tv Paola Gianturco Alex Sangster Wonder Girls CSPAN December 23, 2017 4:21pm-5:12pm EST
and whatever we do in our lives, if we do it the best we can with a smile on her face will get through this a lot faster. thank you very much! [applause] >> every weekend booktv offers programming focused on nonfiction authors and books. keep watching for more here on c-span2. and watch any of our past programs online at booktv.org. [background sounds] >> all right, we are going to go ahead and get started. thank you for joining us for supporting vroman's bookstore. today we have a grandmother and granddaughter team and authors and photographers focus on making a difference in the world. over the course of her career as dda documentary photographer
paola gianturco has documented women's issues in 62 countries. her images have been in the united nations and field museum in chicago among other risky dislocations. she is lectured internationally and says on the advisory board of three nonprofits. during this evening the corridor and granddaughter turn on along with her sister alex launched a children's program. she conducted interviews with activists girls in 13 different countries and not only wrote sections of the book, also contributed many images. each present wonder grow changing our world please join me in welcoming paola gianturco and alex sangster. [applause] [inaudible] using creativity
girls are gathering together, they are finding strength in numbers. and they are fighting against the threats and they are making progress and some of them are succeeding already. wonder girls changing our world is as far as we know, the very first book ever to tell the story of activists girls groups and books about individual activists girls but this is the first book ever to tell the story of groups of girls around the world. all of the girls in the book are between the ages of 10 and 18. alex and i, together, interviewed and photographed 15 groups of girls in 13 countries. countries as diverse as
turkestan and -- mexico and more. we're going to introduce you to some of those girls. some of those wonder girls right now. bye-bye plastic that started with two sisters. they were ages 10 and 12. they organized the children of bali to collect signatures to stop the use of plastic bags. the youngsters distributed reasonable bags to retailers. they sponsored road and beach cleanups. bye-bye plastic bag emembers applied a signature plate and do flash mobs intersect increase awareness of the cause. when they were ready to present the first signatures on a petition to the governor, they asked for an appointment. and he declined.
big mistake. they told the press that they were going to go on a hike on strike and they did that. the governor saw them very next day. he also signed a memorandum of understanding promising to help them ban the use of plastic bags by 2018. this is one of them presenting him with a bracelet that says "bye, bye plastic bags". she gave it to him to remind him of his promise every single day. >> creativity for peace is a three-year leadership program for israeli and palestinian high school girls. it starts with a summer camp in santa fe new mexico. neutral ground typically none of these girls has ever met the enemy. but members of their family have been injured. some of them have been killed in the pviolence and so,
passions run high. every morning, the girls talked together. they are paired, one israeli and one palestinian girl in every activity. they even share rooms. one girl told me that in the first night she laid awake trying to think how to kill her roommate. for months the girls practice nonviolent communication and compassionate listening.every afternoon they create art. again, shappeared one israeli a one palestinian.mo sometimes they do chalk drawings on the sidewalks of santa fe. one afternoon a woman's circus teaches them acrobatics. nothing, nothing could build trust faster than having to depend on the enemy to hold you
up. ultimately the girls conclude that an enemy is someone who story you do not know. they return home to the peace projects. in their own communities. transport women's resource center. as in the old city of india. these girls are muslim and delete which used to be called untouchable caste. and other backward caste. x-ray government category. an official government category in india. the girls first met they did drawings. one through a bird with no wings. the woman there said, isn't it missing something?
wand the girl immediately rush back to her seat to finish the dry and drew a cage. these are girls who have almost no freedom. they cannot leave their homes without being accompanied by a brother or a father or an uncle. shaheen asked the police to protect them so they talk to meetings. today the girls draw safety maps. maps that show the places in the neighborhood where they have been harassed or molested. they sign the map and give them to the police so they can redouble their surveillance of the areas. the girls also teach each other moneymaking skills such as hannah. the beautiful art of henna they were not being financially dependent on brothers, fathers her future husband. after taking the picture i asked the 15 year goal doing the teaching and she considered herself an activist. and she said, yes.
