Part of complete coverage on
America Ferrera: 'We are under attack'
June 17, 2013 -- Updated 1331 GMT (2131 HKT)
To be born a girl in Afghanistan is often to be ushered into a life of servitude, where girls have very little worth and very dim futures. Amina is forced to marry at 12, to bear a child though still a child herself -- while her own brother is given her dowry money to buy a used car. But Amina, whose name was changed and story portrayed by an actress out of concern for her safety, has had enough, and she is fighting back.
CNN Films' "Girl Rising" tells the stories of Amina and other girls from around the world and how the power of education can change the world. Learn more about the girls' inspiring stories.
- Actress America Ferrera writes an open letter to girls of the world
Editor's note: Emmy Award-winning actress America Ferrera starred in TV's "Ugly Betty" and is a voice in the animated series "Dragons: Riders of Berk." This open letter to the girls of the world is part of the "Girl Rising" project. CNN Films' "Girl Rising" documents extraordinary girls and the power of education to change the world. Watch on CNN International
(CNN) -- Dear Girls of the World,
We are under attack. We are denied education. We are bought and sold like cattle. We are threatened and killed for voicing our dreams.
We are all suffering.
When one girl in the world suffers for being born female, every girl in the world is made vulnerable. Gender-based hate in the most remote corner of the Earth threatens the very core of our dignity. How can any of us be free while our sisters are slaves in this very instant?
To turn a blind eye to a single girl living in sub-human status is to accept that status for each and every one of us.
If the girls of the world stay silent, we will protect hate. Only our collective voice can carry our stories far and wide enough to drive out the oppression of girls everywhere. Until the day we all have the opportunity to speak up for ourselves, we have to bear witness for one another.
CNN Films' "Girl Rising" documents extraordinary girls and the power of education to change the world.
What happens when you educate a girl?
Girl Rising, coming June 16 at 9P ET
Lift your voice for those who can't! Write an open letter about what girls' education means to you.
- America Ferrera
More: CNN's "Girl Rising"
Open letter from Christiane Amanpour: It's time to power the world
Open letter from Queen Rania of Jordan: More than tiaras and cupcakes
Photos: The girls' stories from "Girl Rising"
How to help | Take action with 10x10
Part of complete coverage on
June 17, 2013 -- Updated 1346 GMT (2146 HKT)
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.
May 22, 2013 -- Updated 1527 GMT (2327 HKT)
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.
CNN Films' "Girl Rising" follows girls across the world in their quest for education
What a queen, a correspondent, an activist and an actress have to say to girls everywhere? Read their open letters.
Join the conversation and write your open letter -- Share your story and read others' experiences at iReport today
June 13, 2013 -- Updated 0150 GMT (0950 HKT)
Less than half of U.S. teen moms graduate high school. And the lack of opportunities is a slow death for them, one principal says.
June 17, 2013 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Are you inspired to help the cause of girls' education around the world?
Get more information about CNN Films' "Girl Rising" as well as the latest news and global voices on the topic of girls education.
Today's five most popular stories