Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


The cultural walls that divide the global village are crumbling, enabling girls in developing countries to conceive of futures unimaginable to their mothers. In the Ethiopian village of Moulo, 10-year-old Zelalem Abera, the niece of Zenebu Tulu, pictures herself as a doctor. Despite the dissonance between such dreams and what is available to women in poor nations, the fact that a young girl can imagine controlling her own future is itself progress.

Q: Can women do everything men can do?

Abera: Men are stronger than women, I believe.

Q: What does your mother do?

Abera: She makes coffee. She makes injera and wat. She goes to market. She collects firewood. She fetches water. Pounds some cereals. She washes clothes.

Q: She sounds like she is a verY strong woman to do all this work. Is she not as strong as your father?

Abera: My father makes pans, which she cannot do, for example. He can chop wood, which my mother cannot sometimes do. He plows and my mother doesn’t.

Q: What are the jobs that your mother can do that your father cannot do?

Abera: My mother is responsible only in the house.

Q: Why is it important for a girl to go to school?

Abera: To be educated and to live well.

Q: Do you want to have a job when you are big?

Abera: Yes, I want to be a doctor.

Q: Have you met a doctor before?

Abera: No.

Q: What does a doctor do?

Abera: He treats patients.

Q: And what kind of sicknesses do you want to help people with?

Abera: If somebody has a stomachache, I’ll gIve some medicines. If somebody has a headache, I’ll give some medical drugs for headache.

Q: And where will you live?

Abera: I want to live in Addis. I like Addis.

Q: Do you want to have a husband and children when you grow up?

Abera: No. I don’t want to get married. I don’t want to have children.

Q: If you go to Addis, become a doctor, and do not have a husband and children, will you live alone and take care of yourself?

Abera: Yes, I can live without children and a husband.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate