“The empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights.”
When we celebrate our girls, we empower them to break the boundaries that hold them back and feel inspired to change their own future. As of late, we’ve seen some remarkable young women stepping forward and standing up for what they believe is right, even when it seems the world is against them.
Think of the fearless Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish girl who advocates for climate change. Even with her Aspergers diagnosis, she doesn’t let anything stop her from changing the world. This climate change warrior has delivered powerful speeches around the world, changing many minds while she does it.
Fearlessly demanding governments to change their climate policies at the UN Climate Summit, Greta said,
“I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. Yet, I am one of the lucky ones. People are suffering.”
Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Malala Yousefzai is another incredible girl who is breaking down boundaries and changing the world. Malala defied the Taliban, even after being shot in the head, while still advocating for women’s education in Pakistan. She said,
“I want every girl to know that her voice can change the world.”
Just last year, Michelle Obama announced that she would be marking the International Day of the Girl by launching an initiative to fund girls' education around the world. The Global Girls Alliance supports about 1,500 girls education groups around the world. Speaking about the initiative, Michelle Obama said,
“I’m surprised at how much has changed and how much has not changed, and I think that’s where the fire is coming from… Enough is enough. The world is a sadly dangerous place for women and girls…and I think young women are tired of it.”
As we mark this year’s International Day of the Girl, let’s make sure we are celebrating and being an example for all of the young girls in our lives.
If you’re interested in donating to help girls around the world find education, empowerment, and inspiration, check out UNICEF's donation page here.
Meredith is a Philadelphia native with a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Duquesne University and has worked in digital marketing for over seven years. She’s passionate about writing to women to help them feel more confident in their financial lives.