Did you know that Today is International Day of the Girl? As a member of the Global Team of 200 (post to follow with more info.), I recently found out about it.  As a Woman, a Mother of a young girl, a Daughter, A Sister to an 11 year old, I wanted to share this with you in the hopes of inspiring you to stand up for the rights of girls everywhere.

So you may be asking “What is the International Day of the Girl”? (I know I did) According to the United Nations, it is a day to “help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”  It’s a day for us to unite and celebrate the importance of girls all over the world in the hopes of advancing their rights in developing countries. Today there are events taking place all over the world to celebrate the first-ever International Day of the Girl…how amazing is that??!!

Truth Moment: I often avoid the news because I don’t like knowing about all the bad stuff going on in the world.  I sometimes joke that ignorance is bliss but we all know that simply isn’t true.  Knowledge gives us power, the power to make a difference. Here’s what young girls are facing around the world:

* In Ethiopia, nearly half of them live on less than $1 a day and 90% of the population in some rural areas lack access to clean and therefore safe water. Because of this Girls are:

  • Forced to marry at very young ages (before the age of 15) and often to much older men.  They are then expected to start families right away which is a risk to them because of their age they face a higher risk of disability or death during childbirth.
  • Spending time walking sometimes more than 5 miles to go collect water from the nearest water source instead of being at school and studying .

*Of the 4 million people who live in Liberia, half of them live on less than 50 cents a day. Many of the girls must give up their education so that they can work and provide for the families.

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* In the rural areas of Malawi they tend to make less than $2 a day which does not go far when you need to provide for your family. This often leads to girls being married off at an early age either because they feel that they are giving them a better life or as an exchange for cattle or as repayment of a debt.

* More than half of Guatemalans live below the poverty line, so girls are helping care for their siblings or providing for their families instead of being in school.  Not only will that contribute to early aged marriages and unplanned pregnancies but they also face falling victim to human trafficking and violent crimes because they are not considered a “priority”.

Change starts here with us, so let’s spread the word about the needs of these young girls all over the world and if you want more info. and/or to get involved, you can visit http://dayofthegirl.org/. You can also follow the hastag #DayoftheGirl on Twitter.

Check Out this Girl Up’s International Day of the Girl video: