Apr 25 2024

Meet Nuri, Global G.L.O.W.’s Newest Youth Correspondent


Global G.L.O.W. ignites the power of girls to advocate for a better world. Last year, we launched our Youth Correspondent program: An opportunity for a promising GLOW Club alumni to further develop the advocacy skills they gained in club by speaking with girls around the world and creating educational content on gender equality issues. 

We’re thrilled to introduce you to our newest Global Youth Correspondent Nuri, a GLOW Club Alumni from Detroit, Michigan in the United States. As a GLOW Club Alumna and college student, Nuri is ready to dive into the challenges girls face in her community and around the globe.

Learn more about Nuri in her own words: 

I’m Nuri, a Fierce Advocate for Girls’ Rights

My name is Nuri, and it is an honor to be representing the Detroit regional area in Michigan as Global G.L.O.W.’s newest Youth Correspondent. As a 20-year-old Bangladeshi woman who immigrated to the United States at the age of one, breaking down the stigma that arises for young women like myself can be a challenge. However, I won’t allow it to dictate the power that I am capable of exemplifying. 

Representing this role is groundbreaking from where I come from. The culture I grew up in never taught me to embrace my gender. Before I was born, there were roles already identified for me.

In Bangladeshi culture, young girls are not expected to pursue an education; instead, we are often tasked with assisting our mothers at home and forced into marriage at a young age. Women are not given the same opportunities as men, who are perceived as dominant figures and decision-makers. 

Bangladeshi women are burdened with high expectations regarding their appearance, success, and family life. These barriers discourage young Bangladeshi girls from pursuing higher education and aspiring to do anything beyond marriage and abiding by our culture’s expectations.  

Nuri and a fellow GLOW Club Member, Fatimah

“Throughout my life, I have learned that being a girl is something to be proud of.”

Living in Detroit, there is one girls’ rights issue that I cannot stop thinking of. Young girls from around the world come here and receive primary education (the bare minimum education!) because it is the law. Once girls reach an age deemed appropriate by their parents to halt their education, they are often compelled into marriage, regardless of their desire to pursue further schooling.

According to The Guardian, nearly 300,000 minors, predominantly girls as young as 10 years old, were legally married in the United States between 2000 and 2018. Child marriage is a common practice in immigrant households, where cultural norms and traditions often conflict with the rights of young girls.

For example, my culture considers early or arranged marriages as a way of ensuring financial security or upholding family customs. Language barriers, limited education, and lack of awareness of legal rights make young girls in immigrant communities more vulnerable to forced or early marriages.

These girls face significant challenges in asserting their autonomy and accessing support services, so it is important to raise awareness, advocate for policy reforms, and provide support to at-risk individuals. By doing so, we can work towards ending this harmful practice and protect young girls, regardless of their background. As an advocate for girls, I look forward to providing my insight into this issue and sharing my experience on how we can create a better world for girls.

We need to advocate for the support girls need to overcome harmful expectations.

As a 20-year-old college student, Nuri is determined to inspire more women to pursue STEM careers in male-dominated fields.

My GLOW Club Experience

My involvement in GLOW Club profoundly shaped my commitment to advocating for the fundamental rights of women and girls.

I was always told that I didn’t fit into my community because I didn’t allow traditional customs to dictate my life  – a decision I am proud of to this day. To simply decide that I am only meant for certain roles in society was unacceptable to me and my parents, who have been my greatest supporters. Throughout my life, I learned that being a girl is something to be proud of.

When I joined GLOW Club as a 14-year-old high school student, I learned the importance of self-advocacy and voicing my opinions to address the challenges I was passionate about solving for girls in my community. I knew that in GLOW Club, I was safe to express my thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. 

GLOW Club fostered a culture of inclusivity and diversity, exposing me to various perspectives and experiences. Through interactive activities and dialogue, I gained a deeper understanding of issues such as gender equality, mental health awareness, and social justice. These discussions not only broadened my worldview but also instilled in me a sense of empathy and compassion towards others. It inspired me to be an agent of change in the world around me,

I was a freshman in high school when I joined GLOW Club. Now, as a sophomore in college, I can fearlessly express my needs and assert my boundaries.  I can confidently say that GLOW Club has helped shape me to be the woman I am today.

GLOW Club provides a safe space for girls to express themselves, build relationships with their peers, and develop Social and Emotional Learning skills.

My Future as a Woman in STEM 

Over the years, I’ve grown to develop a passion for STEM. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the sciences as I had a deep desire to break stigmas in this male-dominated field. According to the United States Census statistics from 2021, only 27% percent of workers in STEM were women as of 2019. Additionally, not only are women lacking representation in this field, they are not compensated equally. According to GSB Stanford, there is more than a $4,000 difference in the pay of a male worker versus a female worker in STEM. 

As a computer science major, I am confident that my contributions as a woman can make a difference. Despite the current disparities, I am determined to advocate for equality and inclusivity in STEM. While I may not be able to bridge these gaps immediately, I am committed to reshaping the narrative so that eventually, we can find a lasting solution.

My Dream for a Better World for Girls

Navigating the path of advocating for women and girls’ rights is not an easy task. Together with Global G.L.O.W., I hope to broaden my horizons so that we as a community can dig deeper into the existing and underlying issues that act as barriers for young women like myself. 

“I dream that one day, people around the world realize that when girls are given the opportunity to do good and achieve success, the possibilities are endless.”

I want the world to know that I am passionately advocating for girls’ ability to receive an education and pursue a career of their choice. I’ve always been taught that knowledge is power and that when girls are educated, they can stand on their own two feet and do not have to rely on a man for financial support.

I dream that one day, people around the world realize that when girls are given opportunities, the possibilities are endless. We simply need to be given a chance to show that we have the power to change our communities and the world for the better.

As Global G.L.O.W.’s Youth Correspondent, I am excited to advocate for girls to follow their dreams and reach their full potential. Be prepared to watch, because nothing will stop us from fighting for our rights and ensuring that our voices are heard!

Global G.L.O.W. mentors girls around the world to become powerful advocates and confident leaders. Since inception, our GLOW Clubs have ignited the power of over 91,000 girls to do 3 transformative things: increase their confidence, strengthen their voice, and build their power. Support our work at globalgirlsglow.org/donate.

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