International Day of the Girl Child

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International Day of the Girl Child
Shantelle Kotowich

OCTOBER 11 IS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD

SDG 5

WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD?

Goal # 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) is Gender Equality: to Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The United Nations has designated October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child in order to focus attention on the need to address the challenges that girls face, and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

The UN says that “Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, political leaders and mothers. An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.”

See also Why do we observe International days?
 

International-Day-of-the-Girl-Child

Artwork courtesy of https://www.iranhumanrights.org/portfolio/international-day-of-the-girl-child/

WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT IT AT SEISEN?

As an all-girls Catholic school with a mission to empower our students so that they may empower others, International Day of the Girl Child is particularly relevant to us. One of our guiding principles is to educate women for social and cultural transformation, and we are therefore in a unique position to:

  • Help provide a safe, educated, and healthy life for our students through their formative years and as they mature
  • Empower girls today and support them in their future endeavors
  • Highlight and empower adolescent girls to effect change
  • Inspire them to work towards a more equitable and prosperous future

 
This year at Seisen, the International Women’s Day Committee is here to talk about “Taking Action: People in power support gender equality.” More on this coming soon!

WHAT KINDS OF INEQUALITIES AND ISSUES DO GIRLS FACE AROUND THE WORLD?

Did you know?

  • Worldwide, nearly 1 in 4 girls aged 15-19 years is neither employed nor in education or training compared to the 1 in 10 boys of the same age. 
  • By 2021 around 435 million women and girls will be living on less than $1.90 a day - including 47 million pushed into poverty as a result of COVID-19.
  • 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence. Emerging data shows that since the outbreak of COVID-19, violence against women and girls (VAWG), and particularly domestic violence, has INTENSIFIED.
  • At least 60% of countries still discriminate against daughters’ to inherit land and non-land assets in either law or practice.

Source: UN: My Voice, Our Equal Future

Follow these links to learn more:

HOW CAN WE GET INVOLVED?

Everyone:

  • Educate ourselves about gender equality and inequality
  • Pay attention to what’s going on in the world and think about how we could affect positive change
  • Raise awareness using social media:
  • Check out the Spotlight Initiative’s #withher campaign (#withher)
  • Share stories of inspiring adolescent girls or girl-led organizations who are developing innovative solutions or leading efforts towards positive social change, including gender equality, in their communities and nations. Let’s amplify their leadership, actions and impact to inspire others.  
  • Participate in a youth-led digital activation launching on International Day of the Girl. Young people across the world are developing a digital activism campaign, aiming to raise the diversity of girls’ voices and their vision for a reimagined future. (#DayoftheGirl #GenerationEquality)

Men and Boys:

  • Check out the HeforShe movement (#HeforShe)
  • Ask yourself how you can intentionally support the other half of the world’s population
  • Speak up when you witness others perpetuating gender inequality
  • Be receptive when others point out your own biases

Parents:

  • Talk to your children about gender equality at home; carry on the conversation beyond the classroom. Some questions to think about:
  • What does gender equality mean?
  • What does it look like?
  • How do you role model gender roles (or rejection of them?)
  • Look for opportunities to support your child in building a brighter future.

Students:

  • Find issues that are important to you and seek to solve them.
  • Be leaders in making the world a better place for all people in your generation
  • Engage in Service opportunities that advocate for girls’ rights and gender equality

Teachers and Staff:

  • Foster leadership skills within your students so that they have the tools to create change.
  • Educate your students about related issues
  • Challenge your students’ perceptions and perspectives to help them expand their worldview and develop open-mindedness
  • Encourage them to be risk-takers, since taking on major world challenges always presents some risk.
  • Incorporate curriculum that is more inclusive

Further investigation:

People in power: leaders in gender equality

Useful/Interesting links

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