Photo Courtesy the UNICEF/UN019130/Ergen: On 22 April 2015, young girls in a classroom at the opening of a new education center for Syrian children in Kahramanmaras.

Don’t Forget About That Day! #GIRLDAY

The world over, October 11, 2017, was the 6th celebration of the ‘International Day of the Girl Child.’[1] But before I get ahead of myself, let me share a brief history about the day. Marked on December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 which declared October 11, the International Day of the Girl Child. The date, recognizes girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world,[2] while aiming to promote female empowerment and create a way to achieve human rights for girls worldwide.

Speaking of human rights, natural law is a law that starts that all humans have a right to life and thus a right to achieve their dreams. This law includes girls who for centuries have been marginalized by society. It is great to see when the UN and many other international organizations recognize girls all the world and their right to education and freedom from violence. To convince those who are not yet on board with this law, many studies have shown that providing girls the same opportunities provided to boys are necessary for a productive economical society. If done correctly, girls are empowered to be leaders who are in charge of their lives and empowered to realize their dreams. To support this fact the UN, noted that ‘empowered girls of today are tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders.’[3]

Speaking up for girls has never been as important in our world as it is today. Currently, girls make up over 1 billion of the world’s population. These girls have voices and their voices need to be and will be heard. This is because they here and they are staying. They are a big part of the development and sustainability of our future. They too like boys have a stake in addressing issues such as global warming, economic development, poverty and education. But, many of these girls still face major challenges that restrict them from developing their potential. And although, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mentions majority of these issues and challenges faced by young girls all over the world, it is important to know that according to the UN, these issues and challenges can only truly understood and resolved through the use of girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data.[4] This is why I love the theme of this year’s International Day of the Girl which was ‘Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls.’ Its aim was and is to make better data available to help keep policy makers more informed as well as affect program decisions that affect these girls. It is a great feeling knowing that the UN and many other organizations will not assume to know the needed solutions; they will now be able to track, sufficiently measure as well as comprehend the opportunities and challenges facing girls, with identified and recorded solutions to those challenges.

For an end note, it is important to note that everyone needs to play their part in bringing and raising awareness on the issues and challenges that affect girls in the world. I know that many would agree with me; in that I know that some would not. That is why I urge you to read up and learn more about the challenges these girls go through one of which is challenge to attaining the proper education. To learn more, see the article attached in the link. An investment in health, education, safety for girls, is an investment not just on themselves but their communities and the world. Today, I take the pledge to help girls get educated, what will be your pledge?