Day of the Girl
Today, October 11, 2012, is the first ever United Nations Day of the Girl! From now on it’ll be every year on October 11th.
According to the United Nations, this annual Day will “help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”
The campaign for this Day was started by Canadian girls who inspired School Girls Unite, an organization in the Washington, D.C. area, to mobilize support in the United States. Since 2004, School Girls Unite has focused on the right of every girl in the world to get an education. Girls everywhere are confronted with stereotypes, discrimination, abuse, violence, and other reasons that limit opportunities now and in the future.
Why does the world need a Day of the Girl? Here are just a few reasons the organizers at Day of the Girl give:
- Illiteracy – By 2015 more than 64% of the people in the world who cannot read will be women
- School Dropout – Only 30% of girls in the world get to go to some kind of secondary school.
- Forced Marriage – One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15
- Violence – In the United States more than half (54%) of all rapes of females happen before age 18
How can you help raise awareness about Day of the Girl and help solve some of these issues? Talk to your daughter and her friends, your friends and neighbors, church community or other groups you belong too. Educate yourself about girl issues in your town or city. Perhaps the local schools need reading tutors or a high school student needs a mentor.
There are also excellent websites that discuss girl issues and list organizations that work to improve the lives of girls worldwide. Half The Sky is one example.
By improving the lives of girls, we will improve their families and communities, and the lives of the future children. Visit the Day of the Girl website to learn more and find out how you can help.