and so i asked her to tell me, what she had done recently she was particularly proud of. and she said, last week i led a sting operation against a sex trafficking ring from dubai. she is 15! you can read her story in her own words in the book, i hope you will. but i will give you the bottom line and that is, every single member of that sex trafficking ring is in jail. [applause] yes!ngexactly! shaheen girls are not allowed to sing.men and boys and their cultures saying. however, these girls inspired by devotional music. they are practicing songs but with lyrics about girls read him. define everybody's
expectations. they are about to record a cd. tonga. other parts of the south pacific and has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world. at school and at home, children were beaten so badly that often, they end up in the hospital. one girl told me that her teacher punished her for not doing her homework. by hitting her on the head with a stapler. what girls that belong to -- working to stop child abuse. the practice is virtually universally and it is never discussed. every adtwo weeks, every week, girls made at the local radio station. to broadcast a calling show. they do the research and then they produce the show. they host the program and it is
called, my body, my right. boys and girls throughout the hundred and 73 island archipelago of tonga call in and share their stories of abuse. they call in or text or email. 112-year-old girl told how her mother punished the children in the family for not doing the dishes well. and there were punished by having her through the civil war at them. and she confided that she was afraid of the knives. to protect the identity of the caller, the girls retell the stories on here without mentioning any names. as the radio station slogan promises, these courageous girls were bringing public attention and a discussable problems. these girls are blazing the nation.
>> -- means grady sister in swahili. it is also an edge of the words scholarships with girls all over kenya can end the most competitive high schools in nairobi. on every school break, the scholars help their home communities to identify and solve a local problem. clarice knew that there were no libraries where she grew up. and that families cannot afford to buy books. she collected 300 textbooks. enough to fill a single bookcase and launched a library. helen had an idea about how to get nutritious food for people that don't have when dperforming. she used polyurethane bags that usually come filled with feet, sugar and flour. she is teaching people how to
grow vegetables like kale by filling desert dirt, fertilizer and schoolgirls unite. it has middle and high school girls in the washington d.c. area. they lobby for congress members to support universal education for girls. the research issues, develop talking points, make appointments and run their own meetings. here, they are talking with th educational gap representing one of the offices. and here, they are waiting to meet with barbara mccloskey in an office building. schoolgirls unite convinced president barack obama to sign a proclamation making october 11 a national day of the girl. 10 members of the group, have been activist game plan.
had passionate discussions about the contents. which makes the activist game plan absolutely terrific. by now, it is available on their website, schoolgirls unite.org. for those that want to get elected officials to support universal education. >> -- that means we are equal. it is the name of an organization that was founded and is run by child domestic workers. that is in tanzania, they are actually reading slave laborers. most of them work for very poor families. we can afford to pay them almost nothing. for 14 hours a day did you childcare, cooking, cleaning the house, getting water,
getting firewood, going to the market. everything.these are families that are so poor they cannot afford to pay them. if a woman who lives in a house high on the hill has to go down by the road to sell vegetables, she needs someone to take care of her household. in these girls sometimes as young as six. they collaborate to improve working conditions. was there they held a weekend retreat. to develop strategies. they teach each other to do more lucrative work. such as cooking. and selling. they also educate policymakers and employers. to ensure that they get fair treatment and their legal rights. >> get lit players of los angeles include -- who is
currently the youth poet laureate. each member was a classic poem and writes a three minute spoken word poem in response. they performed both classic and spoken word poem on platforms as diverse as the hollywood bowl in the white house. one african-american egirl told us, i am the voice of minorities. in one day, we will realize there is nothing minor about us. good program has been incorporated into school curriculums and has improved literacy and reduce dropout rates among 30,000 low income youth all over southern california. the tech novation challenge is a competition in 87 countries. among middle and high school girls. who create mobile phone apps to
solve social problems. my grandmother and i committed technovation teams in guadalajara, mexico. they were working with technology mentors and business coaches to identify problems, create prototypes and write business plans. sometimes, while younger siblings looked on. this team won mexico's national prize in 2015. with an app to curb child obesity. her grandmother and i cheer them on in the semifinals while they pitched judges from silicon valley, competing with teams as far as india and nigeria. then, the finals. mexico's team, unfortunately, did not win that year.
