The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2011 to establish October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. The day is designed to recognize the need to eradicate gender inequality and advocate for girls' rights around the world.
If you are asking yourself whether or not we really "need" a day to recognize girls, I encourage you to take an honest and hard look at life around you. When was the last time you walked into a toy store that wasn't separated into "boy" and "girl" toys? Have you seen some of the clothes marketed to girls? Elizabeth Hurley recently put out a line of bikinis marketed to toddlers and girls 8-13 so they could look "more grown up". Abercrombie & Fitch are selling push up bras and thongs for 7-year-olds. Really?!? In addition to the sexualization of girlhood, girls around the world face a number of other challenges and limitations. Over 50% of elementary school girls report that they are not happy with their bodies--many of them engage in harmful dieting practices in their attempts to meet some idealized body shape. Worldwide, only 30% of girls attend secondary school and many girls are forced into unwanted marriages before the age of 15. 20% of girls in high school are physically or sexually abused by a dating partner and many girls around the world experience sexual violence through prostitution and trafficking.
The International Day of the Girl is about girls and their advocates (including boys and adult women and men) fighting to change the world. Girls and young women are speaking up about these problems and working to make changes. To learn more about the issues facing girls today and how you can help, visit dayofthegirl.org.
How are you going to celebrate the Day of the Girl?
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.