By Esther Lee–

“Girl Rising” will be shown free to the public at Rauch Planetarium on March 21, 22, and 24.

Nine countries. Nine girls. Nine stories. Come listen to the inspiring and brave voices of those reaching and fighting for education who represent millions of other voices around the world. “Girl Rising” is being shown across the country and will be shown at U of L’s Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium for three free screenings: March 21 at 12:15 p.m., March 22 at 6 p.m., and March 24 at 3 p.m. The U of L’s Women’s Center and the Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium are sponsoring this event.

The Women’s Center on U of L’s campus upholds its mission to promote self-reliance and independence in female students and female members of the greater Louisville community.

Directed by Academy Award-nominated Richard Robbins and presented by 10X10, “Girl Rising” is a documentary that features young women from India, Cambodia, Nepal, Peru, Haiti, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Ethiopia, who tell their personal quest for education — the same battle women in America had fought many years ago.

“The film touches upon some of the most important women’s issues of our time — gender violence, slavery, discrimination, child marriage, sex trafficking and poverty.  This is a must-see film if you who are interested in global or women’s issues,” said Valerie Casey, interim director at U ofL ’s Women’s Center. By showing this film, the Women’s Center hopes to help bring awareness of the importance of equality amongst women and eventually action to become part of the greater movement of educating women. “When we educate girls, we can educate the world,” she said.

The 100-minute film is rated PG-13 because of possibly shocking images. The trailer shows only a glimpse of the documentary. According to, there are also nine voice performances who narrate the film including Anne Hathaway, Selena Gomez, Liam Neeson, Alicia Keys and Meryl Streep. Streep stated in a press conference about the documentary, “If to see is to know it, this film delivers hope… that the world can be healed and helped to a better future.”

Online users can read about the girls that are shown in the film such as Sohka from Cambodia, who was an orphan who was forced to pick up garbage for survival and eventually became a star student. Yasmin from Egypt was a victim of violence and emerged stronger than her assaulter. These are only a few faces and names of many others who hold inspiring and enlightening stories. “Girl Rising” is a must-see film.

The screening of “Girl Rising” is not the only project that the U of L students (and anyone else interested) to anticipate. The center is currently taking applications for a summer trip to Peru to visit government run facility for human trafficking adolescent victims. In April, the Brown Cancer Center’s mobile mammogram unit will be hosted. The Women’s Center also annually hosts a Human Trafficking Conference and an International Women’s Day Cultural Awareness program.

More information on the free screenings of “Girl Rising” and other features can be found on the Raunch Planetarium Facebook page or by calling 502-852-8976.

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