Global Youth Ambassador Sarah named in BBC’s 100 Women 2014
Sarah Natumanya from Kampala, Uganda, was honoured for her role in promoting education for girls in her country.
This is the second year the BBC have produced the list, which was started in 2013 as the broadcaster pledged to represent women better in its international news output.
Sarah has been campaigning for education and mentoring girls with disabilities seeking an education since she graduated from Kampala International University in business administration.
She became a GYA in April 2014 and was recently appointed Regional Coordinator for Litworld – a non-profit that tackles illiteracy worldwide – to lead their 10,000 girls initiative in Uganda.
Sarah puts her dedication to girls’ education down to her own struggle to overcome prejudice. She says: “I am devoted to advocacy because of my experience of growing up as girl. Many people did not believe in my strength to succeed in education.
“My family did not have a son so insisted that I went to school irrespective of what the community thought. When I reached university, I reflected on my journey and realised that a significant number of girls experience the same struggle during their childhood. I decided to come out and speak my story to inspire them.”
The young advocate believes that money should not be a barrier to an education. She said: “It’s not the money that educates children but the courage and love one has to educate. My parents worked for me though they had almost nothing. My message to the world is for parents to work for their children and educate them.”
She adds that young women need more role models and hoped that her place on the list will allow her to set an example to others: “Being one of the BBC 100 Women of 2014, means using this position to inspire others. Girls need tangible examples as they grow up and these examples should be me and you.”
Women in education featured strongly in the list, showing that the issue is moving up the news agenda. Kate Shand, the managing director of Enjoy Education, Ruby Chakravarti, who campaigns for women’s rights in India and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, who won an Emmy for her documentary Pakistan: Children of the Taliban were all part of the 100 Women 2014.