It’s International Day of the Girl Child. Isn’t it time we take a stand?
Since the dawn of time women have played pivotal roles in the advancement of our societies. Our passionate cries coupled with our indomitable spirit, have proven to be a formidable force in the global fight against oppression of nearly every kind. From Harriet Tubman to Benazir Bhutto, we have raised our voices while risking life and limb so that others could be free.
Ah..freedom. The hallmark of any civilized society. Yet, around the world girls are being regularly denied this basic right. The freedom to learn, to grow into women in due season, or even to exist without the constant threat of violence.
Consider these alarming statistics:
- 66 million girls are out of school globally. That includes the 33 million fewer girls in primary school than boys. (UNESCO)
- In a single year, an estimated 150 million girls are victims of sexual violence. In fact, 50% of sexual assaults in the world victimize girls under 15. (UNESCO)
- 14 million girls under 18 will be married this year – that’s 38,000 per day! (UNFPA)
In the face of such alarming atrocities, who is standing for our girls? Yes, we have warriors like Malala Yousafzai, who boldly speak out on the right of girls to be educated and free. But she can not do it alone. We all have a role to play, and I’m asking you today, to make a commitment to get started.
Here is my challenge: Stand with our girls. Make a personal commitment to make a difference in the life of at least one child. There are three basic areas where they critically need our help:
- Ending the cycle of violence – be it from domestic violence, human trafficking, genital cutting, or early forced marriages – our girls deserve a safe, violence free childhood that allows them to reach their full potential.
- Delivery of quality healthcare – from prevention to cure, access in every community to basic and advanced healthcare that saves lives and prevents the spread of communicable diseases.
- Expanding educational opportunities – educating girls can break the cycle of poverty in just one generation (Girl Rising)
Our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers fought for the rights we now enjoy. Do we not owe the young girls coming behind us the same?
There are so many ways you can help! Here are 3 to get you started:
- Spread the word. Repost this article with a headline that says “I stand with our girls. Will you?“. Let’s light up social media with the message that girls matter.
- Get Involved. Consider becoming a mentor or working with one of the organizations I’ve highlighted below.
- Donate to organizations on the front lines. They need your support so that they can continue serving our young girls.
None of us can be everything to everybody, but we all can help somebody. It’s our turn to stand on the front lines. You ready? I sure hope so!
Let’s show a little love for our girls, together! ❤
PS – Here are eight organizations that work on important issues affecting girls: Girl Rising, YWCA, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Play Like a Girl, Girls, Inc, Educate Girls Globally and Girl Scouts. If your favorite is not on the list, please add it as a comment below. Thank you for taking a stand for our girls. Hugs and Blessings