Recognizing International Day of the Girl Child

Stong-Women-QuoteHandwriting by Marisa Mangum

As a nonprofit founded by women to empower women, a core part of The Little Market’s mission is to advocate for gender equality and for women’s and girls’ rights. We are proud to support female artisans and their handmade goods while celebrating their cultural traditions. The women earn fair wages and are often able to send their children to school. We strive to create equitable economic opportunities for women and to raise awareness for their rights, including women’s and girls’ equality. 

There are approximately 1.1 billion girls around the world. Girls are resilient, smart, and talented individuals. And every girl should have equal rights. Girls face a number of challenges and risks.

  • In 2013, UNESCO reported that 31 million girls who were of primary school age were not receiving an education.  
  • UN Women reports that every 10 minutes, a young girl dies due to violence.
  • Young girls face a greater risk of gender-based violence in both peaceful times and in conflict-zones.
  • UNICEF reports that women make up approximately 80 percent of the 800,000 people who experience trafficking each year. Up to 50 percent of sexual assaults around the world target girls who are under 16 years old.

The United Nations declared Oct. 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. The goal behind this globally recognized day is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” It presents the opportunity to come together and advocate for equal rights for girls around the world and address the needs and obstacles they are facing.

The theme behind this year’s International Day of the Girl Child is, With Her: A Skilled GirlForce. The United Nations notes that despite the high demand for educated and skilled workers, approximately 25 percent of young people, the majority of whom are female, are neither employed or in education and training. “Of the 1 billion young people – including 600 million adolescent girls – that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90% of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector, where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common.”

How We Can Help

There are many ways each of us can do our part to support and encourage young girls. Here a just a few examples below, and share your ideas with us in the comments!

  • Host an event in your community to help raise awareness on these issues and to help empower girls in your local neighborhood.
  • Join the conversation and use the hashtag #DayoftheGirl!
  • Become a mentor to a younger girl in your community.
  • Connect with girls and help them find their voices. Volunteer with organizations such as Girl Scouts, Girl Up, and Girls on the Run.
  • Encourage girls. Help them find their self-confidence.
  • Help to change gender stereotypes.

Girls are strong, empowered, and deserving of equal rights. Please join us in supporting girls, investing in their education and skill development opportunities, and helping them realize their full potential. Together, we can work toward a better world in which everyone has equal rights.

Sources
Day of the Girl
UNICEF – Day of the Girl
UN Women – Day of the Girl Child
Bustle – What is International Day of the Girl?
WHO – International Day of the Girl Child
UN Women – International Day of the Girl Child
Global Citizen – 9 Key Issues Affecting Girls and Women Around the World
UNICEF – Gender Equality

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