am inspired by the women who stepped forward in politics, journalism, literature and science despite all the social or religious norms that denied their presence. Whether the world remembers their names or they remain undiscovered but I believe they are the true heroes.”
— Mariyam, 23, Pakistan
“I am inspired everyday by my friends, parents and some of my fellow Mexicans that have made a path for their careers. I also admire Guillermo del Toro, Ann Makosinski, Eufrosina Cruz and Malala Yousafzai.”
— Saraí, 18, Mexico
What is your dream career?
“When I grow up I want to be an actress and an industrial designer. Ever since I was little I’ve been intrigued by the arts. I like music, painting, drawing, dance, but what attracts me the most are theatre and construction, inventing things.”
— Paola, 17, Colombia
“I want to be an Egyptologist when I’m older. I want to be able to see into the past and learn how to better the future.”
— Emma, 13, Canada
“I want to be an architect. I like drawing, designing, and seeing how houses and buildings are built and planned and thinking about how spaces can be changed.”
— Martina, 15, Argentina
“I want to be an activist and politician because I want to make this society better. I want to change people's point of views about education for women, because everyone has the right to get an education.”
— Aulia, 20, Indonesia
What do you like to do for fun?
“For fun, I bake and do calligraphy. I like baking because I like seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they eat the food I make. I also like calligraphy because it helps me with anxiety and it relieves me from stress.”
— Annika, 14, Chile
“I like to spend time with my cousins and siblings. I also love to write stories and ride horses. I enjoy that every ride and every story I write is different, but there's still a sense of familiarity.”
— True, 16, Germany
“I like to read poetries and listen to songs because I feel refreshed. My mind and soul get soothed. Poems leave an impact on your soul and music takes you to another world.”
— Anshrah, 18, India
“I listen to music. I read and write. Also I chit chat with my friends. They are really important people in my life.”
— Şevval, 16, Turkey
TELL US ABOUT ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITE TEACHERS.
“My favourite teacher used to travel a lot and she always brought us souvenirs. She was the best.”
— Helen, 19, Argentina
“I like my Korean teacher because she doesn't pressure her students and I feel very comfortable around her.”
— Tsolmon, 17, Mongolia
“My class teacher in grade three is so open with her students and makes everything she does or teaches fun and enjoyable. She always makes us feel like she's a friend who we can share everything with, without students losing any respect for her.”
— Tiara, 16, Sri Lanka
“One of my favourite teachers is Yoying, my Organic Chemistry teacher. She is very nice and always smiles with her eyes. She teaches with passion and every day we learn something new in her class."
— Soo Yeon, 19, Chile
WHAT IS an issue YOU WISHED MORE LEADERS TALKED ABOUT?
“Leaders should talk more about the freedom girls have in their families and how they are treated different to the males in the house. For a girl it is wrong to talk to a guy, yet if a boy talks to a girl is acceptable.”
— Sukh, 17, New Zealand
“I wish more leaders would talk about abuse, like under-age marriages in Asian countries.”
— Malika, 15, Kazakhstan
“I would really like if Brazilian leaders talked more about our dictatorial past. Brazil lived under a dictatorship for 21 years and many people are still missing.”
— Luiza, 15, Brazil
“I wish presidents would be more forthcoming and frank about their country's social shortcomings rather than just the economic situation of a country. For example, if there is an ongoing genocide within the country, I wish presidents would at least be more open and truthful about the realities of such problem.”
— Taing Eaindray, 19, Myanmar
WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO NOW?
“I listen to many Bollywood songs, which make my feet move. In particular, I enjoy listening to Neha Kakkar.”
— Pratiksha, 17, India
“Lately I've been listening to the Japanese rock band Ling Tosite and their lead vocalist TK's signature songs.”
— Undrakh, 17, Mongolia
“'Because of You,' by Kelly Clarkson. It is one of my favorite songs because of its beautiful and tender melody. And because it shows a woman who wants to change her current situation and make a new life.”
— Sarah, 17, Iran
“Any type of music as much that the lyrics are meaningful (and not rock or hard metal).”
— Houda, 19, Morocco
WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN SCHOOL TODAY?
“In physical science, I learned about significant digits and how to record measurements and data. In language arts, I learned about adverbials, objective complement and sentence patterns.”
— Jennifer, 14, Chile
“Computers, photography and English. My favorite class is digital media because it allows me to express myself and be creative.”
— Moeun Channa, 14, Cambodia
“How to argue and debate on a subject. I really like to do this because it is very helpful in everyday life, especially if I want to become a politician.”
— Amélie, 12, France
“I learned about plants and how they need the sun to grow!”
— Lucia, 10, Liberia
WHAT ARE YOU REALLY GOOD AT?
“Understanding people and their behavior. I give sensible advice, which motivates them.”
— Sheetal, 19, Fiji
“When I was younger I loved going to school and studying. But I stopped attending because I couldn't afford it anymore. I used to be really good at math. Now I like cooking and exploring new cities when I can.”
— Piya, 17, Bangladesh
“Connecting with different types of people and making them laugh. Making others laugh, smile, feel loved, heard and seen is one thing I've always known I've wanted to do with my life.”
— Anya, 17, U.S.
“Reading, writing and coming up with new ideas for stories. I am so into books. They help me find new words and discover new things.”
— Tosin, 20, Nigeria
WHAT IS A PROBLEM YOUR COMMUNITY FACES?
“Body image and racial problems are the issues I see most closely.”
— Teresa, 14, Portugal
“Although women have politically the same rights as boys, they don’t in real life. Boys earn more money doing the same job as a girl.”
— Aline, 13, Uruguay
“We face many problems here like lack of good roads, extreme pollution and unemployment. Girls face these problems and many more, like boys harassing us and commenting on what we wear.”
— Muna, 18, Nepal
“There is one huge problem that our country faces and that is gun violence. Assault rifles are the biggest problem. A recent school shooting killed 17 people.”
— Rachel, 11, U.S.
WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?
"'East of Eden' by John Steinbeck. This is one of my favourite books. I cried a lot the first time I read it... For me crying at a book or movie is one of the best feelings ever, that means that it reached to my heart and that it will stay there forever."
— Maria, 14, Romania
"'One Hundred Years of Solitude' by Gabriel García Márquez. I began reading it one week ago."
— Noura, 18, Palestine
"I'm reading a book titled 'Las calculadoras de estrellas' (that can be translated as 'Stars calculators') by Miguel Ángel Delgado. It talks about the importance of women in science, especially astronomy."
— Ione, 18, Spain
"Jodi Picoult's 'Small Great Things.' It's just so amazing. You should give it a try!!!"
— Nadhira, 19, Malaysia