They were born girls in countries where being a woman is too expensive.

They were born girls and were forever marked as animals, though it was not a mark on their skin but sewn into their souls. An invisible tattoo.

They were born girls, and just because they were girls, they didn’t have the rights that their male siblings had from the first second of their lives.

They were born girls and became bearers of unhappiness and sadnessdespite their innocence, in those homes that yearned above all for the celebration of a child.

They were born girls and, even before they learned to walk or spoke their first words, their families decided who they would marry even before they came of age.

They were born girls and they were denied the keys that open the doors that lead to knowledge, to education, because women are not supposed to study. The professional future is not written in the diary of these teenagers.

They were born girls and were forced to make enforced obedience and silence the mainstay of their growth, because their voices don’t matter, let alone their ideas and thoughts. Women aren’t supposed to think.

They were born girls and were deprived of freedom before they even realized the meaning of this word. The freedom to choose, the freedom to express oneself, the freedom to act, the freedom to decide. Wingless birds locked in a cage away from light.

They were born girls and their dreams were amputated as well as the possibilities of feeling and living as they would have liked. Cruel traditions rooted in the deepest beliefs.

They were born girls and in some places they were covered from head to toe so as not to be seen; while in others, too many things have been discovered to them to leave them in the hands of unscrupulous men, convinced that everything has a price. The power of money.

They were born girls and to this misfortune is added that of being born into families so poor that necessity even justified the sale of their daughter for a handful of coins.

They were born girls and are not allowed to play in the street because work does not give them time to play.

They were born girls and, while still children or teenagers, they took care of their own children, sometimes as a result of forced or arranged marriages, sometimes as a result of rape and abuse suffered inside and outside of their immediate environment.

They were born girls in radicalized countries, where fundamental rights are not respected, where enslavement, torture and murder are the response obtained by those who want to defend democratic principles.

They were born girls and soon felt their hands tied and their hearts broken.

Working girls, married girls, raped girls, pregnant girls, out-of-school girls, abused girls…

Senegal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Niger, Chad, Uganda, India, Mauritania, Yemen, Indonesia, Iran, Syria… and we have also reached Latin America.

And they were born girls

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