13 March, 2009


Hats off to Scarlett Lion for her pictures on Ruth a girl living in Liberia. Sections of the article appear here, for other pictures and more detail go to SL's site.

"Ruth Dureng wants to be a reverend and a doctor. A Reverend Doctor, Rev Dr. Dureng. She doesn’t feel the limit of choosing among careers – she wants it all. And when she smiles, anyone near by couldn’t help but want to give it to her.

Ruth was abused and forced out of her house when she refused to become to the second wife to her aunt’s husband. She left home and has the strength to speak out. In a culture where women are shamed for saying no, or shunned when they are the victims of sexual violence, Ruth’s strength and perseverance are an outlier, but also an example of hope and pride for other girls.

The odds are stacked against her and other girls: almost half of Liberian girls marry and bear children before age 18 and few attend school. Ruth has already beat these odds. Three out of five women in Liberia can’t read, and married women often believe that it’s okay for men to beat women. ...

“I have a dream that one day this great nation, Liberia, will be free of guns, violence, domestic abuse, and sexual exploitation,” she says.

"When Ruth sings, along with the other girls, I have overcome, she sings the words to sing, but also to remind herself.

"She has overcome."