Over the last few years, International Women’s Day has taken the world by storm.
But did you know that there’s a day for girls too?
Many of the issues adult women face in life start in childhood.
That means if we wish to challenge the gender inequality we experience in adulthood, we have to take it on where it starts.
The UN’s International Day of the Girl Child puts attention on the need to address the challenges girls face, while also promoting girls’ empowerment.
That’s why every year, we launch a campaign for International Day of the Girl, encouraging girls to express themselves and share who they really are.
Why should you choose to celebrate International Day of the Girl?
While International Women’s Day has been celebrated since the early 1900s, it’s taken decades to get girls rights on the table. International Day of the Girl Child only started in 2011, following conversations that took place in the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing.
To this day, the plans from this conference are considered the most forward-thinking blueprint for advancing the rights of women AND girls.
In order to see the change we need for women’s rights, we need to speak up on girls’ rights too.
Research shows that from the age of five, girls start to see themselves and what they can achieve differently.
On top of that, global and national studies are pointing to growing gender inequality around the world and right here in our backyards.
NHS England and Public Health Wales have both found that girls’ mental health has been more impacted by the Pandemic than children of other genders.
With pre-existing barriers growing and new ones being set in place, the need for support for girls have never been more serious.
And while there are many amazing groups and organisations spotlighting women’s rights and offering resources for women today, there is still a large service gap for girls.
That’s exactly why GFS exists, to give girls the support and empowerment right when inequality begins – childhood.
When girls are supported and empowered to break down barriers – all barriers – including those directed at girls with disabilities and those living in marginalised communities, we fuel their potential to change the world. Not just for themselves, but for their communities too.
We need to encourage and support them to dream as big and reach as far as they wish to.
Investing in girls is an investment in the future of the world.
We create spaces where girls can build the foundations of self-esteem, acceptance and resilience that will see them through the challenges they face in life.
Despite the barriers our girls may face in the world, our annual survey results show our girls are polling higher in areas of self-esteem than girls who do not have access to spaces like ours.
Last year’s International Day of the Girl campaign, Girls Say, put together a book by girls for girls. This creative anthology was filled with creative expressions from girls and young women across England and Wales ranging in age from 5-18.
We invited them to tell us what it’s like to be a girl, in their own words and images. This year, we’re inviting them to speak it.
Gender roles and stereotypes try to stop girls from using their voices, but we want the opposite.
We want girls to be able to express themselves, share their thoughts, opinions, experiences, likes, dislikes, to whatever extent they see fit.
So, how can you get involved?
By volunteering your skills to do something good! We’re currently seeking partners to help us reach our goals and give girls’ voices the biggest spotlight we can with our Girls Speak campaign.
We are currently looking for a web developer to help us with our International Day of the Girl Campaign. If you, or anyone in your company can provide pro bono work, please email Lucyp@girlsfriendlysociety.org.uk
International Day of the Girl 2022 will take place on Tuesday 11 October, but before that, we need your help to support our girls to speak out and speak up.
Many companies are choosing to collaborate with girls and women’s organisation’s to celebrate important female awareness days such as International Women’s Day and International Day of the Girl.
We are looking for organisations and businesses who are committed to inspiring the next generation of female workers, business owners and entrepreneurs. Find out more about Girls Speak.
All who partner with GFS to give girls’ this important platform will receive a certificate of support and a public thank you.