but, he did win the next year in 2016. the first prize is enough to find a startup and produce and market the app. one girl told us, we are little particles that can cause change. like the butterfly wings that can create a tsunami in another place. >> malawi is a poor country. three quarters of its citizens, recorders of its citizens live on less than a dollar and 1/4 a day. often families marry off their daughters because it means one less mouth to feed. half of the girls in the country, half, or married before they are 18. most of them before they are 15. child marriage means the end of the irgirls education, the end a gross independence.
determined to finish school. members of the girls empowerment network work together with their allies to cause the change of a law in malawi. they wanted a law that would prohibit child marriage. they got help from mothers. they got help from women mps. they got help from women chiefs, like this one. who, although she was illiterate herself, told me that all five of her children had graduated from the university. one of them was a member anof parliament. -- was particularly committed d to this cause. she was devastated, distraught really. with her younger sister when she became pregnant. age 11. for five years, the girls
lobbied patrolmen which finally passed a bill in 2015 that made child marriage illegal. how they celebrated! creating this book was a collaboration between alex and me and girls all over the world gave us their stories. and in this book you will discover that they all tell their own story in their own words. people often ask how we did such an ambitious project as this. for my part it meant cashing in millions of united airlines frequent flyer miles. and flying to visit each of those 15 groups. i stayed with each for one week to 10 days. because of my travel, i was able to talk with 102 girls.
alice and i worked together and she mentioned in guadalajara and san francisco and los angeles and oakland. >> i had school most of the time we were creating the book. but i still was able to interview over 70 girls by base time, skype or email. and i asked different questions for my grandmother. questions like what would help you from the readers of the book? and girls in their lives there i summarized their answers in the end of every chapter and it was a section entitled how you can change our world. you can also find ideas on the project website. wonder angirls book.com. my sections are an invitation and a call to action. >> i want to tell just one final story. about a little girl whom i met in uganda. she was 10. she took my hand to show me
around the neighborhood. and d as we walked around, we were talking and i said, you consider yourself an activist? and she said, yes. and i said, tell me something you have done that you are proud of. and she said, last week, i convinced our neighbors to stop beating their daughter. and i said, bravo! let me ask we know the question. what gave you the idea that at age 10, you could cause change? and she looked me straight in the eye and she said, i know i can change the world. in the future. so i just decided to get started. so ã [applause] no i thought the very same thing.
