International Day of the Girl Child

Last year the United Nations established the International Day of the Girl Child. Today was the first time it has been celebrated and observed. The UN says it was put in place to ” to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.” This year, the day is focused on child marriage. According to CARE, 1 in 3 girls under the age of 18 are forced into marriage.

“Education for girls is one of the best strategies for protecting girls against child marriage,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message. “When they are able to stay in school and avoid being married early, girls can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families. Let us do our part to let girls be girls, not brides.”

As a woman, this hits me pretty hard. I talked about this issue (and many more issues; including rape, gender based violence, and sexual inequality) quite a lot yesterday in my Exploring Conflict and Peace class and also at EMU’Eastern Mennonite’s Student Women’s Association. Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to be a woman who has loving parents and the ability to attend college.

Now that you know about this, maybe you can do something. You can donate or find out how to act from CARE or the United Nations.

Here are some beautiful and informative videos about International Day of the Girl Child.