5 Ways to Support Girls on International Day of the Girl

Education

Oct 11

international day of the girlToday, on 11th October, we are joining the UN and Plan International in celebrating #DayOfTheGirl—here’s how you can join too! 

What is International Day of the Girl about?

In 2011, the United Nations adopted 11th October as International Day of the Girl.

Since then, the date has served as a key global moment “to celebrate the power of girls and highlight the barriers they face.”

What do those barriers look like? They can be anything from being denied education and a lack of sanitary services, to child marriage, sex trafficking and FGM (female genital mutilation).

This year, the theme is GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable with which the UN celebrates “achievements by, with and for girls since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action”.

How can you help?

1. Support girls in your community.

If you’re in a position to do so, consider starting a youth mentorship or internship programme at your business to help girls get experience in the professional world.

If you are a woman, consider becoming a Big Sister (a mentor to a younger girl) with Big Brothers Big Sisters International, or reach out to local organisations to see how you can get involved.

2. Donate to a women’s organisation in your community.

Put your money to use by donating to an organisation that supports girls and women in your community.

In the UK, Refuge and Women’s Aid are both excellent organisations supporting women and children fleeing domestic violence.

Girls who are sleeping rough often struggle a lot due to lack of proper sanitary products, so consider donating tampons, pads, ibuprofen and other female sanitary products to a local shelter that works with the homeless.

3. Help raise awareness.

Join Plan International UK in raising awareness about issues facing girls around the world!

Here are some initiatives you can take part in:

  • Post using hashtags #listentogirls to help raise awareness about body image issues facing girls today.
  • Take the Girls Get Equal pledge.
  • Help #RewriteHerStory by posting to social media using one of the images provided by Plan here.
  • Post about the girls and women you know who inspire you using the hashtags #girlstakeover, #rewriterherstory, #dayofthegirl.
  • Share this video using the #girlsgetequal hashtag.

Source: Plan International

4. Change your profile picture.

Join the #DayOfTheGirl challenge and change your profile picture to an image or GIF of a strong female character (Plan has some here), or use this image from Plan Canada: 

International Day of the Girl

international day of the girl

Source: Plan International

5. Consider changing the way you talk to young girls.

If you’ve never stopped to think about how you talk to young girls, it’s time to start. As a culture, we have a tendency to tell little girls how cute or pretty they are, or to compliment them on their clothes or their hair, while we tend to talk to little boys more about what they’re doing (think “what a pretty dress!” vs “what’s that you’re playing with?”).

Talking to girls this way reinforces the idea that a girl’s appearance is the most interesting thing about her. It’s part of why so many girls start worrying about the way they look at a young age, and reinforces the association between appearance and worth.

Instead, try asking them questions about what they’re reading, what they’re studying in school, or what they think about a topic of interest. You might be surprised to hear what they have to say!

Bonus step: Share this post to encourage others to take action too!

From Success Resources to all of the young girls out there, you can be whatever you want to be—we believe in you!

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