On October 11, 2012, we will celebrate the 1st International Day of the Girl. This past week (10/1/12 and 10/2/12), PBS aired a two-night, four-hour documentary entitled “Half the Sky” which highlighted the work being done to help girls in several different countries. This help includes escaping sex slavery, dealing with rape, obtaining an education, and improving healthcare. As stated on the Half the Sky Movement website, their goal is “Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” If you missed “Half the Sky” on PBS, you can view it online until October 8 (Part 1) and October 9 (Part 2).
Women and girls form 50% of the world’s population. Ignoring their needs imperils the future of us all. One of the biggest issues for girls is being forced into marriage when they are still children. This ends their education, increases the probability that they and their children will be and will remain in poverty, and also exacerbates healthcare issues. President Bill Clinton has called child marriage a form of slavery. Another website that gets to the heart of the issue on why education for girls matters is The Girl Effect.
I hope that you will celebrate the International Day of the Girl by making sure that the girls in your lives have the full range of education and opportunities that they need to become successful women.