Sunday, October 11 was International Day of the Girl Child and this year’s theme was “My Voice, Our Equal Future.” This day is meant to amplify the voices of girls and to advocate for their rights. This year, the hope is “to seize the opportunity to reimagine a better world inspired by adolescent girls – energized and recognized, counted and invested in.”
Specifically, the demand focus is on:
- Living free from gender-based violence, harmful practices like child marriage and female genital mutilation, and diseases like HIV/AIDS
- Learning new skills for the future of their choosing
- And leading as a generation of activists for social change
How We See Girl Leadership In Our Work
We see gendered exploitation layered on top of other forms of discrimination, including ethnicity or statelessness. Sometimes even age is a factor, when an elder manipulates the innocence of youth or the inherent respect culturally due to elders. One example of this is Achara,* a young stateless girl who inherited land upon her parents’ passing, but was robbed by the village elder who had been entrusted with the care of her and her sister. How she learned about what he had been doing, and how she worked to stand up for herself and her sister is a story worth reading.
The students we work with continually amaze us with their commitment to education, self-empowerment, and growth when they’re just given a chance. We hope that by giving them this chance, through their own empowerment, they can become the vanguard for change for generations to come.