Today is Day of the Girl
I interrupt this normally book focused blog for an important announcement.
Today is the first internationally recognized day for the girl. The United Nations has declared October 11th to be International Day of the Girl so we can celebrate our young girls by providing them opportunities and equal treatment.
You would think a day like this wouldn’t be needed in our society but it is. Very sadly it is. You would think that living in North America our young girls wouldn’t have to fight for equality or to be seen as a human being. But they do. Sadly they do.
My love for books that present me with strong female characters is fueled by the decline we are seeing of women’s rights in our own backyards. I know that there are women and young girls in other countries who face worse circumstances than I do and I take their plights to heart. I never take for granted the life I can live, the freedom I have and the good men that I am surrounded by, but the truth is there is still a huge gap for females to jump.
I love that this day exists for the little girls in our life because it is our little girls that we need to start with. We need to let our little girls know that they have just as much value as a man and that is doesn’t come from their sexuality. We need to let our little girls know that they have just as much intelligence as a man and that it won’t label them a cold, conniving bitch. We need to let our little girls know that their beauty has nothing to do with their looks but everything to do with their hearts, even though the media would have us believe otherwise. How we present ourselves to our little girls is how they will present themselves to others.
We then need to turn to our young boys and teach them that a girl is just as valuable as they are and that their value doesn’t come from their looks or their sexuality. We need to teach our little boys that they don’t need to dismiss a girl just for being a girl, that they are just as cool, strong, adventerous and magical as boys are. We need to teach our little boys that it is okay to be friends with girls, that their lives will be so much more enriched with female friends – that we need each other equally. How we treat our little girls is how our young boys will treat them too.
As an adult we have a responsibility to our little girls and boys. We have a responsibility to remember our child-ness and be accepting and loving of both sexes. We have a responsiblity to show our kids that equality is the norm, not the exception. We have a responsibility to our children to not make the same stereotypical demands on them that society has been making on us adults since we were kids.
Today is International Day of the Girl.