“October 11 is not just a day; it’s a movement. A worldwide revolution.” October 11 is the International Day of the Girl Child, a day honored by the UN since 2012 in order to unite gender equality activists and raise awareness for girls suffering from gender discrimination. Girls are oppressed by domestic violence and forced to marry at a young age, kept from getting an education, sexualized and forced to meet high beauty standards set by the media, and treated unequally in the work place, but these issues are finally being paid attention to on an international level. Gender inequality is reaching the international agenda as girls are reaching out to share their story and make their voice heard.
This female revolution is sparking activist movements throughout the world. The Rally Project was created to organize gender equality rallies in 11 large cities and interactively increase awareness through poetry, music, dancing, and speeches about the many issues that girls face today. Other events include gender equality marches in Fort Wayne, Texas, lighting big buildings with the color pink at night in major cities like Berlin, and speeches about girl issues from influential youth activists.
This year’s theme is “Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence.” Violence is a problem girls throughout the world experience in many different forms, including genital mutilation, domestic violence, trafficking, and street harassment. According to the UN, 10% of girls in the world face serious sexual violence, and 50% of girls who face violence report that they have not talked to anyone about it. There is stigma against rape and domestic violence victims, and in some countries "honor killings", a horrible human rights abuse in which girls suspected of being raped are killed for what the family considers a dishonor. Additionally girls lack legal protection against their abusers in 52 countries. Although girls have historically made significant gains in the world, there are still many obstacles that have to be overcome before girls everywhere can be free. The International Day of the Girl Child is bringing awareness and inspiring change that can help to prevent gender based violence.
Everyone can be a part of the revolutionary change needed to end this violence. Activists of all ages, genders, and nationalities are writing letters and communicating with political representatives and policymakers, educating the public about gender equality, and petitioning, marching, and spreading awareness on social media for girls' rights. The effects of violence extend beyond physical pain, causing emotional and mental trauma, difficulty in establishing relationships, and a cycle that is often repeated through many generations. No human deserves to face violence, and today is the day to stand up against this injustice.
Givology Staff's Blog
Must be logged in to comment.