it seemed to me that if these girls whose stories we have been hearing can invest their time and energy and creativity, and changing the world, what about us? surely, we can send their petitions. surely we can spread the word about them. surely we can volunteer and will help them if they want us. some girls said you know, i know how to do lya computer. i can work on a computer. i can teach other people if i just had one computer. so some of them need money. there are many ways to help. many of them are listed in the section that alex authored to my way of thinking sections are the reason to do this book. we can also pay attention to the organizations that fund them. organizations like mama cash
from the netherlands. the children's fund, let's see, who else? rise up has a couple in the book. and in fact for those of you have already bought a book and those of you who are considering it, 100 percent of our author royalties from wonder girls go to girls 1arou the world via the global fund for women which worsened 175 countries. join us to you will salute and celebrate and faint -- thank wonder girls all over the world. [applause] wonder girls book .com, thank
you very much jess it appeared that of the website. please look at it because it also includes some ideas about things that you might like to consider. in order to become involved with these girls. yes? [inaudible question] >> there was no language barrier because everywhere that they did not speak english, we had interpreters. how do we find the groups? at this point, because this is book number six for me about women and girls all over the world, and the issues that face them, i had a network of ngos and nonprofits. the first has to do when i had this idea was to email them and say here is what i am seeing. are you? because no one had written about this. and i am a reporter. i thought someone should be telling this story. and they began giving us names
of groups that they knew about. ultimately, we also did our own research. i tried to balance the groups by issue. and geography and ethnicity. and it helped if they were on the united airlines itinerary. left not because then i could get to them free! >> was a hard for you to get into certain countries? >> was it hard for us to get into certain countries? we did not ever travel or work. without having approval from the groups in the countries. so, we did not have to go unknown for without having somebody know about it. we do not have trouble getting into countries. good question though! there e are some places you wou
think we might have had. yes? >> what inspired you to write this book? >> what inspired us to write this book? would you like to talk about that? i am always interested in stories that seem to me to be important about women and girls. that have not been told. because often in many cultures, women and girls voices are simply silenced. or disregarded. so i feel passionately about trying to tell the stories. yes? >>. [inaudible question] why don't you talk about that. how did you get the girls to talk? >> when i often talked to the girls it was after my grandmother. but i think she asked them like, we ask them specific
questions that they give us answers to. so that is kind of how we got there stories. >> i think alice is being modest. my observation was that the girls, because they are closer to alex's age than mine, which is 78, the girls were very open with alex. and they told her things that they did not tell me. i am thinking about the girls in malawi who told you how vulnerable they felt because their parents were so poor they cannot buy underwear panties and it did not because they do not show. and it made them feel really uncomfortable. nobody told me that. they talked to alex about that. yes? [inaudible question] dare ther additional resources i can share with my students?
i think a lot of what you're springing up in the book would be very relevant to what i teach my class. >> good! i hope so! there is a lot of information on wonder girls books.com be sure to put in wonder girls book because it will confuse it with a wonder girl rock group. otherwise you get cds and all kinds of things are not really good resources for you! >> did you enjoy traveling to all of these different places? >> i raloved it! of course, i feel very privileged to be able to do this work. it is not as much traveling to these places as it is hearing peoples stories. which really expands my view of the world in a way that nothing else could. i mean, i am working when i am there. people asked me did i see anger
a lot and what do you think about that when i was in cambodia? i did not see that i was interviewing sex workers. i mean, these are not tourist trips. but i must say, the most fun that we had, the most fun i had was when alice and i went together to mexico. >> you know anyone who has been like, married under the age of 10? for around that age? >> do you know anyone who has been married under the age of 10? i only interviewed, we only interviewed, 10 to 18. i know they are girls around the world are married under 10. sometimes age 9 or younger. but we did not meet any.
yes? >> how long did you stay in those places? >> we spent one week to 10 days in each place. yes? >> did you see any male unhappiness when you were there? or any problem with men? >> you encounter any problems with men? i did not. but i know that these girls are truly courageous! i mean, they are doing things which in their cultures are violations of tradition. and so, these girls often are faced with discrimination and exclusion and their own families sometimes do not stand by them. but i will say talking about men, because i happen to think that men and boys are very important to making any changes
that benefit girls. in just a second we'll get to you. i will say that girls groups, unlike the women's groups that i had visited for my other books, the girls groups often included boys. they were friends, brothers, supporters. in many places i do not think that they were or would have called themselves feminists. but they were really supporting the girls in trying to cause change. and i think actually that is the only way that it will happen. i think it will take all of us, men and women and boys and girls working together to cause change. i promised that we would be back to you. alex will answer your question. >> what year did you finish writing the book? >> i think we finished like mid 2016. yes. i think we started mid 2015.
