Hopes, dreams and fears: the world of teenage girls through their diaries

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To mark International Women’s Day, explore beyond the stereotypes with Masuma Ahuja’s book Girlhood, a collection of diary entries from girls around the world

Masuma Ahuja was tired of seeing the same stories told about teenage girls. They were either victimised or sexualised, even if an “exceptional girl” such as Greta Thunberg or Malala Yousafzai was occasionally held up as a role model for fighting back.

“We have very little understanding of the day-to-day life of girls and what life looks like for them,” says Ahuja. “I wanted to create a small portrait of what girlhood looks like in different places, and something that girls can pick up and feel seen by … and seen by girls elsewhere who share their own experiences.”

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