Day of the Girl-US is an 100% youth-led movement fighting for gender justice and youth rights. Our work to dismantle patriarchy and fight for social justice is rooted in girl-led activism across the country, using October 11th as a day of national action. We are outraged by the neglect and devaluation of female-identifying youth. We are committed to examining these issues within an intersectional framework, the inclusion of girls’ voices in the movement for social justice, and grassroots activism - and thus we advocate, educate, and organize. Day of the Girl-US is the United States arm of the global Day of the Girl movement, beginning in 2011 (read more about our history).
We hold the following beliefs:
- Girls are the experts on issues that affect girls. The solutions to these issues must come from girls. Their voices need to be centralized and elevated in social justice conversations.
- Girls from marginalized communities must be central in conversations about social justice issues involving those communities.
- Truly effective social change cannot come without girls' leadership.
- Girls' issues are intersectional. We must intentionally include people who are different from ourselves in our social change work. Otherwise we will not be able to make a meaningful impact - in fact, we could even do damage to huge populations of girls.
Some words we use:
Girl. A female-identifying youth.
Patriarchy. "A social system in place in which masculinity is valued over femininity, and men are considered dominant to women." People of all genders - not just girls - are negatively impacted by the patriarchy we live under.
Gender roles. A set of norms that dictate what is and is not acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for a person based on their actual or perceived sex or gender.
Privilege. A set of advantages experienced by a dominant group. Some privileges include white privilege, male privilege, or cisgender privilege, but there are many more.
Gender Binary. The two-gender labelling system in Western culture that forces people to either adhere to the social laws of masculinity or femininity. This social structure excludes and shames anyone who does not conform to traditional gender roles or identifies outside of the traditional two-gender system (read our brief on the gender binary here!)
Gender Justice. A movement to "create a world free from misogyny," and end patriarchy, transphobia, and homophobia. At Day of the Girl-US, we focus on the issues impacting girls', but we understand that all issues of gender justice are intrinsically tied.
Trans Inclusivity. Actively including transgender individuals in our feminist spaces. No matter how you identify - be it transgender, nonbinary, agender, or otherwise - you are safe and welcome here.
Rape Culture. "The normalization of sexual assault in society."
Internalized Sexism. The involuntary internalization of sexist attitudes and beliefs. These beliefs often turn girls against each other, because a patriarchal society tells girls that rather than being allies they are competing to be the most desirable to boys and men. It can even turn a girl against herself.
Youth Rights. A movement to end discrimination against young people. This includes lowering the voting age, improving access to and quality of education, reforming the juvenile justice system (and other institutions that incarcerate youth, like certain foster care systems and immigration detention centers), and so much more.
Intersectionality. Intersectionality describes how oppressive institutions are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another. It also describes the ways in which a variety of identities impact a particularly individual's experience. This term was coined by women of color who were frustrated with the feminist movement for being centered around privileged, white women. To learn more about intersectionality, read our "Talking With All Kinds of Girls" chapter of our #StartTheConvo Toolkit.
Image via the Third Wave Fund