Who Run The World? GIRLS!

On October 11th, the world celebrates the importance of girls and women across the globe. We celebrate our achievements, our triumphs and our hardships. On December 19th, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare the 11th of October as the International Day of the Girl Child. This day recognizes girls’ rights and the unique challenges facing girls and women all across the globe. This year, the day will focus on the importance of education and innovation. Technology use is growing day by day. Using our technological advances, we can easily educate women across the globe to inspire and empower them to make a difference.       

Here in Canada, girls and women have a pretty incredible life. We not only have the same opportunities as men, but we strive for greatness in every aspect of our lives. However, many of us unfortunately take this for granted. Millions of girls and women elsewhere do not have this perfect life. Over 260 million girls live under the poverty line worldwide (living on under $1.25 a day). These girls and women go through various daily hardships just to be able to provide to their family. Yet, after strenuous work, their lives are still contained to looking after the family. They don’t have the opportunity to go to school, to receive a proper education, or to make something of themselves. Studies show that empowering and educating girls and women, enables them to be key drivers of development for their families and communities.

Those who try to break the social boundaries get hurt. We have all heard of the incredible Malala Yousafzai: the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who stood up in the face of adversity and spoke out against the Taliban’s ban on educating girls. However, as soon as she stood up, she fell down. In 2009, while in school, she was shot in the head by the Taliban and almost killed. Facing inconceivable odds of survival, she pushed through and is still here today to talk of her experiences, her visions and ideals. For Malala, even in extremist regimes, women and girls need to fight for the right to education. Otherwise, how are they going to learn to change the extremism? How are they going to fight the present and change the future? Malala is now nominated for a Nobel peace price. For a full CBC interview with Malala see here.

Although we live in a privileged society, it is so hard to physically make a difference in the developing world. While we may not be able to change a regime, or change extremist laws, we can do one thing: talk! We need to raise our voices, learn from each other and share our ideas. Only by speaking up will we change current laws and social norms in other countries and make the lives of girls and women everywhere better in the future. Day of the Girl  is a movement in response to the International Day of the Girl that gives students the opportunity to plan events surrounding this iconic day at their schools or in their communities. The Nike Foundation started the Girl Effect - a movement to raise awareness on the importance of educating girls. The Girl Effect also wants to be the movement to make girls impossible to ignore. Girl Rising has created a tear-jerking and inspirational documentary featuring girls from Nepal, Cambodia, and other developing nations. This documentary features the hardships these girls must go through, including sexual violence and forced marriage, no education and no opportunities. Watch the trailer, and share with your friends and peers – this is the only way this movement can spread.

We are all women. Whether we are from Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Liberia or Afghanistan, we are all girls. So why can’t we have the same opportunities? Why can’t we all strive for greatness? Join the girl movement – rise up, speak up and make a difference!

 

Photo Credits:

http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=48342

http://www.resetdoc.org/story/00000022110