International Day of the Girl

By: Rachel Lastinger, Guest BloggerOctober 11, 2015

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image via girlsglobe.org 

Today is International Day of the Girl. What does it mean to celebrate girls worldwide?

I chose to spend the day celebrating girls with the CARE Walk for Lasting Change in Atlanta, Georgia. CARE is a humanitarian organization providing disaster relief and fighting poverty around the world. They do this by focusing on multiple different aspects of poverty. One of these aspects being girl empowerment and girls’ education.

Why do we celebrate girls?

According to Care, it’s “because women produce half the world’s food, put in two-thirds of the world’s working hours, and yet make only 10 percent of the world’s income. That’s not just disheartening, it’s unjust. We fight for gender equality, because righting this imbalance is key to fighting global poverty.”

Women produce half the world’s food, put in two-thirds of the world’s working hours, and yet make only 10 percent of the world’s income.

It’s proven that by sending a girl to school, you can raise her family’s income by about 20% per year. This means you can move her family out of poverty. By educating all the girls in one village, we can move that entire village out of poverty. We recently learned about girl’s education around the world and the awful number of girls without education through the #60MillionGirls campaign. It’s true, 60 million girls don’t have the right to an education.  

Unfortunately, the reality is that millions of girls are lacking more than just their right to an education. Millions of girls lack the right to decide when they get married, the right to reproductive health education, the right to basic necessities such as clean water and a healthy diet, as well as many other rights. Girls will walk miles each way to get to school. Yet, school is exactly what can change their reality. An educated girl can be a girl with more rights. A girl who is empowered to change the future of her country.

An educated girl can be a girl with more rights. A girl who is empowered to change the future of her country.

Girls around the world face many challenges that keep them from school, though. The dropout rate for girls is too high, even here in America. In third world countries, girls often drop out of school because they miss too many days due to menstruation cycles or poor health, the family needs them to fetch water and work around the house, the family needs them to get a job and earn money, or they get married at too young of an age.

That is why we walked in Atlanta today. That is why we celebrated International Day of the Girl. Because millions of girls lack their basic rights and deserve to be empowered through an education. We celebrate this day so that we can start to work towards making it more possible for girls to get the education that will lead to change.  

Today I invite you to remember those girls and to think about how you can be a part of change. I also encourage you to be thankful for the education and the opportunities that you may have been given since there are many girls around the world who are fighting for that opportunity. I know I’m thankful for the education that I’ve received and I know I want to use it to help girls that aren’t as empowered.  

Article Sources: http://www.care.org/work/womens-empowerment.

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About Rachel Lastinger

RACHEL_LASTINGER_writer_bio.jpgRachel is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where she studied Political Science/ International Studies. After living in Ethiopia for 2 years, empowering and mentoring young university women, she is now attending Emory University in Atlanta,GA where she is obtaining her Masters degree in Development Practices. She is a strong advocate for her faith in Jesus Christ, empowering the next generation of women and fighting for their rights, traveling, dance parties, reading, a good cup of tea, and Parks and Recreation. 

 

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