Happy International Day of the Girl! Today, we celebrate girls around the globe and all of the cultures, customs, experiences, and stories that make them unique. Each girl has a story. Each girl has potential. And, when she realizes that potential, each girl can change the world. And, #SheWill.
Each girl also deserves the opportunity to be a girl. She deserves the opportunity to laugh, to play, and to attend class. She deserves the opportunity to play with her friends, learn from her mother or her aunts, and spend time with her siblings. Globally, too many girls are forced to give up that childhood as soon as their menstrual cycle begins. In many cultures, menstruation signifies a step towards adulthood, or the end of childhood. And for many girls, the concerns related to menstrual hygiene management result in financial stress, missed school classes, and shame.
But, what if we told you it didn’t have to be that way? Because, it doesn’t. Menstrual hygiene doesn’t have to be an obstacle to the progress and development for girls around the globe. And, it doesn’t have to stand in the way of childhood play, school classes, or time spent laughing with friends. Through comprehensive education and washable pads, Days for Girls is able to give back days of dignity, childhood laughter, and opportunity to girls around the world.
The theme for the 2016 International Day of the Girl is “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement.” In order to better advocate for girls and their opportunities, the world needs to better understand their experiences, their stories, and what inspires them. This year, Days for Girls is excited to announce a new data collection strategy that will prioritize the collection of girl-focused data. Through the One Girl, Her Story Strategy, Days for Girls puts story-telling in the hands of girls around the world. We can use those stories to tell a global story – girls, regardless of their background, are able to overcome adversity to change the world. We have seen it happen before, and we know that we can see it again.
Don’t believe us? Just check the Girl Effect, for an example of how girls can change the world. And, for an example of a powerful story that shows the power that girls have to change the world, check out Christine’s Story. (*Note: Christine’s story, while powerful, can be incredibly difficult and emotional to read.)
Today, we celebrate girls & their experiences from all corners of the world. From our volunteers, to our Country Directors, to the students and girls’ groups in countries around the globe, our network is full of inspiring girls. Each of them has a story. And, each of them has a dream.
We know that they will accomplish whatever it is that they set their minds to. Because she can. And, #SheWill. And, we are committed to being there for her. One girl at a time until we reach every girl. Everywhere. Period. Will you help us? Right now, Days for Girls has an incredible opportunity to win up to $1 Million to support women and girls around the world through the 2016 Revlon Challenge. That means that your support today can go even further to helping us reach every girl, everywhere, period.
Happy International Day of the Girl from the Days for Girls Team!