October 11: Day of the Girl
“Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights”
-United Nations Resolution 66/170
On October 11, 2011, as the result of youth advocacy around the world, the United Nations declared this day as the International Day of the Girl.
Its mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” It’s a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.
Some of the beliefs they follow and advocate:
- Girls are the experts on issues that affect girls. They seek solutions to come from girls. Their voices need to be sought after and respected in social justice conversations.
- Girls from marginalized communities must be central in conversations about social justice issues involving those communities.
- Girls’ leadership is mandatory for truly effective social change.
- Girls’ issues are intersectional. People who are different from ourselves must intentionally be included in our social change work. Otherwise a meaningful impact cannot be made.
A beautiful and inspiration quote by Maya Lin: “To fly we have to have resistance.”
I believe we can all play a part in empowering the girls in our lives to know they have a voice and can help bring justice to those that are most in need. By offering friendship, compassion, respect and bestowing value on each girl in our lives we can help them believe in themselves and the important part they all play in society. This will in turn allow freedom from insecurities and fears, which are the unnecessary shackles far too many carry with them throughout their lives. We are all born to fly. But facing and overcoming the resistance in our lives are best done when we are surrounded by a group of supportive people. We can each be that support to someone else.