This Sunday, October 11th, is the International Day of the Girl. Also sometimes called International Day of the Girl Child, this holiday honors the challenges and goals of girls around the world. At TO THE MARKET, this day is so important to us, because so much of what we do supports our vision of helping women and girls succeed. Our work with women-owned and operated factories that provide fair wages is centered on our belief that when women have independence, the dignity of work, and economic empowerment, the entire world benefits.
25 Years In The Making
The first spark of this holiday began in 1995, at the World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. At this event, nations unanimously adopted theBeijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This landmark declaration offered up a progressive plan for paving a more equal path for women - and for the first time in this type of forum, the agenda focused specifically on young girls. In 2011, the United Nations declared the International Day of the Girl Child an official holiday - and it’s been celebrated ever since.
Women’s rights is a wide-ranging topic, and girls face their own unique set of hurdles before they even reach adulthood. Around the world,nearly 25% of girls from ages 15-19 are not employed or in school, whereas just 10% of boys in the same age range can say the same. According to the UN, around 435 million women and girls will earn less than $1.90 a day by 2021. In addition to missing out on economic and educational access, many girls find their physical safety at risk - 1 in 3 women globally have experienced physical violence or sexual violence. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened these issues, pushing more young women into poverty and leading to an increase in domestic violence.
As citizens of the world, it’s our global responsibility to helpallgirls reach the safety, education, and access they deserve. When girls thrive, they are more likely to grow into the successful and well-adjusted parents, employees, partners, entrepreneurs, and political leaders our planet needs. Until every girl has the opportunity to live a full and equal life, we’ll be missing out on our highest global potential.
This year’s Day Of the Girl Child has an important theme: “My Voice, Our Equal Future.” This means a strong focus on letting girls speak for themselves about what they feel, what they need, and what they’re dreaming of. This year, the UN has chosen to highlight goals like reducing gender-based violence, teaching girls the skills they need to build careers, and empowering girls to lead their own movements for change. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration, and while we’ve seen plenty of progress since then, we’ve still got a long way to go.
So how can you celebrate? Tell the girls in your life that you believe in them, and ask them how you can support their dreams. Serve as an ally for young women looking to build their futures. Think about girls’ initiatives and girl-led organizations that inspire you, and amplify their stories. Provide a platform for young women who want to use their voices in whatever way you can.
Here at TO THE MARKET, we do our best to make every day a Day of the Girl. Today and always, we’ll keep working toward building a world where every girl can grow up safe, secure, and in control of her future