Why Should We Care about Girls?

October 11, 2013

“At a meeting a few weeks ago, I heard that the future of the world rests in the hands of girls 10–15 years old. The cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and powerlessness continues if girls don’t have the tools to escape their destiny.” — Melissa Guardaro, AAUW U.N. representative

Graphic showing silhouettes of girls with the title "International Day of the Girl: Girls Speak Out"

Today, AAUW joins the Working Group on Girls (WGG) and other members of the United Nations community to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child. The main event — Girls Speak Out! — will provide a forum for seven dynamic girls from around the globe to share how they are advocates and activists for girls — not just talking about problems and challenges for girls, but doing something about them. This exciting event will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Eastern in the Economic and Social Council Chamber of the United Nations and is sponsored by the WGG and the nations of Canada, Peru, and Turkey. AAUW’s newly installed youth representatives, Donya Nasser and Ammiedar Lin, and I will be on site to share the event via Twitter. It promises to be an amazing event, and it will also be broadcast live online. In case you miss the forum, it will also be archived on the WGG website.

Worldwide, girls suffer disproportionately compared with boys when it comes to access to education, forced and early marriage, trafficking, and violence. AAUW has a rich history of participation and involvement with the WGG, a coalition of 80 nongovernmental organizations “dedicated to advancing the rights of girls and assisting them to develop their full potential as women.” The International Day of the Girl Child was established by a U.N. resolution in 2011 as a day to highlight girls’ issues and to provide opportunities to continue this dialogue and important work.

“We all know the effects of sidelining and discriminating against girls,” says Guardaro. “Today’s female teens must be educated, given a voice and a forum to be heard, and, most importantly, valued for their current and future contribution to society. It is imperative that AAUW be at the leading edge of this work to empower the women of tomorrow.” AAUW programs like Community Action Grants, science and math programs for girls, and International Project Grants provide opportunities for girls and young women to become informed, empowered, and engaged. If the future of the world rests in the hands of adolescent girls, we are providing the tools to help them.

Check out Girls Speak Out! on October 11, follow AAUW at the event on Twitter (#IDG2013), and be amazed by the awesome voices of girls!

By:   |   October 11, 2013

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