In December of 2011, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to make October 11th the official "International Day of the Girl." In case you haven't checked your calendars, that means this Friday will be the second year the day is celebrated. The goal of having a day devoted to girls is to recognize the needs of girls around the world, to galvanize support for activities that improve girls' lives, and to empower girls to be involved in all aspects of society.
Why do we even need a day of the girl? Sadly, because the state of rights and living conditions for girls worldwide is concerning. Many girls are denied access to education, experience violence in their daily lives, are sexualized in the media, and their voices are dismissed. Luckily, a number of girls and their allies around the world have joined forces to fight for the dignity and rights of girls. The Day of the Girl Summit 2013 will include a number of activities and events to engage people of all ages and genders to learn about and support girls. Here in Pittsburgh, there will be a large celebration bringing together various girl serving agencies.
Luckily, you don't have to wait until Friday to get involved. The summit is offering 11 Days of Action to mobilize people now. Today, the SPARK organization is encouraging girls, women, boys and men of all shapes and sizes to "strike a pose" and become live mannequins at H & M stores, a retailer who sales plus size clothing but only displays negative sized models (check it out: 9th Day of Action).
This is the kind of action that the Day of the Girl is all about--drawing attention to a problem facing girls and doing something about it.
I encourage you to celebrate the day of the girl this year. Join a local celebration or make one of your own. Think about a way to honor the girls and women (remember, they were girls once) in your life.
Each person can make the world a better place one day at a time.
EMPOWERTAINMENT aims to take a critical look at media in regards to how gender and women/girls are portrayed. From popular articles, videos, and websites, to original submissions, we want to not only examine the media and its relation to gender, but help shift it.