The Invisible Girl Project is making itself visible in Chapel Hill as it hosts a free screening of “It’s A Girl” today in the Student Union auditorium.
“It’s A Girl” focuses on the systematic abuse and murder of young girls in India and China, a process referred to as "gendercide." The event is sponsored by Omega Phi Beta, Student Wellness, Carolina Women's Center, UNC Asian Students Association, UNC International Justice Mission, She's the First and Every Nation Campus Ministry.
Jill McElya, the vice president and founder of the Invisible Girl Project, wants to bring awareness to the gendercide that occurs and said she was inspired to fight for the cause after seeing it firsthand in India.
“I knew that I had to go alongside them and help increase their capacity to fight this in their own country,” she said.
McElya said she was emotionally moved when she saw the movie for the first time and said she is glad her organization’s message can be shown in a visual medium. She will hold a Q&A session after the screening of the documentary.
“I hope (tonight) that students will also feel the passion that I once did to fight something that is so evil, which is the discrimination against girls and women and the killing of them just because they’re female,” McElya said.
Amanda Haney, a junior at UNC and an intern for Invisible Girl Project, said she is excited for students to see “It’s A Girl.”
“They’ll see what it is, exactly, why it happens, and what is it within these governments and within these societies that allow for this to happen — and why there has not been any big action to see an end to this,” she said.
Students attending the screening will also be informed about involvement with the organization and how they can make a difference.
“Then they’re going to find out what can they do, what is the answer, how can they get involved and how they can be a part of ending this,” Haney said. “I hope they’ll recognize that ‘OK, there are resources available for me as a student to get involved. There are things that I can do.’”
Students attending the event are eager to learn about gendercide and how they can help with the Invisible Girl Projects’s cause.
“I know that gendercide is a really important issue that affects a lot of people around the world and I just want to learn more about it and what I can do to help — if there is anything,” said first-year Anna Smith.
McElya said she wants students to become as passionate about the issue as she is.
“I hope that it ignites a passion in some students, so that they want to get on board with the cause,” she said.
Haney said she has similar hopes for the outcome of the documentary screening.
“I hope that peoples’ hearts will be moved and that people have something stirred inside of them to want to see an end to this issue.”
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