Day of the Girl Summit News and Updates

Join iTwixie’s Girls Can Change the World Club

Ok, girls! Here’s what we’re working on in the Girls Can Change the World Club on iTwixie! TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

We learned from the Day of the Girl Summit community that there is a challenge facing girls that we know we can change. Now. Period. 

THE CHALLENGE
There are girls in other parts of the world who have to STAY HOME FROM SCHOOL when they have THEIR PERIOD because of SHAME, BULLYING and NO SANITARY SUPPLIES. Girls STAY HOME! Once a month! Because of their PERIOD! Are you saying, how can this be? So did we!

THE FACTS ABOUT A GIRL’S PERIOD
1. A girl’s period is natural and is a beautiful part of growing up to maybe have children one day. All healthy girls get it. Period.

2. If no one teaches you that your period is natural, beautiful and something every girl gets, then you are not going to feel ready when it starts and you may feel shocked and worried about it. If someone teaches you that your period is natural, beautiful and something EVERY girl will experience, then you’ll feel better about it coming and you can get prepared for it. It’s that simple. Period.

3. if someone is allowed to make fun of a girl because of her period, then that community is going to suffer. Poking fun at a girl is never a good idea. But poking fun at a girl’s period, or menstruation, is not just bad for the girl, it’s bad for the family, class, the town, the city, and it’s bad for our whole world. Know why? Because the future of our whole world depends upon all of us helping our girls understand their bodies, stay healthy, be smart and bold and brave so they can grow up and help our world become a better place. This, girls, is a fact. Period.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
In many parts of the world, there are a lot of different things you can buy to make sure nothing happens to your clothing during your period. We often call them sanitary supplies. But in some parts of the world, girls cannot buy these kinds of supplies. Do you know why? Because in those parts of the world, there is a shame that’s associated with menstruation. It’s considered a “private” thing. Girls hide when it happens. Or sometimes, there’s just nothing for them to wear to keep their monthly menstruation from showing on their clothing. Doesn’t this sound impossible? But it’s true! That’s why girls will stay home from school during their period. Girls can miss so much of school that sometimes they DROP OUT! And if they go to school, they get bullied by boys and others if their menstruation shows on their clothing. It’s a ridiculous situation because our periods are NATURAL! Our periods are how our bodies get ready to have babies! So let’s get real here: NO ONE SHOULD BE BULLIED EVER, BUT ESPECIALLY FOR SOMETHING AS NATURAL AND BEAUTIFUL AS A GIRL’S BODY LEARNING HOW TO GET READY TO HAVE A BABY!!!!! There’s no shame in having our period!

WHAT IS YOUR PERIOD?
A girl starts getting her period, or menstruating, when she begins to go through adolescence. Some girls start as early as 10 or 11 and some girls don’t start until 16 or 17. It’s different for each girl. But the thing is, during adolescence, a girl can have her period, or menstruate, for about a week per month. During this time, her body will make the nutrients it needs to feed a baby. When the girl doesn’t need these nutrients, the body gets rid of them. It’s at this time, when the body gets rid of those nutrients, that we call it “your period.” The body sends those nutrients out via the vagina. So a girl’s undergarments can get completely covered if she’s not wearing something to absorb it.

WHAT WE CAN DO
Join the Girls Can Change the World Club!
 
So let’s support girls around the world to feel good about their bodies! Let’s help girls get prepared to have monthly periods! Let’s keep girls in school so they can be smart, bold and brave women in the world!

Let’s hear it! Say yes!

So, girls, are you ready to start changing the world?

Photo credit: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/oct/30/costly-periods-economic-impact-of-menstrual-shame

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CHARGE Promises Education to 14 Million Girls

unnamed-1Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State and Julia Gillard, former Australian Prime Minister announced a new partnership to enhance global education for girls. This program, CHARGE, (the Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls Education) has procured $600 million dollars that will go towards the education of 14 million girls.

When discussing the upcoming role of CHARGE, Gillard told TIME magazine:

unnamed“I think across the world, as we talk about women in developing countries, there’s been increasing recognition that empowering women and girls is a key change agent for development…[recent history has] powerfully remind us that in some parts of the world, getting an education is still a very dangerous thing for a girl.” (Dockterman)

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With this in mind, CHARGE has set five goals to help girls with their education:

 

  1. To keep girls in school
  2. To ensure school safety and security
  3. To improve quality of learning for girls,
  4. To support transitions from and out of school and lastly,
  5. To support girls’ education as leaders and workers in developing countries.

With this program working to aid in the sustainable education for girls globally, the near future seems hopeful and prosperous.

 

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Healthy Menstruation, Healthy Bodies

Check out this great comic about the importance of menstruation education for girls globally. Thanks Her Turn for bringing us this great Month of Action! #PointPeriod

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Sanitation and Girls Education

November 19th is World Toilet Day! And our hosts at Her Turn for this Month of Action, share the details about why this day is important for girls around the world.

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How Does Menstruation Affect Girls Education?

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November 2014: Month of Action – Her Turn!

Join us for the November 2014 Month of Action: #PointPeriod hosted by Her Turn!

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Watch the Girls Speak Out 2014

10612967_10204923135583942_3160607481910758857_nThe International Day of the Girl Summit is a movement.  Join us via any of our signature campaigns, including:
IDG Summit 2014 Indiegogo Campaign
• 11 Months of Action
• IDG 2014 Girl Delegation
11 Days of Action
Girls Speak Out at the United Nations

We bring together thousands of girls, girl-serving organizations and adults to who are not waiting for the world to change; they are changing the world now. And we need you.

