It’s been a hugely popular book for young girls all over the world teaching them about some of the most game-changing and inspiring girls and women of history, published in 47 languages.
But in Turkey, Good Night stories for Rebel Girls has been partially banned, with AFP reporting that the government’s board of protection of minors and obscene publications believe it could have, a “detrimental influence on the minds of those under the age of 18.”
The book features stories and beutiful illustrations on women like Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, Beyonce and mathematician Ada Lovelace. Having personally gifted it to a number of eight-year-old girls, I can safely say there is absolutely nothing detrimental about it, unless you don’t like the idea of young girls growing up to believe they can have a voice, and a go, at whatever they want — rejecting social expectations of themselves in the process (if so, you might want to check out Dr Kate Ahmad’s piece on ‘Waning Priveledge Syndrome’.)
Founder and CEO of Rebel Girls Elena Favilli said they were “deeply saddened” to learn about the ban from news reports.
“We created these stories so that girls and women all over the world have access to the largest and most diverse representation of women who are pioneers, leaders, champions, creators, and warriors,” she said.
“To us, being a ‘rebel girl’ means living on your own terms and resisting society’s expectations. Being a rebel is about finding a way of succeeding against the odds and making the most out of your circumstances. Rebel Girls exists to create a more equal world. This incident proves the ongoing need of the Rebel Girls movement.”
The partial ban means the book can only be sold in similar ways to how cigarettes are sold in Australia and is basically treated like porn– sold only to adults and concealed from view in shops.
While adults will still be able to gift the book to children — they will have less visibility on knowing it’s available.
That means children will miss out on reading the excellent stories about the female role models featured, along with the book’s overall message demonstrating the value of being a ‘rebel girl’.
The news comes as Rebel Girls prepares to launch its first chapter books in November, highlighting the achievments of women in STEM and entrepreneurship across history.
It also occured just days prior to Ada Lovelace Day, which is officially celebrated on the 8th October, an international day celebrating the achievements of women in STEM.
Rebel Girls has sold millions of copies globally, having first been published in 2016 following a phenomenally successful kickstarter campaign. US based author Francesca Cavallo told The Guardian that the only problem the book has faced up until this point was a decision by Russia to cenosr a profile on a trnsgender girl featured in the book.