They were born girls in countries where being a woman is too expensive.
They were born girls and were marked forever like animals, although it was not a mark on their skin but sewn into their souls. An invisible tattoo.
They were born girls and, by the simple fact of being girls, they lacked the rights that their male siblings had from the first second of life.
They were born girls and became the bearers of misfortune and sadness, despite their innocence, in those homes that yearned above all else for the celebration of a child.
They were born girls and, before they learned to walk or say their first words, their families decided whom they would marry even before they came of age.
They were born girls and were denied the keys that open the doors that lead to knowledge, to education, because women are not supposed to study. The professional future is not written in the diaries of these teenage girls.
They were born girls and they were forced to make imposed obedience and silence the mainstay of their growth, because their voices are of no importance, let alone their ideas and thoughts. Women are not supposed to think.
They were born girls and they were robbed of their freedom before they were even aware of the meaning of the word. Freedom to choose, freedom to express themselves, freedom to act, freedom to decide. Birds without wings locked in a cage away from the light.
They were born girls and their dreams were amputated along with the possibilities to feel and live as they would have wanted to. Cruel traditions rooted in the deepest beliefs.
They were born girls and, in some places, they were covered from head to toe so as not to be seen; while in others they were discovered too much to be left in the hands of unscrupulous men convinced that everything has a price. The power of money.
They were born girls and to this bad luck was added the misfortune of being born into families so poor that necessity justified even the sale of their daughter for a handful of coins.
They were born girls and without the right to play in the street because work leaves them no time to play.
They were born girls and while still children or adolescents they took care of their own children, sometimes as a result of forced or arranged marriages, sometimes as a consequence of rape and abuse suffered inside and outside their immediate environment.
They were born girls in radicalised countries, where fundamental rights are not respected, where subjugation, torture and murder is the response obtained by those who want to defend democratic principles.
They were born girls and soon felt their hands tied and their hearts broken.
Working girls, married girls, raped girls, pregnant girls, out-of-school girls, abused girls...
Senegal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Niger, Chad, Chad, Uganda, India, Mauritania, Yemen, Indonesia, Iran, Syria... and we also reached Latin America.
And they were born girls