Can we put them in charge? Meet the girls who are changing the world

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As part of Stylist’s Made By Girls takeover, global editor Siân, 15, rounds up five stories about girls making a difference around the world.  

Egypt: The girl on a mission to end FGM

After her best friend bled to death during the procedure, nine-year-old Amel (above), from Tamouh in Egypt, bravely refused to be circumcised. Having managed to convince her parents to allow her to decide for herself, she wants other girls to have the same opportunity.

She is now on a mission to spread the word about female genital mutilation by warning girls about the effects it can have and encouraging families to attend sexual health awareness sessions. Egypt has the third highest rate of FGM in the world. Amel regularly attends training sessions and is passionate about the cause, hoping to put an end to FGM nationwide. 

USA: The girls improving the lives of homeless people

US students have invented a solar-powered tent 

An all-girl high school science club has designed a tent for homeless people, after taking part in an education programme with DIYGirls. The tent uses solar energy to power lights and electronic devices, and uses UV light to ensure the tents are sanitised, making it easier for homeless individuals to protect themselves from disease.

The girls also received a $10,000 [£7,600] grant, which allowed them to showcase their idea at a young inventors’ convention. 

Australia: The girl sitting down for indigenous rights

Harper Nielsen called out racism in her national anthem 

A nine-year-old schoolgirl has been given detention for refusing to stand during the Australian national anthem. Harper Nielsen argued that Advance Australia Fair disregards the country’s indigenous people, who now have among the highest rates of poverty and imprisonment in the country.

In her opinion, the song was initially written to celebrate the advance of white people in Australia. Harper says she decided to protest to raise awareness. Her parents are extremely proud, and rightly so. 

India: The skater girl breaking down barriers 

Kamali Moorthy, coolest eight-year-old ever 

Kamali Moorthy, aged eight, is the only female skateboarder in her hamlet in Tamil Nadu. According to locals, she makes the sport look so effortless, it’s as if she was “born with a skateboard”.

Kamali was only three when she was gifted her first skateboard and has since gone from strength to strength. World-renowned skater Jamie Thomas has even paid a visit, teaching her new tricks so she can compete on the world stage one day. Go Kamali!

Nigeria: The girls inventing life-saving technology 

These teenagers have built an award-winning app 

A group of teenage girls from Nigeria has won a Technovation prize in California, after designing a mobile app that could save a significant number of lives from fake pharmaceutical products, linked to deaths from diseases such as malaria.

The competition challenges young people to solve an issue within their community, and the app will allow users to scan the barcode of their product to confirm that it is real and in-date. Inspired.

Words by Siân, 15, global editor. History is Siân’s favourite subject because it gives her perspective on current events, and one day she would love to visit the United Nations headquarters in Geneva. She is currently reading the Matched book series by Ally Condie and her preferred chocolate is a Cadbury’s Twirl. 

Images: Plan International / Heba Khalifa