>> to do the traveling, actually to the first photographs in 2013. so for me, it was almost a five year project. just a minute. you had another question. >> what chad rachel kim girls don't get permission if they want to have children or get married at a really young age? >> why don't they get permission? >> why do they not have a free choice? >> is mostly their traditions from where they live. because this is how they have been doing it forever. so, it is just how their lifestyle is. >> is not really a matter of asking permission. in fact, in -- i interviewed
was that had been bride kidnapped. that is outrage that ei faced. in that country, it is a tradition that boys may drive by the high school and see a cute girl and stop and grab her and take her to their family. and if they can put a white lace handkerchief on her head, she has to marry the man. she may never have seen him in her life. 80 percent of marriages and rural areas start that way. in the city and it is no longer happening and it is definitely illegal in the country. but there are some major disrespectful things that are happening. and the girls simply are not taking it. they are working against that and they are making real progress. there was another question over here. >> can't tell us about the
other books that you written? i think, how you got started and how you transitioned to this particular book. >> the first book was about crafts women all over the world fidelity 12 countries. because i learned from the beijing conference in 1995, that mothers were making crafts, selling them in order to send their children to school. and i thought, they are heroic! i wanted to talk to them. the first book was called in her hands. the second book group from that. as i was packing my cameras, in india, one of the women said to me, come back in the fall and will teach you the dances that we dance all night to honor the mother god. and i said, you do? i am coming! and indeed, they did teach me those dances. and that book which was titled
celebrating women, was about festivals that celebrate women. even the women are denigrated in many cultures, there also sometimes celebrated. and so, that book was about festivals that celebrate women and women's spirituality and women's accomplishments and women's roles. i have four more to go, i we fast! the next one was about guatemala. it was -- a salute to the indomitable people of guatemala. number four is women hethat lik the dark. about women who run governmental organizations. i see them as superstars and that was the rnfirst of what i now see as a stick. women don't like the dark. the next was grandmother power. a global phenomenon. it was about activist grandmothers. and now, girls!
all right, your turn. [inaudible question] >> why did men have most of the empowerment? i will tell you, i think it is a really good question! tell me what you think? >> why do you think men are more empowered than women? >> to be honest, i don't really know.on >> many girls and women around the world don't know either. it is a great surprise to imagine too many people that men and women and boys and girls are equal. i happen to believe profoundly that that is a present and a future that we need to work together to achieve. but i am aware that many people
are not yet there. yes? [inaudible question] did you promise to deliver anything that they were gone? ... >> my publisher is very careful to be sure i'm not giving any money was in my book. which is great for them and me. i'd like to say take everything in heaven summerhouse but i didn't. i gave them some think you presence. i got little watches over dental digital watches but i do not pay them or give them other gifts. changing the world, you helped women start their own bank.
they leonard to make their own bank and so they could buy more craft materials and enrich their whole society. >> take credit for them starting their own bank but it visited women who started a bank. exactly. that was early in the time of microcredit, when it wasn't yet much discussed and an organization called the women's self-employment organization in india had a women's bank. might have been ill illiterate but use their fingerprints to identify themselves and put their money the bank which was hiretical. everyone was worried about marchs.
>> have couple of way ford alex. what was the most shocking to you during the project? >> so, my very first interview, i went to san francisco to interview the group, and a girl named memory talked to us, and we were incredibly the same. so, we beth had little -- both had little sisters and both loved snow. but we experienced them a little differently. so, like, i experienced snow when i went to big bear to learn how to ski for the first time. she experienced snow when she wasn't to new york to talk at the u.n. very different. my sister, right there, and her sister, her sister was pregnant by the time she was 11. so, it was very shocking for me, like, the difference, and yet how same we were.
