Today is International Day of the Girl, which, according to the UN, is a movement intended to “help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”
Since 2011, it’s been the national day of action for young women to fight the patriarchy and let their stories be heard. The movement aims to empower young women around the world and give them tools for mobilization. This year’s theme is “With Her: A Skilled Girl Force,” and it focuses on education and tool building.
For those who wish to participate, there are a few ways you can get involved:
- Get educated: The most important part about International Day of the Girl is understanding why it’s such an important cause. There are endless literature and resources where you can read about the hurdles women face growing up compared to men, as well as endless data about the topic. Here are some illuminating facts from the UN about the challenges girls face and how they are raised to view themselves: Young women have a higher rate of unemployment than young men; girls by the age of six generally think boys are more likely to show brilliance.
- Learn about specific organizations: If you want to get more involved, there are a slew of groups that work to empower young women. There’s the Malala Fund, the Young Women’s Leadership Network, UNICEF, and Girls Not Brides, to name just a few. Check them out to learn about how you can help further their work specifically.
- Attend events: If you’re in New York, the UN is hosting a couple of events today in conjunction with the movement. You can check local youth women movements for events closer to you. Or, you can watch the Girls Speak Out summit online, which will be held at the UN today at 3 p.m. ET.
- Spread the message: Make the world know this is an important cause by keeping the conversation alive online. You can tweet or publish posts with the hashtag #DayOfTheGirl. UN Women has even compiled a list of social media resources to help people craft their online messages. Day of the Girl-US also has a helpful tool kit to teach people who start their own conversations about the issue.
- Donate: Money is another way you can help the cause. The organizations listed above all accept donations and will use it to further the young women empowerment movement.
What’s most important on a day like today is that young women–especially those from marginalized communities–don’t get forgotten. And supporting girls is something people should do every day, but thankfully today we have a helpful reminder.
You can read more about the day as well as stories of women around the world here.