March, at least in Texas, is a beautiful month. Often, the harsh winter winds begin to be replaced by warmer, pleasant ones. The sun shines a little brighter and you can sense that Spring is on the horizon. But beyond the beauty of nature, March is a beautiful month for another reason: In 1987, it was dedicated as National Women’s History Month. So, in honor of Women’s History Month, I decided to write about an organization that I recently joined and have quickly fallen in love with: Girl Up.
Girl Up is a national organization that partners with the United Nations to foster and aid in the empowerment of women across the globe. Girl Up promotes the health, safety, education, and leadership of women in developing countries. Essentially, Girl Up encourages women to support other women in need by raising awareness about the issues that affect women all over the world. It’s encourages uniting girls to change the world.
Girl Up focuses its support on women in Guatemala, Ethiopia, Liberia, Uganda, India, and Malawi. For the girls living in these regions, their average education lasts about less than three years, almost all of them do not have access to any sort of healthcare, and more than 1/3 are married before they turn 15. Girl Up strives to eradicate these issues and inequalities through donations, advocacy, and leadership efforts with the United Nations.
The beauty of Girl Up is that, although it supports women in these developing countries, it also strongly focuses on empowering girls in our local communities in the United States through continued advocacy and mentorship. Girl Up is an embodiment of the power that is created when girls take action to help and support other girls, whether it be in their own community or across the world.
Since its creation in 2010, Girl Up has raised more than $8.5 million and has successfully impacted the lives of 34,000 girl globally. Some of these successes include raising the legal age of marriage from 15 to 18 in Malawi and Guatemala, and implementing legislation in Liberia that provides increased support for victims of domestic abuse. These examples are just a few of the countless ways that Girl Up has worked to empower women all over the world.
I first was exposed to Girl Up when I discovered that one of my friends heads up the Girl Up organization at UT. I went to the first meeting and I knew instantly that this was something that I wanted to be a part of. I am so passionate about the mission of Girl Up and by being a part of it, I am taking action to support all women, everywhere.
I still associate the month of March with change. But now, it is not the changing seasons I associate it with, but these positive changes in the lives of women all across the world. Girl Up is a fantastic organization that helps foster this change and I encourage everyone to take part in this incredible movement.