Traditionally, women and girls are underrepresented in literature and society in general. One study of 6000 children’s stories showed that less than 7.5% of books depict female animal protagonists and less than 33% of books featured a female person or animal, while 100% of the books featured male characters. While many books often feature a strong male character, they much less frequently show strong female characters. Young girls need strong and inspiring role models to show them that they can do and be anything!
At the end of 2018, students at BOOKBRIDGE Learning Centers were given the chance to join a story writing contest. The contest was open to any student under the age of 18 in all our Learning Centers across the network. As the criteria was to write a story that was between 250-400 words, mostly students at intermediate and higher levels participated. Students were asked to write a short story about an inspiring woman or girl in their community or in their country. The women had to be a real person from the past or the present. The selected woman did not need to be “famous” but should clearly be a role model and have made a clear contribution to society locally or nationally. A story about “my mother” was not considered suitable unless “mother” is a leader and has had impact beyond her family.
In total we had 3 entries from Sri Lanka, 11 from Mongolia and 19 from Cambodia. It is clear there are many talented, intelligent and strong women in these communities! Thank you to everyone who submitted a story, for taking the time to do the research and to write in English. I was very impressed by the writing level of the students and their storytelling ability.
Without further ado, here are the top three winners in each country. You can click to read their stories!
Thank you to everyone to participated and to all the Community Heroes who encouraged their students to join and their support.