Today, we celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child!
At GIRLS CAN! CRATE, we believe that girls are powerful and the best way to change the world is to empower girls. On this day, we celebrate the strides made towards social justice and greater access to opportunity, we celebrate the female trailblazers and the pioneers who have overcome tremendous obstacles to change the world in every single field and show girls what is possible, and we celebrate every single girl who makes the world better just by being in it. Our hope is that in the years to come we can achieve a world in which girls can be girls fearlessly, and free of oppression, violence, and every other thing that would hold them back from reaching their full potential.
This year, the theme for International Day of the Girl Child is " GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable," because “girls are moving from dreaming to achieving. More are attending and completing school, fewer are getting married or becoming mothers while still children, and more are gaining the skills they need to excel in the future world of work. Girls are breaking boundaries and barriers posed by stereotypes and exclusion, including those directed at children with disabilities and those living in marginalized communities. As entrepreneurs, innovators and initiators of global movements, girls are leading and fostering a world that is relevant for them and future generations.” You can learn more about the theme on the UNICEF website, the UN Women's website, Plan-International's website, or just by searching the Web for International Day of the Girl...there is loads of information out there.
Tremendous strides have been made worldwide towards greater gender equality and yet, there is still so much to be done! UNICEF says, “adolescent girls, due to expected gender roles, may also face a disproportionate burden of domestic work, expectations to be married, risks of early pregnancy, as well as sexual and gender-based violence. For instance:
Worldwide, girls aged 5-9 and 10-14 spend 30 per cent and 50 per cent more of their time, respectively, on household chores than boys of the same age.
In 2018, seventy-four percent of new HIV infections among adolescents aged 10-19 years were among girls, worldwide.
Worldwide, around 15 million adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 have experienced forced sex in their lifetime; 9 million of these girls were victimized within the past year.
Around one in three girls aged 15-19 today have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) in the 30 countries where it is concentrated.
In 2015, maternal health conditions – such as hemorrhage, sepsis or obstructed labour – were the leading cause of death among girls aged 15-19. “
Shocking, isn't it? It's hard to imagine these numbers and experiences in person because for most of us we're reading this from places like the U.S. or Canada where our girls don’t face genital mutilation, child marriage, or worry about HIV. But, they do face other challenges as they relate to educational opportunities, over sexualization, human trafficking, gender discrimination in the workplace, and more. We are not immune.
Here are 3 ways you can celebrate International Day of the Girl Child today:
1) Spend some time learning more about the issues facing girls around the world HERE
2) Donate to a nonprofit working to empower girls worldwide! Some of our favorites are Days For Girls, Girls Are Not For Sale, The Malala Fund, and She's The First. What nonprofit organizations inspire you?
3) Inspire girls to BE and DO anything by introducing them to 9 fearless female role models who have changed the world. Download our FREE PAPER DOLLS featuring 9 women who have changed the world HERE.
Happy International Day of the Girl Child from all of us at GIRLS CAN! CRATE!
GIRLS CAN! CRATE is a monthly subscription box for girls 5-10 that was started to inspire girls to be and do anything by introducing fearless female role models. Together, we can show girls they can! Learn more at girlscancrate.com.