In 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 the “Day of the Girl.” At this time, UN reprsentatives stated that “when we invest in girls’ health, safety, education and rights – in times of peace and crisis – we empower them to reach for their dreams and build better lives for themselves and their communities.”
This year, The White House got involved in this initiative, with the First Lady calling for a continued fight for girls education, a passion that was showcased in her “We Will Rise” doccumentary, which was screened with the help of Meryl Streep at the White House on October 11. President Obama also took part in the day, giving a Presidential Proclamation that reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the empowerment of women and girls. Further events were held all around the world, and even if you missed these, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the momentum of Day of the Girl going.
This year’s theme was Girls’ Progress= Goals’ Progress, and was based off of the seventeen Sustainable Developement goals. These goals were created to end extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. This day is all about the right to education, and the end to gender discrimination and inequality.
No girl should be the victim of discrimination, violence, or customs like child marrage. One in three girls living in developing countries (except China) are married by the age of eighteen. The sustainable development global goals will hopefully help to end this specific practice through education. UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson knows the importance of education. She recently visited Malawi to meet with women of the communities who ended their marriages in order to continue their education. That’s something to dance about!
Show your support by continiously coming together and taking action to improve the rights and opportunities for girls all over the world. You can help keep this movement going by doing a few different things. One way is by finding a woman you admire, or your #GirlHero, and showing them support through any way you see fit. This could be a tweet to Beyonce (because she knows who runs the world) or Malala, a young girl from Pakistan who is willing to stand up and fight for education no matter the cost. Donating is also an option, and it’s a great alternative to that Pumpkin Spice Latte you know you have to cut back on. And lasty, empower! We all love empowerment, and a few of the ten ways to empower all the ladies out there include creating a safe space, supporting independence and mobility, and boosting decision making power. Women help women, so get out there and join the cause!