Last week, I found myself in Rural India. Not a place where I would normally find myself, but when you work for a non-profit stranger things happen. Calling the place a village may be a bit of an exaggeration - it was a hamlet of 17 homes, most of them little more than rude huts. And the entire population of the village could be captured in one frame -
But what you noticed most about the village was the fact that women outnumbered men almost two to one. It was not that every family in the village produced more girls than boys, it was just that the men had all migrated to the nearby towns and cities in search of work, leaving the women behind.
And a highly articulate bunch of women they were.
There was the 17-year-old girl who had been forced to drop out of school in Grade 8, because she needed to take care of her sick mother. The girl had a better grasp of the problems facing her village than any other person of her age, and she was willing to try out new ideas that might bring increased prosperity.
"What is your deepest desire?" I asked her.
Pat came the answer - "I want to continue my studies, and do something that improves the quality of life in the village."
She clearly knew where her priorities were.
Would she consider entering local politics?
Why should she? What would politics give her that she did not already have?
The women brought home the fact of the Girl Effect better than many slickly produced videos. Enable women, and you can change the world. And if it takes a video to get that message across, I am more than happy to give it screen space -