Friday, October 11, 2013

International Day of the Girl

Today is International Day of the Girl, compliments of the UN.

We as women are a group of people who have forged our way through a society that was once and still is very intolerant of our long hair and uteruses. We've followed a path of discrimination and cultural stigma fighting for the right to vote and own property and hold jobs outside the home. We've come a long way, but there's so much more land to cover in our quest to becoming equal members of society.

As many hurdles as we've jumped and as many social barriers as we've torn down there are still so many other hurdles and barriers blocking women from achieving what the other gender can.

There are 34 million girls in developing countries who still can't go to school. On top of that number, there are girls who have the opportunities and the means to have an education but are forced to put up with violent attacks and intimidation because of their gender every day at school.

One out of every five girls don't finish elementary school.

Only 30% of middle/high school aged girls are enrolled in school.

Education is such a simple necessity, yet so many girls are robbed of it.

And there are so many other things that go beyond education. Girls younger than I are being married and sold into sex trafficking and being exploited. There are 30 million girls across the world who are at risk for female genital mutilation.

It's the sad reality of what some girls live in. They're constantly defined by their gender. A box is drawn around them and any step or reach outside of this barrier is met with disapproval and even physical attacks from their society.

Even in America and other well established countries woman are still given unequal treatment and gender based discrimination. We are faced with pay inequality, sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and stereotypes that are often used to define us rather than our personality, dreams, and goals. 

Even problems that we thought we long surpassed decades ago are still troubling girls today. Sex trafficking is thought to be an international problem littering undeveloped countries, when in reality it happens right here in the states, over half of them being children. 

It's almost sad that we need a day to celebrate us. Every day should be spent empowering girls and bringing hope to those who feel limited by their gender. There's so much we have to fight for and so much we still have to gain to be equal to our fellow males.

I want to live in a world with more stay at home dads and educated girls and a place that promotes equality for everyone in a sense that goes beyond gender. Our society is flawed and too many people are okay with this.

No one should feel limited because they are a girl or a Muslim or an African American for that matter. International Day of the Girl should go so much farther than gender, it should open the world's eyes that not everyone is equal.

There's so much change that needs to be done.

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently. While some may seem them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

Have a fabulous day.

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