INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD
Hello everyone – 11 October is the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child.
International days give us an opportunity to educate our members and the public on issues of concern. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool, so let us as Soroptimists use these days to show what we can do as an organisation.
The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
This year’s theme, set by UNICEF is ‘Our time is now – our rights, our future’.
Currently, girls aged between 10-18 years of age make up almost 8% of the world’s population – they will be the leaders, thinkers and change-makers of tomorrow, and they deserve our time, investment and energy.
UN Women recently stated, “Girls are leaders. Girls are change-makers. Girls are driving good and growth around the world. They are a fundamental source of transformational change for gender equality”.
As Soroptimist, we believe that girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during their early and formative years, but also as they mature into women. If successfully supported during their adolescent years, they have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders.
Girls are breaking boundaries and the barriers posed by stereotypes and exclusion, including those directed at children with disabilities and those living in marginalised communities. As entrepreneurs, innovators and initiators of global movements, girls are creating a world that is relevant for them and future generations.
This year, UNICEF has given us three ways for to get involved in protecting girls’ rights and helping to pave the way for a bright future.
→ Let girls lead by putting them in the forefront of change efforts, hearing their voices, listening to what they say, responding to their asks and welcoming them in decision-making spaces
→ Provide resources for girls, including the networks and organisation that support their education and prioritise their mental and physical well-being
→ Strength services for girls at all times but especially in crisis response and recovery.
Below you will find a playlist of conversations had by our Federation Presidents, who engage with girls on the issues and topics they are passionate about.
Now it is your turn. Can you do this within your clubs? Please listen to the youth of today – support and help them by Opening Doors to a Bright Future.
Maureen Maguire, SI President