By: Joanne C. (19) and Shannon S. (19)
We are two co-founders of School Girls Unite, and when we started way back in 2004 as seventh graders, we would have thought the current Day of the Girl logo, with such a powerful image, was TOO powerful, almost violent. But now we’ve realized that it takes strength to make a change, and that we need to demand and make the changes we want in the world. And it’s hard to demand something with flimsy birds and butterflies.
The raised fist has long been a symbol used by oppressed people standing up for themselves. They aren’t punching you in the face; they’re raising their fists in solidarity for what they want. The clenched fist was first used in 1917, and has been used for a wide variety of movements, including the national campaign against rape called Take Back the Night, as well as anti-war campaigns throughout history. The fist means we want solidarity and strength, to overcome the struggles that girls face all across the globe.
The unique shape surrounding the fist can be interpreted in a number of ways, giving it added resonance and motion. Is it a flower, or a sun or a windmill? Is it a gear in a machine? The open-ended shape enables each person to add their own interpretation.
This logo signifies that the Day of the Girl means business. We are not just a fluffy celebration of hair braiding, but a fight to recognize the unique lives and challenges of girls. We are aware of the movements of solidarity before us, and we want to connect ourselves to the ideas of struggle, success, and ongoing work required to create change.
“Well-behaved women rarely make history.” -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
-Shannon and Joanne, ages 19
Note: A number of dates were considered prior to the selection of October 11 as the official International Day of the Girl.