Gloria Steinem's message to girls around the world

Story highlights

  • Gloria Steinem writes an open letter to girls of the world
  • CNN Films' "Girl Rising" premieres June 16

Dear Girls of the World,

Every female human being has a right to give birth to herself. You have the right to be safe in your body, to explore the world with your mind and to be free in your spirit.

If human rights like these are denied to you -- whether by family or a stranger, by government or religion -- seek out trustworthy people who share your experience.

When unique voices are united in a common cause, they make history.

-- Gloria Steinem

More: CNN's "Girl Rising"

Write your own open letter to girls of the world

Photos: The girls' stories from "Girl Rising"

      Girl Rising

    • Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai is pictured holding a backpack in Birmingham, central England, on March 19, 2013 before returning to school for the first time since she was shot in the head by the Taliban in October 2012 for campaigning for girls' education. The 15-year-old said she had "achieved her dream" and was looking forward to meeting new friends at the independent Edgbaston High School for Girls in Birmingham, where she is now living. Malala was flown to Britain after the attack for surgery for her head injuries and underwent several operations as recently as last month

      Voice stronger, not silenced

      The school year started with a shooting. Now, Malala eyes a summer of speaking at the U.N. and telling her story in a new book.

      Watch an excerpt: 'Girl Rising' on CNN

      One girl with courage is a revolution. CNN Films' "Girl Rising" tells the stories of girls across the globe and the power of education to change the world.
    • Dear girls of the world ...

      What a queen, a correspondent, an activist and an actress have to say to girls everywhere? Read their open letters.
    • Suma, Nepal
"Change is like a song you can't hold back." 
Suma's brothers are sent to school, but her parents have no money for a daughter's education. Given into bonded servitude at age 6, Suma labors in the house of a master from before dawn until late at night. For years, the Nepali girl suffers in silence, until music gives her a voice. A stroke of luck and kindness gives Suma a chance to go to school -- and a crusader is born.

      How to help

      Are you inspired to help the cause of girls' education around the world?
    • Senna, Peru
"Poetry is how I turn ugliness into art."  
La Rinconada, Peru, is a bleak corner of the world that regularly turns out two things: gold from deep within its mountain, which is immediately sent far away; and despair, which remains. Senna's is 
the poorest of the poor mining families clinging to that mountain. Every day is a struggle. Yet, somehow, she was given two magnificent gifts: a father who named her for a warrior princess and insisted that she goes to school, and a talent with words. And when Senna discovers poetry, everything changes.

      More from Girl Rising

      Get more information about CNN Films' "Girl Rising" as well as the latest news and global voices on the topic of girls education.