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Girl Rising

Sat Jun 22, 8-10pm, CNN

We begin with the remarkable Malala Yousafzai, shot by the Taliban for having the temerity to want an education. But Malala is the tip of the iceberg. All over the developing world, girls are often second-class citizens at best.

Taking the form of a series of short films telling individual stories, ‘Girl Rising’ documents the situation from Peru to Ethiopia, Nepal to Cairo. Some are dramatisations, some documentaries, some cartoons. All enlist the voices of famous women including Cate Blanchett and Salma Hayek. And most are truly horrendous: girls sold into slavery at six, married at seven, denied opportunity, facing down sexual predators and systemic inequality with equal fortitude.

The tone won’t be to everyone’s taste, often evoking a particularly well-meaning Coke advert. But it’s impossible to argue with the sentiments and churlish to suggest that any voice given to these powerless girls isn’t entirely worthwhile.