Girls are strong, smart, and creative. Girls bring a unique source of energy to their environments, whether it is at school, on a sports team, or in a leadership position. The participation of girls is crucial in building an inclusive, sustainable future. Yet every day, millions of girls are discriminated against and put at a disadvantage.
Every 10 minutes, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. Girls in conflict zones are 90 percent less likely to finish school compared to girls in conflict-free countries, reducing their future opportunities for work financial independence. And in the United States, too many girls are discouraged from attending school as a result of unfair discipline practices or not receiving the proper support after experiencing trauma, harassment, or sexual assault.
Today, however, we get the opportunity to rise up and celebrate girls all over the world.
In 2011, as a result of global youth advocacy, the United Nations declared October 11 as International Day of the Girl Child. The mission of the Day of Girl 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.” In just a few years, the Day of the Girl has led to activist movements worldwide uniting under this mission to highlight, discuss, and take action toward advancing girls’ rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.
In the United States, the Day of the Girl campaign marks the occasion with a national day of action for their 100 percent youth-led movement to fight for social justice and dismantle the patriarchy by launching campaigns, hosting events, and educating the public on issues such as rape culture, body positivity, girls in STEM, and much more.
At the National Women’s Law Center, we celebrate girls every day by fighting for policies that improve the potential for the most vulnerable women and girls. Now more than ever, we must stand up and protect each other from discrimination and barriers coming from attacks on women. Today, in celebration of the Day of the Girl, we want you to join us in our fight.
We at NWLC implore you to join us by signing the We the Resistance manifesto. We the Resistance, a campaign launched by NWLC, was created to unite against the unprecedented attacks on rights taking place in our country every day. We the Resistance stands for freedom from all forms of discrimination, for the freedom of personal health care choices, for supporting women and families in securing affordable child care, fair work schedules, paid family leave, and quality education and much, much more. If you feel a call to take action, we urge you to join our Resisterhood today.
There are 1.1 billion girls in the world, and every one of them deserves an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. Girls are the key in driving change and building a better future. Together, we can use the International Day of the Girl to secure girls’ rights and create an inclusive, fair, and empowered world.