October 11th is "International Day of the Girl Child."
The 2015 Theme for this day is: The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030
To help us bring awareness to this day and its focus we have invited Judith Kasiama to write this week's blog post. We are huge fans of Judy! Judith is an under-gradutate student at Trinity Western University, where she is studying International Studies and History. A refugee herself, from Democratic Republic of Congo, she is deeply passionate about promoting and advocating on behalf of women and children. She believes in education and self-sustaining development that can help equipwomen to be their own advocates. Judith is currently studying in Amman, Jordan and serving a group of Syrian refugees who are displaced due to the ongoing conflict in Syria. She enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time in nature.
by Judith Kasiama
Fifteen years ago, the international community implemented the Millennium Development Goals, which aimed to help alleviate poverty throughout the world by 2030. Their aim was to meet these goals through social, economic, and political means.
According to an EFA Global Monitoring Report in 2012, “about 62 million girls are not attending school globally, and about 80 percent of all human trafficking victims are girls." (Check out more here...Girl Rising.)
Currently we are halfway through our given timeline. The girls born in the year 2000 (when the Millennium Development Goals were set) are now 15 years old. As an international community, we must fulfill our promise to be sure that girls are safe and have access to education and healthcare. Investing in young girls is significant. When girls are given an opportunity to stay in school and have access to health care, early marriages and childbearing is delayed. These small actions not only benefit the girl herself, but will also benefit her future children, community, and country.
Girl Effect, which is a nonprofit organization whose sole aim is to empower girls says this: “If every Ethiopian girl finished school, it would add almost $4-billon to the country’s economy.” They also estimate that “if early marriage in India was delayed, it would add about 767 billion in potential lifetime income.” (Girl Effect).
While we have made significant progress in improving the lives of girls during early childhood, we must now take a further step in helping girls obtain higher education and join the workforce, unhindered by their gender. One of my favorite poets Dr. Maya Angelou writes, “each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” In supporting young girls, we are supporting the next generation to truly reach their potential.
On this day, International Day of the Girl Child, let us do more in our efforts to support girls. My worldview, my ambition has been fueled by amazing people who saw my potential and help me achieve my dream. I have three younger sisters and each day I am honoured and humbled by their accomplishment. I want girls around the world to be able to have the same opportunity. We, as an international body, are obligated in recognize the potential that girls have and it is up to us to help improve gender equality on a global scale.
This International Day for Girls: Stand with Her!
Thanks Judith! What would it look like for you to "stand with girls" in your community? In the nation of Canada? How about abroad? This may be a great conversation to have in your circle of friends and church. We know that ZOE is an excellent way to stand with girls...
- Through supporting Kim Hodgkiss in Honduras as she provides economic empowerment opportunities for teen girls through her training centre.
- Through Steve Bowler in his work with "Fountain of Life" in Malawi which supports rape victims of all ages.
- Through providing Dignity kits (menstrual products) with Transformation Textiles that help girls stay in school.
There are many, many opportunities to "stand with girls" through ZOE this weekend. Want to do something?