EMPOWERING GIRLS FOR OUR FUTURE
Written by Shana Murray, Community Programs Manager, Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society
Every year on October 11, girls and women around the globe celebrate International Day of the Girl Child. In December 2011, the United Nations declared it would annually observe the International Day of the Girl Child, beginning October 11, 2012. This special day promotes girls’ rights and highlights gender inequalities between girls and boys that remain to this day. Discrimination and violence against girls and violations of their human rights happen every day across the globe. International Day of the Girl Child is about raising awareness of the challenging issues that girls face, and advocating for a better future for all girls, no matter their race, culture, socioeconomic status and/or where they live. All girls matter, all girls have the power to change the world.
When a girl is not allowed to attend school or is the last to access clean drinking water, this is a violation of her human rights.When a girl is being bullied at school, it is harassment and a form of violence. When a girl is told she can’t do something, it is discrimination. When a girl lives in fear of doing something wrong at home or is told that she is not good enough, it is child abuse. Every day across the globe, girls face horrific experiences that affect her ability to reach her fullest potential. Girls are being told they are not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not athletic enough. Let’s put a stop to “not good enough,” and focus on how can we support girls to be all that they can be.
At the Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society, we believe in empowering young girls because we know the difference it can make in their lives. Throughout the school year, we facilitate Girl Power Groups, and during the summer we run 5 day Girls Wellness Camps for girls ages 8 to 11. The focus on the groups and camps are on self-expression, friendship, building community, hopes and dreams, being in nature, self-care, self-awareness and much more. Through these groups and camps, girls are encouraged to be themselves, try new things and make new friends.
No matter who you are, you can help change the lives of girls around the world today. You have the power to positively influence the minds of young girls that will give them the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Globally, there are many opportunities to get involved in projects that work to support girls accessing education, keeping girls safe from abuse or violence, and advocating for girls human rights.
Girls for a Change, Plan International’s Because I Am A Girl Campaign, and OneHorizon are just some examples of organizations that are changing the lives of girls around the world every day.
Locally, you can support a girl by inquiring at the Women’s Centre about our next Girl Power Groups and Camps. By donating $80, you can send a girl to our 8 week Girl Power Group. $150 will see her attend our 5 day Girls Wellness Summer Camp. No matter the size of your donation or gift of time, you can empower a girl today to create a better future for us all.