Today is 11 October, the UN sanctioned International Day of the Girl Child. This blog is normally about writing and romance and sexy times and writing, but I thought today I’d dedicate it to something that is vital to humanity, something that I think must be vital to all of us as readers and writers and lovers of a female-oriented genre: the girl.
As women, we face so many challenges in our day-to-day lives, so many challenges that we’re so used to that we probably don’t even notice. It’s just the fact of being a woman in a world that is still male-centric: we will be paid less, we will be expected to take on the brunt of raising children and domestic duties, we will be labelled by what we wear, and we will live our lives knowing fear when walking alone or in the dark or going on a date.
This doesn’t begin to cover the challenges that other women who live in less fortunate circumstances have to deal with: domestic abuse, forced marriage, no representation, no chance at education, religious persecution, archaic laws, poverty, and war.
We know this is wrong and we make choices against it every day, even if it’s simply choosing to read a literature focused on women (and women in strong, positive relationships with people who respect them) in the face of derision and scorn, and to focus on the positive differences that women make every day on every level.
These decisions can begin young, and this year, the UN has chosen to focus on education of girl children as a key factor in the fight against violence, forced marriage, and domestic abuse.
A girl given the opportunity for quality primary and secondary education is:
- ..less likely to experience violence or marry and have children while she is still a child.
- …more likely to be literate, healthy, and survive into adulthood, as are her children.
- …more likely to reinvest her income back into her family, community, and country.
- …more likely to understand her rights and be a force for change.
That’s the thing about women: we give back to our community through our families, through volunteering, through sharing, and through ourselves. Supporting women, supporting girls is not a women’s cause. It’s a human cause, and the fate of our world rests on it.
So let’s support the girl children in our lives, and give thanks to the girl children who grew up to be the women in our lives.
If you’d like to know more, get involved, or support the day, here are some links: