Today is 10/11/12, which is cool.
But it’s also the United Nations International Day of the Girl, which is much cooler.
Day of the Girl is a movement meant, according to its website, “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”
Why girls? The Day of the Girl website gives a number of compelling reasons, including that:
- By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s adult population unable to read.
- Only 30% of girls worldwide are enrolled in secondary school.
- One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15.
- In the U.S., more than half of all rapes of females happen before age 18. Worldwide, children as young as age 11 are forced to work as prostitutes. According to some estimates, as many as 1.2 million children are trafficked every year.
To participate, join in the celebrations tonight (which you can watch through a live stream from www.DayoftheGirlSummit.com), read a series of thought pieces written by girls on issues such as negative media images and gender-based violence, or take on the Proclamation Project, which guides participants through gaining a city proclamation to declare their cities in support of Day of the Girl.
The most meaningful way to participate would be to support girls and women through charitable giving to female-focused causes. Research has shown that supporting women’s causes does more than help just individuals and their families–donating to women impacts their entire communities, even their countries.
If Day of the Girl inspires you, consider contacting your local town officials about creating a Proclamation for the Day of the Girl, or giving to one of our favorite causes for women:
- GlobalGiving, a clearinghouse for grassroots projects happening across the globe
- Afghan Institute of Learning, which operates preschool through university education for women and girls in Afghanistan and in the border areas of Pakistan
- Camfed, which supplies girls with school fees, supplies, uniforms and whatever it takes to enable them to attend elementary through professional schools in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana and Malawi
- Apne Aap, which battles sex slavery in India, where there are more modern salves than any other country
- American Assistance for Cambodia, which focuses on opening and operating rural schools that teach gender equality and provides subsidies to parents who educate their girls
- Edna Adan University Hospital, a maternity hospital which has reduced the national maternal mortality rate from 1,600 deaths per 100,000 births to 402.6
- HEAL Africa, which works on medical treatment and prevention at its main hospital in Goma, Congo, as well as in 91 rural health centers and 31 women’s centers throughout the country
- Women for Women, which provides financial aid, job training, rights awareness and leadership education to female survivors of war in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan