Stories of Girls’ Resistance
Aisha, St Lucia


“It’s challenging because men don’t think you should be on the same level as them no matter how hard you work. They’ll always find a way to discriminate against you and make you think you can’t do things because you are a girl. Girls can do anything that a boy can do, so it’s always in my mind that we can always do better than a male, but they would still never say that.”

Aisha's Story

By Ashlee Cox
Aisha is creating a world of equality by helping others to speak up for themselves.

Sixteen year old, St Lucian born Aisha is determined to not only stand up for herself and others, but to also show that there are no limits to what girls can achieve.

In an exclusive interview with the Girls Narrative Project, Aisha recalled an incident where as a young girl, her aptitude for mathematics was called into question by a male classmate, based solely on his belief that females simply had a shorter attention span and therefore would always be slower to comprehend than males.

“Once, a boy in my class told me that I can never be as good as him in maths because I’m a girl and girls have a shorter attention span, so he would always get the answer faster than I would ever get it,” she said.

When asked how this interaction impacted her, she said it made her angry that there were still people who held this incorrect belief about females and what they were capable of.

“It made me mad that there are still some males out there that think like that. They’ll never make a girl think they are as similar as them, they always believe that they are higher than girls and stronger than girls and just you know … above girls,” she responded.

Given this, she noted that it was challenging to be a girl, because it felt as if they always had to prove themselves in comparison to boys, but were never accepted as being on the same level, regardless of the outcome.

“It’s challenging because men don’t think you should be on the same level as them, no matter how hard you work. They’ll always find a way to discriminate against you and make you think you can’t do things because you are a girl.

Girls can do anything that a boy can do, so it’s always in my mind that we can always do better than a male, but they would still never say that,” she said.

When asked what in her community or country had impacted her identity as a girl, she highlighted the St Lucian annual Carnival, revealing that in her opinion, it’s culture made it much easier for men to take advantage of girls.

“I think Carnival [is something that affects my identity as a girl] because the girls go out there wearing little pieces of cloth and are exposing everything to the world. Not really covering themselves up like how a girl should. The way they’re dancing on the road, taking off their clothes… I think that affects me and girls in a negative way because when the males go out there [and] see them doing things that, I think like that they think it’s OK to just take advantage of those girls,” she said.

As Aisha spoke about her interactions at school , and described experiences that triggered her own sense of justice, it became apparent that this self-proclaimed, helpful, kind, playful and quiet teen, was also one who was very determined to balance the scales and protect those who were unable to stand up for themselves.

She explained that while initially, she was afraid to stand up or speak up for others, it   became something that made her feel good, because she was doing something good, especially as it showed those she was helping that it was safe to defend themselves as well.

“It can show them that It’s OK for you to be strong and defend yourself, because when you do, they [the bullies] will not really want to bully you again, or other things anymore, because they know you can defend yourself and you could always prove them wrong and do the right thing,” she said.

Describing resistance as ‘when you don’t want to do something or someone is pressuring you to do something that you don’t want to do’, she noted that people often resisted because they wanted to have more control and independence over themselves.

Aisha then explained that one of the hardest things about her resisting as a girl was making people listen to what she had to say, therefore for her solidarity, in contrast meant having people who understood, listened and knew what was right from wrong and what should be done.

Giving an example around solidarity in her life, she spoke about how she and her close friends, remain supportive of each other saying, “If I fail something, they would tell me, good job, try harder the next time, we would compare our scores and we would always bring us up to do better”.

“I’m the friend who always thinks about someone else. If you have a problem or you can’t do something I’d always come and talk to you, to ensure that everything would be OK and that you shouldn’t worry,” she continued.

With a strong sense of justice and friendship, Aisha has inspired her friends and those she has helped in differing ways, particularly in her confidence in doing the right thing, however, Aisha has also had to go through her own tribulations and has needed to rely on both her close friends, relatives and her mother.

The artifact she has chosen, as a symbol of her resistance gives but a glimpse into how she is aware that to change the world, one must heal one’s self first and that can only happen by honestly embracing one’s emotions.

This artifact which is a quote from American rapper XXXTentacion, made into a graphic, came after traumatic experience of losing her father and her friends introduced her to this song. She revealed that during that time, she felt lost and listening to the song, made everything feel better.

She confided in the Girls’ Narrative Project that after her father committed suicide, she felt lost, and found herself questioning why he did it and whether it was because of her or something she did.

Questions, she never received any answers to.

This is why the artifact she selected resonated so deeply with her, because it encourages others to embrace their feelings and be honest with themselves in healthier ways.

“It advises you to not hide your feelings, don’t pretend to be okay when you’re not OK. Don’t pretend to be happy when you’re sad. It’s only… it only leads to misery”, she said.

“Because most people, they hide how they feel to make other people feel happy, to try to process a bit to be happy and it’s not always the healthier choice,” she further explained.

When prompted, Aisha spoke candidly on trying to mask her sadness, and how she eventually decided on a healthier route when dealing with her emotions.

“Because when I was younger, and as I am now, most times when I’m sad, I always try and laugh and make everything seem like it’s okay when it’s actually not ,and then you’d end up having a breakdown because you’re trying so hard to not feel, but this time you’re making yourself more sad,” she said.

For this quietly confident teen, girlhood begins around the age 13 and will end at age 22, because, as she explained, at that age, you became more autonomous from your parents, can legally drink alcohol and your parents could ask you to leave home if they so chose to expel you.

Aisha admits that she still thinks of herself as a ‘girl’, since she relies heavily on her mother for almost everything right now, however, it is her dream to go to college and become either a social worker or masseuse before eventually opening up her own business.

“I want my life to be easier,” she said. “[In] every way possible; that I wouldn’t have to worry about anything. It’s going to be okay because that’s there, so I could get it when I need it. I wish I could contribute more,[financially and home life] like save more so that everything would always be OK”.

To that end, she said that while she did not feel as if she had much freedom right now, she took hope from her deep knowing that she can accomplish anything that she wanted to do, especially when she put her mind to it.

When asked what freedom looked like to her, she responded with one word, “ colourful”, saying that for her colourful meant more freedom, more happiness. To this end, she is working on creating in her own way a world that will be  “safer, more free… and a world where everyone is equal.”

Artist Description

This image of Aisha was created by Elizabeth Barrera, who explains their thoughts behind the illustration: The inspiration behind Aisha’s drawing is an event that happened in math class when she was just a teenager, after a male student said she couldn’t be good at math because she was a girl. She felt that she could not be herself and always tried to put on a happy face when in reality she was sad.  The colours used in the drawing are colours used in traditional outfits in St Lucia, the style of her hair is inspired by a photograph of her.

Because You Are A Girl

Keziah Taylor

Because you are a girl they say you would never be good at maths,

They sit and stare just to compare you to the boy across the class.

They ridicule you for your attention span but praise him for his fast answers.

They make you feel as if nothing you have ever done matters.


Anger overwhelms me and sometimes I feel ashamed that even in this very century we are not viewed as the same!

Because you are a girl they assume the clothes you wear are meant to have a tear,

Because you are a girl you must keep quiet and hide in fear,


I am disgusted and fully disagree with what this world thinks a girl should be.

I will take a stand and boldly decree that girls can do anything that boys can do, but they would never say that!

They try to pull us down and break our crowns, they treat us like a doormat!


Because you are a girl, you have the power within you to prove them wrong,

Because you are a girl, you are intelligent, resilient and strong,

Because you are a girl, freedom is your key to break the chains and bounds of inequality.