Wednesday, October 09, 2013

International Day of the Girl 2013

Friday October 11th, 2013 marks the second annual International Day of the Girl.  

This campaign was initiated by Plan Canada, and the cause was taken up by thousands and thousands of supporters. Responding to advocacy efforts,  Canada proposed a resolution to the United Nations General Assembly. In December 2011, the UN declared that October 11th would be an annual international observance day in honour of the girl child.  You can read the full text of the resolution here.

Around the world girls face multiple barriers to education, and in many parts of the world they are at higher risk of poverty than their male counterparts.  Many are forced into early marriage and childbirth.  This day serves to shine a spotlight on these issues and to encourage action  all year round.

As stated by Plan Canada:
 ... when you invest in girls, the whole world benefits. If a girl has enough to eat, a safe environment, and an education, she’ll work to raise the standard of living for herself, her family and her community. And in time, she can even strengthen the economy of her entire country.  (The Girl Issue)
On October 11th, 2012, the very the first International Day of the Girl (IDOG), I was invited to facilitate a workshop and spend the day with several hundred girls from the Toronto District School Board's Young Women on the Move Program at an event hosted by Plan Canada and the Dove Self-Esteem Fund.

Participants had their awareness raised about the experiences of girls in developing countries, and many of them also brought their own knowledge and experience of having immigrated or been refugees from a country where their choices would be far more limited.  While systemic barriers to attending school and early marriage may not be an issue here in Canada, we talked about how our culture imposes barriers on girls as well.  Media pressures, lack of self-esteem or self-confidence and an over-focus on weight and body were issues that girls identified as getting in their way of achievement and healthy development. 

Throughout the day we had some fun with media awareness, learned about effective goal setting and practiced skills to overcome dis-empowering self-talk.  We discussed our responsibility to build up and support other girls as well as ourselves.  It was an honour and a privilege to share the day with such an amazing group including the  the fantastic, dedicated teachers that support them in this area of personal growth. 

This year, I'll spend October 11th at my counselling job... where I work with amazing & dedicated women providing support for other women who are working at eating disorder recovery.  Our work is a daily reminder that hunger (of the body and of the spirit) can also be a barrier to women's full achievement even in Western culture.

My contribution to IDOG this year is to use my blog as a platform for this remarkable event and invite you to support the important goals of International Day of the Girl.

Please consider donating your time or resources

I don't sell advertising to my blog and I don't earn any income from this writing but today I will ask this:     If you like what I write or if it has ever been helpful or raised your awareness about issues in the lives of girls and women... then please show your appreciation now by following the links below.   

You could donate money to help send a girl to school or discover other meaningful ways to help educate, empower and change the outcome for hundreds of thousands of girls around the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are reviewed before being posted. Disagreement & constructive debate is welcome. I will not provide a forum for comments that are sexist, racist, homophobic or stigmatize a particular body type.