A passionate young feminist in Canada figured out a way to make a real statement with her graduation dress. Eighteen-year-old Erinne Paisley constructed a dress almost entirely from old math homework, and embellished it with these words: “I’ve received my education, not every woman has that right.” She took the money she would have spent on a graduation frock and donated it to The Malala Fund, an organization named for Malala Yousafzai, who advocated for women’s education anonymously through a blog for the BBC when she was just 11 years old, while the Taliban threatened occupation of her hometown in Pakistan. The Fund works to guarantee secondary education for young girls around the world.
Paisley, of Victoria, British Columbia, was inspired after hearing Malala speak live in 2014. Paisley describes herself in a guest post on The Malala Fund blog as being a passionate activist for education and women’s rights. “Throughout this past year,” Paisley wrote, “an activist group I co-founded at my high school, Action Now, explored the topic of women’s rights, and we made an awareness campaign on women’s equality.” With graduation imminent, the young student saw an opportunity to bring even more awareness to the issue, encapsulating her feelings on women’s right to education in the perfect vessel: a dress made of math homework.
Paisley graduated from Reynolds Secondary last week. She wore the paper dress to her graduation ceremony, getting lots of attention from her classmates. News of her grad duds was made public by Spotted in Victoria, and comments on the post suggest that this move is in line with Paisley’s character. According to one commenter, this gesture is “Not surprising to those of us who have been lucky enough to watch her grow from preschool to the powerful person in this photo!”
The new grad is now auctioning her dress on GoBid where she wrote: “I am now auctioning off the original dress to raise further funds for the Malala Foundation.” The entire sum raised from its sale will be donated to support the Malala Fund’s efforts to give girls worldwide the opportunity to go to school.
At the time of this report, the highest bid for the Malala Dress, as it’s been dubbed, sits at $575CAD, with more than three weeks remaining until the auction closes.
via A Mighty Girl
Images via Erinne Paisley