When 2014 Karachi Fellows Mahrukh and Laila first entered the classroom at the beginning of their Fellowship, they knew they were up against the enormous challenge of shifting the mindsets on girls’ education. Their students in the Girls Primary and Secondary school held so much potential, yet the roles that society ascribed them coupled with the disparity they were born in to mean that they would most likely be trapped in a cycle of marginalization due to the simple fact of their gender.
So what did Mahrukh and Laila do to change this? They used the Power of Pink!
Every day, the 4th and 5th grade girls in this small, under-resourced school chant the Power of Pink at the tops of their voices. In a community stuck in the rut of poverty and marginalization, their primary school serves as the oasis of progress. The poem is placed boldly above the chalkboard painted on to the chipped walls of the dusty classroom. It is a bright reminder of the way forward.
“Lets’ pen this down,
We are college bound!
We have the power, how does that sound?
Fourth grade will rock
Rising to the top,
We are on the fast track and we can’t be stopped!
P is for pretty, P is for Pink
P is for the power that you and I bring.
Power to make our future bright,
Power to shine like stars at night,
We will speak and read in English and write,
Add, subtract, multiply and divide
You will see us rising to the top,
We are on the fast track and we can’t be stopped!”
Watch Mahrukh and Laila’s students recite the Power of Pink:
*Power of Pink has been adapted from various sources to produce its final version