Last Friday, October 11, was the second ever “International Day of the Girl.” A day to celebrate girls, and hell yes a celebration was needed. Then a roll up of each sleeve and getting down to business. Do you know what the International Day of Girl is all about? The United Nations website states:
“On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.”
I am humbled to know that this day exists. We do have a few days in the calendar year that champion women, but sometimes I think the teenager or young girl is lost in that conversation. They are deal with first world problems like pressure from their peers (girls or boys), body image, rape, teen pregnancy, negative portrayal of girls in the media, or abuse, or third world problems such as genital mutilation, sex trafficking, violence, hunger, disease, and child marriage. Some of these issues are both first and third world problems.
My thoughts at the moment go to education, role models, and mentors. Do girls today have good role models? Where some might be privileged enough to have someone like Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook as their role model, others may need to have someone very tangible, local, and present as their role model. Do women in local communities have the time, patience, and dedication to be there for girls? Are you there for a girl in your life? I do not know many girls locally that need a mentor, but it has made me think more about being one.
Nike, Inc. started The Girl Effect many years ago. This year for “International Day of the Girl” they have put together The Girl Declaration. You will want to watch this video from The Girl Effect. I love near the end, where it says: “This is for every girl in the world. Who has a voice that must be heard.” I am also sharing the full text of The Girl Declaration below the video. Please be sure to explore The Girl Effect website about the Girl Declaration. Share it with others. Girls voices need to be heard.