ClarkU Hillel: Day of Girl Shabbat

Welcome to Day of Girl Shabbat! Thank you to all of the students and parents that came today. ClarkU Hillel is very happy to welcome and have you at our Shabbat.

Tikkun Olam decided to center this Shabbat around Day of Girl. While a day late, Day of Girl is an international celebration we felt was worthy of the meaning of Tikkun Olam – transforming the world.

So a little history: Day of Girl is an international observance declared by the UN in 2012. Yesterday, October 11, was the sixth annual celebration of this holiday. It is held to increase awareness of gender inequalities faced by many girls and women from around the world today. Girls and women face inequalities in access to education, nutrition, legal and health care, as well as protection from discrimination and violence.

Women face many inequalities, but here are a few short facts:

40 percent of young women in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are married before the age of 18. Child marriages increase the chances of complications with giving birth, which can be fatal.

In addition to marriage, many women face discriminatory divorce rights around the world. Professionally, women on average earn 77 cents to a man’s dollar for the same work. A caveat to this, however, is that it also depends upon race.

Access to education is another big inequality. More than two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women. There is limited access to education for many women, or it may just not even be plausible for them to go due to having to work or take care of the family. But this means that women lose everything that comes along with education, even beyond just an understanding of math and language.

But Day of Girl does not just recognize the negatives. There have been multiple rallies and organizations formed in recent years. Many women, politically and famous, have spoken out. Movements such as #MeToo have become well-known and impactful.

Day of Girl is supposed to also acknowledge the successes, the emergence of girls in the developing world—what has already improved and has been effective and what is yet to come, what the future holds.

Hedy Lamarr invented technology during World War II that lead to WiFi that we have today.

83 years ago, Regina Jonas became the world’s first ordained female rabbi.

Gloria Steinem became the first woman to speak at the National Press Club in 1972.

In 1969, Golda Meir was Israel’s first female prime minister, the fourth politician overall.

In 1986, Judith Resnik became the first Jewish woman (and second woman in general) to travel to space.

And there are so many other Jewish women from before and today that are making  a huge difference in this world.

Women come in all shapes, sizes, ways of life, backgrounds, and so much more. Each is unique and different in their own sense. This Shabbat is to honor that. We ask that you and your table discuss the questions on the board, and we hope this celebration has opened your eyes to Day of Girl.

Shabbat Shalom.