>> did you have any preconceived ideas that changed during the project? >> not reality. didn't really know much about many of these issues so not really. >> what advice would you give women ages ten to 18 here in the united states? >> i would say to find something that you're passionate about, help that cause or help find a problem to solve it. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> my observation was at that time alex became increasingly an activist herself as we got deeper into the book. >> have we done it? yes. >> how hard is this book change -- how has this book
changed your perspective and how you see yourself as a girl? >> well, it kind of changed my perspective on how fortunate i am to haye not have to experience these issue is and also makes me want to help this girls out, lime grandmother said, give them everything i have. >> jessica. >> we talked this morning about what the role of young men is and whether they're getting involved in the plight of the women and whether they're coming into play with the different groups of these girls are setting up for themselves. were you able to -- when you interviewed, when you were talking to the various girls, did they feel that boys were being spurttive of them or what that their basic role with boys their own ages.
>> we were so focused on the girls' issues that we really didn't delve into that kind of depth. i would love to have been able to. and in my list of 14 new things i need to find out about, that is one, because i really think it's important that men and boys be included in the changes that are happening with women and girls. >> for a come o o o o o for one group i know for sure there was boys included in that group and they were actually, like, participating, so it was -- they were also writing their own poems and kind of like peers to the girls so it wasn't that big a difference but a they were certainly helping out for the girls' issues. >> talking about families taking their children and sending them to work as household caregivers.
i guess my question is, did that happen equally with boys and girls? were boys also sent? you look bat 300 years in europe, it was common for families to kind of indenture their children to healthy are families and were both boys and girls sent to work in the fields and work to help the families financially or -- >> were both boys and girls indentured essentially. girls were mainly. often they were indentured by their family because their family simplefully didn't have enough money to feed this emmuch less educate them. as always, during that kind of transaction, it is lullly someone perhaps in the family or the neighborhood who offers them an opportunity to go to the city and good to school. however, there were some small families of children -- i met
two -- four children that included boys and girls, and the oldest of those little groups who were indentured and often split up, the boys were sent someplace and the girls sent someplace else -- they struggled because the eldest child was most likely to feel responsible for the others, and worked so hard to find the rest of them. sometimes didn't know where they had gone. so, they were some boys, but the more majority of those -- that group were girls. >> some cultures the girls -- [inaudible] -- married, sometimes they get a dowry for the family for a bride. that's the other thing. not quite selling the daughter off. >> we heard stories like that, among that group, exactly.
[inaudible question] >> ever worked with -- [inaudible] >> want to talk about roots and juice? >> i actually saw jane good y'all -- good al-win he same to the school. and buys buys plastic bag is part of the roots and chutes program. so we're thinking about having a couple more groups try to involve themselves with roots and chutes. >> why do you ask? are you involved with roots and chutes? >> yes. >> tell us. >> come up? >> just talk right there. >> sorry. yeah, a few years ago my school, an afterschool program, and i did it withmy friend leila and nobody else joined but we saved water from our school. we went through all the bathrooms of our school and we
ended up saving, like, 357 gallons every day or something, and we got -- jane good al-contacted us and were stuns of the month. [applause] >> how bid the girls feel about being interviewed and going public with their stories. >> i didn't find any that were -- i think it's because we laid the groundwork before we went. i never photographed anybody until i had talked with them maybe for an hour, and because i was there long enough, i would talk with them one day and then go back the next day and two days later and talk with them again. so they felt fairly comfortable with us. all over africa they called me
the -- whatever word it was that meant grandma, in you began da. their relationship with me was likely to be different than it was with alex, but they were not reticent about telling their stories. they had agreed -- i had shown them other books, so they knew exactly what they were getting into. we talked about what this book would be about and they were in the main very proud of being able to help girls around the world when i explained that 100% of the author royalties were going to girls around the world. they wanted to be part of that and help other girls other places. >> what would happen if one of the girls tried to fight back against the men? what if they tried to, like, -- >> what if one of the girls
tried to fight back against the men. i don't know. nobody talked to me about having had that experience. i have to ask more about that the next time i'm talking with some of these girls. have we done it? i think we have. thank you all for coming. [applause] >> thank you for all joining us. if you want to get a book signed they're at the base of the stairs on a cart and can he ask you to purchase it before join thing signing line. thank you again. let's get another round of applause.