If you were unable to attend the 2nd Annual Girls Speak Out at the United Nations on October 10, 2014, we invite you to watch it! Please understand that the poetry, songs and stories that were performed at this year’s  Girls Speak Out include depictions of girls’  experiences with difficult topics, including bullying, bulimia, rape, abuse and violence against girls. These stories represent many of the realities faced by girls around the world; it is with these stories that we elevate our voices and stand together for global girls’ rights. It’s a powerful message that may be best suited for girls over 13. Thank you!

We hope the 2nd Annual Girls Speak Out inspires you to join us and take action!

Janssen
Special thanks to our sponsors, Janssen, for supporting this incredible opportunity for girls to be together and heard by World Leaders, UN Ambassadors, UN Representatives.
The Working Group on Girls
Thanks, too, to the Working Group on Girls who worked directly with the Missions of Canada, Peru, and Turkey to present the Girls Speak Out.

Register Now

When girls raise their voices and tell their stories, they can change the world.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive the latest news and updates on The Day of the Girl Summit’s powerful initiatives! Follow these hashtags, too! #IDG2014 #11MonthsofAction, #11DaysofAction #GirlsSpkOut and #Webcast

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Perfect Enough to be a Girl

anjali pic1Stories of Me, By: Anjali, 15 years, Canada

They say that as you grow older your eyes become smaller and smaller in proportion to your face. I wonder if as we grow old we start to see less and less of what really matters in proportion to everything else.

When I looked in the mirror at age five, all I saw was me as a whole. I would wave into the mirror and tilt my head back and forth in pure awe of my sheer existence. When I was eight, I played with my Barbie dolls, making them go on adventures in my older brother’s trucks. After all, my imagination showed me galaxies more than I could find in any reflection.

At around age ten, I started to look into the mirror as I brushed my teeth. I would stare so deep into my own eyes that I wouldn’t feel like myself anymore and instead feel like a stranger. The fact that I had a conscience inside me that I couldn’t see was terrifying and I would quickly finish brushing and run out.

Maybe that is why at twelve years old I started to notice how not-white my teeth were. I saw how my curls had transformed into a frizzy tangle that I tied back into a ponytail. My cheeks were balloons that hid my eyes when I laughed.anjali pic2

At thirteen I saw bushy eyebrows and dark elbows. I convinced my mother to let me come with her when she bought my clothes. The list could go on and on.

At fifteen, I realized that everyone has their insecurities. I still cried about it but I knew that the girl with the gorgeous hair wished she was better at math and the smart girl wished people did not judge her for raising her hand every time. I thought about all this and did not know if it should make me feel better or stuck.

Suddenly I was spiraling backwards to my eight year old self frightened by the stranger in the mirror. Who was I really? No amount of makeup could hide how vulnerable I was. I had this hyperactive desire to be the tomboy my father wanted me to be, the studious girl that colleges were looking to see, and the pretty girl in the hallway. It felt like I was in Grand Central Station not exactly sure which train I was looking for.

Currently, I am sitting down on the bench watching everyone bustling onto their trains busily. I am the girl whose heart melts just knowing that the movie will have a fairytale ending. I am the girl who enjoys playing video games with her brother. I am the girl who could spend the whole day reading in bed.

Right now, it is perfectly enough to be that girl. One day I will find the train to take me to my calling. One day I will look in the mirror and see everything that I have built for myself underneath the blemishes.

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Best Friends in Arizona

Here is a story about best friends in Arizona. We all need each other to celebrate IDG 2014! Click My Girls, Our Moments, Our Memories for the full story of BFFs.

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My Story of Speaking Out

Kehkashan - IDG pic 5Learning to Speak Out, By: Kehkashan, 15 years, United Arab of Emirates

I was born on 5th June which is, coincidentally, World Environment Day and thus I feel that it was pre-ordained that I should grow up to be an eco-warrior.

On my 8th birthday, my mother revealed this extraordinary coincidence to me and it motivated me to plant my first tree to mark this occasion. Since then, there has been no looking back and my journey as an environmental activist has transcended from a local level to the international forum and resulted in me being elected as the Global Coordinator for Children and Youth at UNEP, making me the youngest person and the only minor to hold this position.

Kehkashan - IDG pic 1Being a girl child from a developing nation, I feel that my election will pave the way for other young girls to break down barriers and reach levels which have not been achieved before. However, my journey has not been without challenges. Enroute, I have had to face threats in the form of cyberbullying.

I have encountered nasty messages and malicious emails from unexpected quarters which have maligned me. At first, I was confused and afraid because I always thought the world to be full of good people. I had read about cyberbullying in books and never imagined that I would be a victim.

My parents and friends are my greatest support and they advised me to stand up against it and speak about it openly. Bullies are essentially cowards and they back off when confronted. It was still a difficult choice for me since I am still very young but I decided to face this threat squarely.

I spoke about it in a newspaper interview organised by a support group which tackles such issues. I also spoke about it on television. As a youth leader I felt it was my responsibility to lead the way not only on environmental matters but also on other social issues which affect the progress of the girl child. I received tremendous messages of support for speaking out against this evil and it has made me a stronger and more confident individual.Kehkashan - IDG pic 4

Gender bias and inequality are challenges which have confronted the girl child for centuries. Change will not happen on its own. It would be naïve to be believe that someone else will do it for us. Our destiny lies in our hands and we must unite and forge our own path towards emancipation and equality.

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