International Day of the Girl Child is on Friday (October 11). The United Nations’ initiative aims to shine a light on the challenges girls face and fulfill girls’ human rights. A Vancouver-based charity that builds and rehabilitates schools in parts of Africa is supporting the global effort.
The origins of the annual event go back to 1995, when 30,000 women and men from nearly 200 countries convened in Beijing for the Fourth World Conference on Women. It culminated in the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most comprehensive policy agenda for women’s empowerment to date.
Since then, more girls have gone on to attend school while fewer are getting married or becoming mothers while still children themselves, the UN states.
Momentum continues to grow, with adolescent girls taking on challenges like child marriage, education inequality, gender-based violence, and girls’ rights to enter places of worship or public spaces during menstruation.
The theme for the 2019 International Day of the Girl is “GirlForce: Unscripted and unstoppable”.
Vancouver’s One Girl Can is a registered charity that constructs and rehabilitates schools in Kenya and Uganda, provides scholarships to girls in those countries where education beyond primary school is not free, and mentors girls through a volunteer team of professional local women. It’s partnering with AG Hair and Brunette the Label to raise awareness of the annual event.
“Girls are still being told what they can and can’t do, simply because of their gender and in countries like Kenya and Uganda, this prejudice is amplified,” Lotte Davis, founder and CEO of One Girl Can, says in a statement. “However, young women in developing countries have the passion to challenge these stereotypes; they aspire to be engineers, IT professionals, CEOs, and political leaders. It’s for them that we are uniting with individuals and companies around the world to support International Day of the Girl.”
In the lead-up to International Day of the Girl, One Girl Can, AG Hair (which Davis, who grew up in apartheid South Africa, runs with her husband), and Vancouver clothing brand Brunette the Label are encouraging people around the world to pledge their support of girls’ rights and the elimination of gender inequality.
Pledgers will receive a social toolkit to help spread the word. Plus, Brunette the Label is selling a limited-edition campaign T-shirt, with proceeds going directly to One Girl Can. All donations will support the construction and rehabilitation of school infrastructure, high school and university scholarships, and mentorship programs.
Visit https://dayofthegirl.onegirlcan.com/ for more info.