Author Archives: emilycbent

IDG 2016 Girls Speak Out: Call for Submissions!

avatar-5YearsThis year marks the fifth anniversary of the International Day of the Girl (IDG 2016)!

For this historic anniversary, we want to add your voice to help make this year’s celebration the greatest ever.  Let’s inspire everyone with our stories of girl power — in art, pictures, poetry, songs, video — to showcase the unique role girls play in our world. We need your voice! Here’s how:

If you’re between 13-18 years old, send us your inspirational story! You can use creative writing, video performance, photography, artwork, or song to share your voice and your ideas. Your submission could be chosen to be part of the Girls Speak Out 2016 at the United Nations in New York City! And everyone who submits her work will be featured on the DayoftheGirlSummit.org website, in our IDG2016 Webcast or Shoutout Page!

Girls Speak Out in ECOSOC Chamber of the United Nations!

Girls Speak Out at the United Nations!

Tell us about one of the following:

  • What does girl power mean to you?
  • How are girls inspirational?
  • Tell us about girls where you live who are doing things to help each other.
  • Have girls in your town or community overcome a challenge or triumph?
  • What will you do to celebrate the International Day of the Girl where you live?

Send us your responses with a completed IDG Summit Consent Form no later than Monday, September 12th 11:59PM US EST!

Please make sure your submission is in one of these formats:

Poetry or monologues (maximum 250 words)

Video (maximum length of 2 minutes)

Photographs (jpeg files of at least 500 x 500 pixels)

Art or graphic design (jpeg files of at least 500 x 500 pixels)

Email your submission and Consent Form to: IDGsubmissions@gmail.com with your name, age, country, and contact information!

Get Your OWN IDG 2015 T-Shirt!

IDG Girls 2015International Day of the Girl 2015 was amazing! Celebrate all year round with your very own #IDG2015 t-shirt, which was worn by our Girl Performers as part of the #GirlsTakeOver at the United Nations!

Click here to purchase your own IDG 2015 t-shirt for $25.00 (includes shipping & handling within the USA only). Orders due by November 6th and shirts will ship the week of November 13th. IDG Shirt Back 2015

IDG 2015 shirts are available in sizes adult S – XL; every shirt is black with neon blue logo design.

Get your shirt TODAY!

IDG News: IDG Goes GLOBAL!

IDG Cape TownIn honor of the 4th annual International Day of the Girl, we are proud to share the various ways The Grail and other girls’ organizations throughout the world have celebrated this year’s International Day of the Girl.

Join us as we acknowledge what The Grail is doing for the advancement of girls rights WORLDWIDE!

  • Established in 1921, The Grail is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) committed to building a world of justice and peace through education and action and to standing in solidarity with those who struggle to overcome poverty.

In celebration for this year’s Day of the Girl, The Grail has planned its very own IDG celebrations in a variety of countries including Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, Portugal, Mozambique, Ecuador, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

From October 1-11th, The Grail will work alongside girl advocates and other girls’ rights organizations in the above countries to advance opportunities for girls, and increase awareness of inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender.

IDG SACurrently, The Grail has launched an Open Day in public areas throughout Papua New Guinea to display issues affecting local girls; organized small workshop for girls with motivational talks on guidelines to access opportunities in South Africa; shared food and girl empowering exercises in Ecuador; and organized a school rally to raise public awareness of the different types of discrimination and abuse that many girls suffer from in Mozambique.

On behalf of the Working Group on Girls and everyone on the IDG Summit Team, we would like to extend our greatest appreciation to The Grail and other girls’ rights organizations that continuously work towards the global advancement of the International Day of the Girl agenda. Girls worldwide are one step closer to fairness and equality and we have the members of these organizations to thank.

Thank You.

Together we can change the world!

#GirlsTakeOver for the 4th International Day of the Girl

12107823_10100755539629569_6521262437374119424_nIt was 3pm on an unsuspecting Friday afternoon when the girls invaded. They shoved their way past the guards, crawled through the entry, through the vent system, and landed smack dab in the middle of the Trusteeship Chamber of the United Nations. This was no childish stunt, however. These girls had a mission: to expand policy and get girls on the agenda. Girls from all over answered the call. Some showed up in person; others sent their voices.

This takeover was a celebration of the fourth annual International Day of the Girl. It was decided in 2011 by the General Assembly that October 11th would be a day of the girls, for the girls, and by the girls; a day to recognize girls’ rights along with the unique challenges that they face around the world.

Voices from girls worldwide were represented at “the takeover.” Akila from Egypt told us about her mother, who married her father when she was 14 and got pregnant at 16. Valentina from Colombia told her story of the domestic violence she witnessed in her own home. Gillian from the United States opened up about her experience as a pregnant teen, who was kicked out of the house. Aria from Brazil told about her experience with sexual harassment during the World Cup. Camilla of Nicaragua told us how she only got an education up until 5th grade while her brothers continued their education long after that. Maya shed some light on the issue of Female Genital Mutilation, which she had to undergo at the age of 5.

12079271_10100755259036879_1870502029304861052_nThere were some pretty important people who got on board with this mission as well. H.E. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the General Assembly, showed his support virtually over the big screen. Ambassador Guillermo E. Rishchynski of Canada, a key influence in putting IDG on the calendar, passionately preached about the importance of educating a girl. Marta Santos Pais, SRSG on Violence Against Children, noted how child marriage was “anachronistic” and should not be an issue of today. Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra Velasquez said he was awed by the courage of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and he encouraged us all to follow her footsteps and speak out for this cause.

The event was a huge success. It reaffirmed the role that girls play in global politics. It captured the unique stories of girls from all around the world. It empowered attendees to join the movement and take action.

Written by: Rachel Blau, Girls Learn International

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.

 

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.