Thursday, October 10, 2013

Happy Day of the Girl!

     Tomorrow, October 11th is Day of the Girl!  Cheers to the power of girls!  How will you celebrate? In 2011, the UN General Assembly declared October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.  This year’s theme is focused on “Innovating for Girls’ Education.”  According to the United Nations, “There is … overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves: it is the one consistent positive determinant of practically every desired development outcome, from reductions in mortality and fertility, to poverty reduction and equitable growth, to social norm change and democratization.”
     World leaders have recognized that girls are a major target group to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  Goal 3 is completely dedicated to promoting gender equality and empowerment, and Goal 2 is about achieving universal primary education, with a special emphasis on girls. If you haven’t already watched it, I highly recommend you watch this quick video about the “Girl Effect.” In short, the Girl Effect is about the power of leveraging the unique potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves, their families, their communities, their countries and the world.  A great film recently came out called Girl Rising that illuminates the heart wrenching challenges girls face around the world, but highlights girl leaders who are overcoming the odds of poverty, human trafficking, and lack of education.

     My favorite nonprofit organization empowering girl leaders is Running Start, which trains high school girls and young women to run for office.  The earlier you give a girl the skills and confidence to start her leadership, the faster she will climb the ladder to success.  Investing in young women and girls is the most underutilized but proven strategy for breaking the glass ceiling.  

     Together, we can all work together to give girls a better shot at life.  Below are some ideas of how you can empower girls.  Please share your stories of helping girls grow and succeed!

        YOU can make a difference for girls!
  • Mentor or tutor a girl
  • Encourage a girl to share her voice and raise her hand


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