“She is modeling for young girls that it is wonderful to go to school and that it’s ok to dream about having a career.”
Sesame Street unveiled a fresh face on Thursday: An Afghanistan girl muppet named Zari. Reportedly, the six-year-old girl will teach kids about “girl empowerment, social and emotional wellbeing.”
Zari, who’s name means “shimmering” in the Dari and Pashto languages, will appear in season Baghch-e-Simsim, which is the Afghan version of Sesame Street. And, she has a big job to do.
The Huffington Post reports that the long-running U.S. education TV show aims for Zari to promote female empowerment in a nation where women and children were almost completely excluded from education opportunities fifteen years ago. While progressive change has taken place in the last decade, women still lack many of the rights females elsewhere are granted.
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) April 7, 2016
In Afghanistan, there are five million kids under the age of five, but about one-third of them are not in school. Hopefully, Zari’s presence will inspire them to tune into Sesame Street (which 81% of Afghan children between the ages of 3 and 7 have seen) and absorb some much-needed education.
Breitbart relays that Zari will be featured in segments concerning health, exercise, and well-being. In time, she will interview a doctor and other professions to find out what she would need to do to become one herself.
Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop’s executive vice president of global impact and philanthropy, told the press:
“The exciting part about Zari is that she is modeling for young girls that it is wonderful to go to school and that it’s ok to dream about having a career. “It’s so powerful that the first Afghan Muppet is a girl.”
Saad Mohseni, the president of the MOBY group, which airs numerous TV programs for Afghani children, had similar sentiments:
“Sesame Street has done more to educate and entertain than any other children’s program in Afghanistan. We are especially delighted about the introduction of Zari to Baghch-e-Simsim, which reflects Sesame’s commitment to the country and the show’s positive impact here.”
This step can only be marked as positive. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!
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