The Girl

“What if a girl’s life could be more?”

5 When 13-year old Azmera is told she must marry, she does something shocking; she says no. Meet an Ethiopian family where a brother champions his younger sister’s cause to be educated and to be free.

The Writer

Maaza Mengiste tells Azmera’s story. A Fulbright scholar whose critically acclaimed debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, appeared on several notable bestseller lists, Mengiste writes with empathy for her characters as well as an understanding of the complex forces that shape their world.

The Country

A land of vast skies and an ancient, rich culture, Ethiopia consistently ranks as one of the most difficult places on earth to be a girl. In a country of nearly 95 million people, girls sit at the very bottom of the social structure – and, sadly, anything but the most rudimentary education remains out of reach for most.

The Artist

Azmera’s story is narrated by multiple Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep, who says, “This film delivers hope: reasonable, measurable, tangible hope that the world can be healed and helped to a better future.”


Azmera is in high school now. As there is no secondary school in her village, she attends school in a nearby city, where she lives with her mother. World Vision works with Girl Rising to support Azmera so she can continue her education and realize her ambitions to become a teacher and a community leader, working against child marriage and supporting other female children who aren’t able to attend school.