Today is International Day of the Girl, and everyone is celebrating.
In a Unicef-Beyonce collab, Queen Bey’s strong, beautiful voice carries an even louder message: Girls around the world still need your support.
Unicef’s accompanying tweet, “What is freedom for girls to you? We’ll go 1st. #FreedomForGirls is living w/o fear of violence,” is both heart-wrenching and empowering at the same time. As much as it sucks to hear it, not all girls or women are granted the freedom of living without fear.
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) October 11, 2017
While the Third Wave of Feminism isn’t showing signs of stopping anytime soon, it’s still easy to forget that women aren’t all getting the same treatment as those of us blessed enough to live in a first world country.
Human trafficking, genital mutilation, and forced-child marriages are still issues that affect millions of women today, and the statistics are appalling. The video doesn’t hesitate to spit some sorrowful facts: That one girl dies of violence every 5 minutes, that 71% of trafficking victims are female, that one out of four girls gets married as a child. One out of four girls! If you ask me, 25% is entirely too high for 2017.
#FreedomForGirls and #DayoftheGirl are trending on Twitter in regards to International Day of the Girl Child, or Day Of The Girl.
— COMMON (@common) October 11, 2017
The United Nations officially declared October 11th as International Day of the Girl Child to, “highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.”
UN Women will hold a conference with five young girls who share their experiences in an effort to turn attention towards this year’s most important issues at hand.
The theme at this year’s meeting is, “EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after emergencies,” focusing on girls that “represent the vast diversity of emergency contexts.” Here, partners and advocates for women’s rights are able to divert their attention towards what issues need to be heard most this year.
“IDG marks the launch of a year-long effort to bring together multi-sectoral partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to the most pressing needs and opportunities of girls in emergencies.”
Organizations from all around the world are joining the efforts:
— UNFPA Kenya (@UNFPAKen) October 11, 2017
There are plenty of ways to get involved, even if you weren’t sitting in the UN’s conference meeting this morning. While fundraising is a huge part of the efforts, letting your voice be heard is arguably much more important.
Day of the Girl is accepting stories from girls between the ages of 13-18 all around the world, and advising them to share their story with the world, no matter what it my be.
Women all around the world are going through their own struggles, and we all have a story to tell. This movement helps us recognize how important it is to stand our ground and let what we have to say be heard.
Each time a woman stands up
for herself, without knowing it
possibly, without claiming it,
she stands up for all women.
– Maya Angelou
— Suzanne Pardue (@PardueSuzanne) October 11, 2017
Right now all around the world, organizations are holding events to highlight the importance of these issues, like the “girl takeover” which allows girls to step into the shoes of men and women in positions of power.
Check out The Invisible Girl Project, the Malala Fund, Girls Not Brides, and the Orchid Project. These female-driven organizations could always use your help and support in making a difference throughout the world.
— Malala (@Malala) October 11, 2017