Live Stream: Masuma Ahuja presents GIRLHOOD: Teens Around the World in their Own Voices, in conversation with Kate T. Parker

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What does a teenage girl dream about in Nigeria or New York? Are her dreams different from a teenage girl in London, Australia, or Italy? How does one spend her days in Mongolia, the Midwest, and the Middle East? All around the world, girls go to school, work, and dream up big futures; they are soccer players and surfers, ballerinas and painters. But what do we really know about their day-to-day lives – their surprising similarities and their incredible differences? Award-winning journalist Masuma Ahuja’s GIRLHOOD: Teens Around the World in Their Own Voices, began as a series for the Washington Post platform The Lily before becoming this fascinating scrapbook-style book that offers insight into the day-to-day lives of thirty ordinary teenage girls from twenty-seven countries and showcases their struggles, heartbreaks, and successes through personal diary entries and photographs.

Ahuja spent the last two years reporting on gender around the world, and the stories she discovered about girls’ lives were almost always about sexualization, victimization, or despair. She wondered what accounts of girlhood would be like if girls wrote them themselves, so she started reaching out to global development and community organizations that could connect her with local girls. “The way we understand lives of girls in other countries seems to exist only through these headlines of horror, but we also need to understand that these narratives do not define them: girls in Afghanistan love Celine Dion, and girls in Haiti are international chess champions,” explains Ahuja. “This book is an attempt to put much-needed context into our world.”

Ahuja wanted every girl involved in this project, with just a camera and some basic instructions, to decide how she would share her life and how she would be represented in this book. Crossing continents from the Americas to Africa to the South Pacific and everywhere in between, Girlhood not only illustrates how they live, but it also includes information that will help readers understand their individual circumstances. And the range of stories included vividly illustrates the wide variety of ways teenage girls across the planet are coping, surviving, and often thriving.

Masuma Ahuja is a journalist who calls three countries home and reports on people, power, and politics around the world. Her work focuses primarily on women's and girls' lives. She was previously a producer at CNN and national digital editor at the Washington Post. She uses words, photos, and emerging media to report and tell stories. Her projects have ranged from long-form stories to sending disposable cameras to women in more than a dozen countries to document their days to crowdsourcing voice mails from Americans about the impact of the 2016 election on their lives. She was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014.

Kate T. Parker is a mother, wife, Ironman, professional photographer, and New York Times Bestselling author who shoots both personal projects and commercial work for her clients. Her STRONG IS THE NEW PRETTY photo series led to collaborations with brands such as Athleta, Kellogg’s, and NBC. It has also inspired Kate to launch a philanthropic arm of SITNP, partnering with organizations such as Girls on the Run, Girl Up, Disney, and The Bully Project by investing in children's’ health and education. Kate is also the author of Strong Is the New Pretty: The Guided Journal, The Heart of a Boy and Play Like A Girl.

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Girlhood: Teens around the World in Their Own Voices Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643750118
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days.
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - February 9th, 2021

Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves Cover Image
ISBN: 9780761189138
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Workman Publishing Company - March 7th, 2017

SKU: x672389