By: Joanne C.
Girls aren’t asking for much; we just want to change the way the world treats girls, and we want to change the way girls view themselves. We’re trying to tackle discrimination and prejudices and stereotypes. We want to change the way people view the female gender. As girls and women, we want to feel as though we are free to do what we want and follow our dreams, without fearing that we will be locked out by sexism.
Whoa, tall task. I know. I know we can’t do this overnight. And I especially know we can’t do this alone. You may say that women have it good now in the U.S.– we can vote, we can work. I know. You may say that we can’t expect social change from a simple Presidential Proclamation. I know. And you’re right.
I think those are all valid concerns. But I also think that we aren’t quite “there” yet. While Rosie the Riveter may have done a lot of work for American women, there are still pay gaps and glass ceilings in the work place. And that’s only in America. There are girls and women all over the world who face discrimination in all facets of life. Sexism is a worldwide phenomenon, and it effects every single one of us, regardless of our gender.
I also know that I could talk all day about the problems that girls and women face. And I know that talking alone will not solve anything. I know that a Proclamation by the world’s leaders alone also will not solve anything. It will be a long process, tackling stereotypes. It’s a fight that started long, long ago, and will continue for a long, long time. But we need you. We need your help, we need everyone’s help. Stereotypes exist like fires, and people only add fuel to their flames by continuing to accept them as truths. Our goal with the Day of the Girl is to get people to stop feeding those fires. Our goal is to get people to ask themselves why they expect women to stay at home, or why girls should not get an education. Our goal is to change attitudes, and inspire people to make the concrete changes to end discrimination and prejudice.
It will be slow. It will not be precise, or perfect, or huge bursts of change. We may get sidelined by other issues of the day, or be defined by small and incremental successes. But we will keep working for girls’ rights, for women’s rights, for ourselves and others. And we need you to help us. We need you to be a part of us, to be a part of this global movement to recognize girls for all that we are and can be.
We hope that Day of the Girl will be annually recognized, for people to make change and for people to celebrate the importance of a girl.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you stick around!