Stories of Girls’ Resistance

Solidarity: the heart of the revolution

Within the context of the NGO-isation of social change, girls’ marginalisation and isolation has been framed primarily as a problem of social capital deficit. In contrast, some of the most powerful girl-centered work supports the building of bonds of sisterhood rooted deeply in communal ways of living and being, feminist ideals of mutuality and reciprocity, and which views solidarity as the fundamental basis of healthy and thriving movements.

Not only do relationships with other people spark and sustain her resistance, they are also a strategy and tactic through which she resists. From finding friendship through online spaces that allow girls to connect outside traditional power structures to solidifying friendships through in-person movement spaces – friendships are central to how girls organise. In a world which tends to isolate, blame and make girls feel they must hold the shame of their experiences, deep solidarity and closeness found in friendships subverts the harshness of their surroundings on the pathway to liberation.

For me when I think of solidarity I think of it in terms of feminism. As a young girl I felt solidarity coming from my girlfriends, sisterhood. From them I feel so affirmed and so loved, less burdened. I feel the burden of patriarchy on my back, but with them we share the burden. So much love comes from that sharing and that unity. It gives you energy for the fight ahead. Solidarity is Imagining freedom together. It might just be an experiment. But at least if we start it, maybe someone else will continue it.


After my accident which left me bedridden and with a disability, I was so down. I thought my life was over. Then one day there was a turning point. I was at home watching TV, not wanting to go out, and then I saw on TV that Fiji was welcoming back Iliesa Delana, Fiji’s first paralympian who won a gold medal, with a street parade. People were cheering because he had done the country proud. I had never seen anything like it. Then I also saw a group of people with banners saying disability rights matter on the streets. I was taken aback. I never knew groups like that existed. Groups which had people like me. So I decided to find them, and now I work with them. I do my advocacy with them. I know my purpose.


I talk about community a lot because our survival as women is rooted in community. When you have a community of women, of sisters who affirm you, who affirm who you are it gives you power to stay true to yourself. And when you have a community of women who don’t affirm who you are you tend to shrink, you tend to adjust because you can’t really survive on your own at the end of the day you still need people around you to affirm who you are as a person.


We just found each other on Twitter; literally seven of us found each other on Twitter. We really started to ramp up the work after New York City published the crying baby teenage pregnancy prevention ads and so it was literally crying babies of colour and they would say things like he doesn’t love you mom, he’s going to leave us then what? Yeah girl, it was really bad. So, when that happened a lot of us were being called for media interviews, like myself and another one of the co-founders, co-creators of the campaign were being called for media interviews and we would be on this panel and we’d be talking and blah, blah, blah and then are sound bites would be edited down or we were the teen mom but the MPA’s and the MPH’s is and PhD’s were talking more than we were and it was just like, “no, we’re just want to talk for ourselves and so that’s how we found each other, that’s how we decided to band together and create a campaign to disrupt and to introduce conversations in a different way and have it come from an educated point of view that was inclusive of people of different gender identities, sexual expressions and socio-economic statuses.

United States of America

Look for yourself between you because my friend said to me, we are going to trouble that son of a bitch who kissed you on the mouth, and she opened my eyes and we always have someone who, is a strong woman, older than you, younger than you, just like you, who goes and takes you from where you are in that thread of violence. Then, as I’m not sure if the rest of the girls will be fine and I think not all of them will be fine in the end. Look for others, girls’ networks are important, listen to other girls, even when you’re a lesbian, you feel like a weirdo, but if you found another girl who confesses that she also likes girls, you say, I am from this planet, I landed.

Maria Jose