Education is a fundamental human right that many women around the world are denied of. And as an ambassador of Girl Rising, a global campaign for girls' education and empowerment, Freida Pinto has chosen to raise her voice in hopes of inspiring others into action. Frieda spent her childhood growing up in India and for many years was a witness to the unfair and unequal treatment of girls. Having a mother who was a school principal helped shape Frieda's perspective on just how crucial education was for both boys and girls.
Freida exclusively opened up to E! News about the cause that hit very close to home.
"When your mum is the principal or teacher and your grandmother the same, you can't help but be quite committed to be active in education. I never had dreams or ambitions of being a teacher but what I did find was growing up in a country like India you start becoming more and more aware of the disparity between a certain group of girls who don't get to go to school who are begging at the street lights because they don't have a home and this is the only way girls can bring some income into their families, which is really sad...they should going to be school and not be doing that."
In 2013 Freida joined Selena Gomez, Kerry Washington, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Chloë Grace Moretz, Alicia Keys and Salma Hayek to voice the campaign's first documentary, Girl Rising. The film highlighted the strength of women around the world overcoming overwhelming hurdles in their pursuit of happiness, freedom and the power education has to change the world.
It was during this time that Freida became an ambassador for the campaign and decided to become a producer on Girl Rising, India, a film that with the help of the Indian government has impacted the lives of many women and young girls.
Freida explains, "What Girl Rising really does is raise awareness, a learning program, a lot of these girls have issues when it comes to self confidence so when they start seeing other girls around the world who don't have a lot in life but somehow have that inner strength to keep them going. I feel that inspires the first world as well to want to do something meaningful and useful."
One of Girl Rising's main goals is to use powerful stories to inspire action.
Freida shared that, "Stories really do inspire people. They inform people, they educate people, at times it makes them very uncomfortable and if something is making you uncomfortable there is a problem there and that is the reason why you are uncomfortable. It really is not easy to watch a documentary on female genital mutilation; the reason why you're uncomfortable is because it's the truth, it actually happened, and you wouldn't want that to happen to you or your children but it is happening to some other girl somewhere else in the world."
The 32-year-old concluded, "I think it is so important to tell these stories but tell them in a way that you don't make people depressed or feel despondent, you have to be able to inspire them and that's what is very unique at Girl Rising is that we are always wanting to end on a note that is, not that we're telling them a lie, 'now the world is better place' but it can be a better place, and it will be a better place if we have your support, and I think that's the kind of message we put out there."