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Teen's Homework Dress Demands Girls' Equality

A Canadian teen feminist and activist wanted to capture some of the energy around her high school graduation and put it to good use. But she wasn't exactly sure how to do that.

Remembering the time last year when she heard Malala Yousafzai speak about the importance of education for girls around the world, Erinne came up with a plan. She would turn pages of finished homework into her graduation dress.

More than 62 million girls don't have access to secondary education globally. The fact that that number is nearly double the population of Canada only made that number more real for Erinne.

So she got to work: sketching and cutting and taping and gluing. The result: a really cute dress (though not terribly practical) with a message.

Pieced together from calculus notes and some bits of black velvet an satin, Erinne wrote in red paint: "I've received my education. Not every woman has that right. Malala.org."

She told reporters that she's overwhelmed with the positive attention the dress has received. "I believe all girls deserve the right to get a free, quality secondary education because the circumstances in which you are born into in life should never define your potential to contribute positively to the world," she wrote on the Malala Fund website. "I cannot, to any degree imagine, what it might be like to have to stand up and fight for an education mainly because of your sex."

Erinne donated what she would have otherwise spent on the dress to the Malala Fund and encouraged everyone else to as well.

The high school graduate received worldwide attention for the dress, and the Malala Fund loves the look too.

Now that graduation is over, Erinne has put her activist art up for auction, the proceeds of which will also go toward promoting education for girls.

Erinne plans to study International Law at the University of Toronto next year.

Image via Malala.org

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