Last week I had the opportunity to see Girl Rising. The screening was put on by Room to Read and The Women’s Foundation in Hong Kong. It was hosted by UBS in their screening room on the 52nd floor of the IFC building high above Hong Kong. The room had sweeping rounded views of the Hong Kong mountains and skyline. It was surreal watching the stories of these girls against the view of some of the most expensive real estate in the world.
My reaction to the film was wishing I had seen this as a young girl. Growing up I was always told how fortunate I am, and I understood to a point. But this film made the girls so normal and real. You immediately related to them – not pity them. The pain of the girls came across clear. The examples of girls still in horrible situations were hard to watch and tear inducing. And while progress was made in most situations, you can’t help but recognize these girls are only on the beginning of their journey.
A second thought is that the gender inequalities faced in my life seem so manageable compared to theirs. On a happy note, since being in Hong Kong, I’ve experienced no cat calls, no whistles, and no creeping hands. I’ve heard of instances so perhaps I just don’t understand what people are saying… but I feel safer walking around in Hong Kong than most new places.