October 11 is designated as the International Day of the Girl Child, and people from all over were celebrating. Established by the UN in 2011, The Day of the Girl Child is a day when we can not only celebrate the accomplishments of women in our history, but also bring awareness to issues facing our young women today. The focus is to help bring gender equality for all of our girls, all over the world.
As a mother of 3 girls (soon to be 4), this day is one that is of particular importance to me. I don’t want my girls growing up in a world where they feel as if they are limited in any way by their gender. I have worked very hard to make sure they always know they can be and do whatever they want. I also make sure they know they are allowed to like whatever they want. When I was younger, liking things such as Star Wars and video games wasn’t considered normal for a girl. My Little Ponies and Cabbage Patch dolls were supposed to be my favorites. Granted, I did have some My Little Ponies, and they served as mounts for my G.I. Joes and my Star Wars figures to ride into battle against each other. However, I was made to feel weird because I liked the things I did. I never want my girls to feel that way.
On this day, many activist groups work together to help fight injustices against girls all over the world. In the US, DayOfTheGirl.org is a 100% youth led activist group fighting for gender justice and youth rights. The list of beliefs of the organization are listed on their website as follows:
Girls are the experts on issues that affect girls. The solutions to these issues must come from girls. Their voices need to be centralized and elevated in social justice conversations.
Girls from marginalized communities must be central in conversations about social justice issues involving those communities.
Truly effective social change cannot come without girls’ leadership.
Girls’ issues are intersectional. We must intentionally include people who are different from ourselves in our social change work. Otherwise we will not be able to make a meaningful impact – in fact, we could even do damage to huge populations of girls.
Did you celebrate the Day of the Girl? Let us know in the comments below and on our Twitter.