Today is International Day of the Girl Child…
…A UN initiative intended to raise awareness and to campaign for equality for girls everywhere. There are 1.1 billion girls globally.
One enormous hurdle standing in the way of true equality, is child marriage. Unbelievably, in developing countries, 1 in 3 girls are married before they’re 18. The thought of that is unfathomable as I look at my little girl, as well as our eldest who’s 22. I struggle to get my head wrapped around the fact that my youngest only has the freedom she has to go to school, learn an instrument, go surfing and skating, swim and run, paint and play…because of her luck at being born into a culture that allows that.
Child brides miss out on education, are more vulnerable to physical and sexual violence, and bear children before they are physically or emotionally prepared. The cycle of violence that begins in girlhood, carries over into womanhood and across generations.
– United Nations
This year’s International Day of the Girl theme is girls’ progress = goals progress. Intended to highlight that by holding girls back, other goals around community development and sustainability are held back too.
There are loads of events going on to celebrate Day of the Girl. If you want to find out more, head to:
Here in the UK, the Southbank Centre is holding a day of events for teenage girls age 11-18 all day, so if you’re a Londoner, and have a teenage girl in the family, get yourself along.
We know that there are still many hurdles for all of our girls globally. There are some horrendous stats; 35% of women globally have encountered violence; more than 90% of teenage girls wish they could change the way the look; 250 million young girls globally are stuck in poverty; 1.2m girls are trafficked each year;
Hopefully awareness days like this will start making real change.
Let girls be girls. Use the hashtag #internationaldayofthegirl to get involved.