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Girls' education gets Intel boost

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Removing barriers in girls' education _ the old demons such as early and forced marriage, domestic slavery, sex trafficking, gender violence and discrimination _ means not only a better life for girls, but a safer, healthier, and more prosperous world for all. 

Intel, the founding strategic partner of 10X10, a global action campaign that strives to educate and empower girls around the world, will debut the documentary Girl Rising, aimed at inspiring change.

The feature-length film from Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins, which premiered in the US on International Women's Day, puts the spotlight on nine extraordinary girls from different countries, showcasing the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world.

The nine girls were born into unforgiving circumstances. Girls like Sokha, an orphan who rises from living in a garbage dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to become a star student and an accomplished dancer; Suma, who wrote songs to help her endure her time in forced servitude in Nepal and today crusades to free others; Ruksana, an India street dweller whose father sacrifices his own basic needs for his daughter's dreams; Wadley, a Haitian girl who insists on going to school even though her mother had no money.

Each girl's story is written by a writer from her native country and the stories are narrated by celebrated actors such as Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett.

The film also features Freida Pinto and Liam Neeson, with original music from Academy Award-winner Rachel Portman and Lorne Balfe.

Intel Microelectronics (Thailand) managing director Accharas Ouysinprasert noted that technology plays an important role in providing access to and improving the quality of education. Intel is increasing its emphasis on girls and women through the programmes like Intel Teach, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, Intel Learn and Intel Easy Steps. Each year, Intel invests more than US$100 million (about 3 billion baht) in corporate contributions around the world in areas such as education.

"When empowered with technological tools, resources and opportunities to learn, the lives of girls are transformed and so are those of everyone they touch," he said.

Citing the Council on Foreign Relations, Accharas said when educated, girls and women become catalysts for global progress and economic growth. One additional year of primary education alone can increase their future wages by 10-20%, while an extra year of secondary school adds another 15-25%. When 10% more girls go to school, a country's GDP can increase by 3%.

"Research shows that educated women reinvest most of their income into their families, proving that the impact of an educated girl or woman can be exponential and far-reaching," he said.

"The documentary film of nine girls does not just aim to inspire others, but we would like to have an action that can lead to the change."

Intel provides girls and women with access to education and technology by bridging the digital divide through technology-based programmes in education and digital literacy. In Thailand, for 10 years Intel has trained some 150,000 teachers through the "Intel Teach" programme by providing them with the tools to make a difference in the lives of their students. The global programme has helped primary and secondary school teachers around the world integrate technology into classrooms and promote student-centred approaches that prepare students for success in the digital world. To date, more than five million female teachers have been trained globally.

Girl Rising is the centrepiece of 10X10, a global campaign to educate and empower girls. The executive producers are Tom Yellin, Holly Gordon, Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen.

The film will screen today at Paragon Cineplex, by invitation only. To see a teaser trailer visit 10X10act.org/girl-rising.

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