Counting Down to the International Day of the Girl
As the International Day of the Girl approaches, we are keeping the conversation alive. Every day this week we will be highlighting community members who are advocating and innovating for girls’ education.
Our partners at Girls Not Brides will also be posting stories from the World Pulse community this week on the topic of child marriage, one of the leading barriers to girls' education around the world. Check out their blog for voices against child marriage leading up to the International Day of the Girl!
Day 1: I Colored the Red, Blue
Rabia Salihi | Afghanistan
“It is our right to understand how our bodies work and how we can take good care of them… Conducting classes on women and womanhood is a very positive method not only to educate parents but also to break the concept in people’s minds that sex education is not necessary.”
When Rabia Salihi started menstruating, lack of guidance from her family and society made her feel ashamed about her body and emerging womanhood. She now challenges cultural taboos to advocate for sex education in Afghanistan. Read the full story here.
Olutosin Oladosu-Adebowale | Nigeria
"Whenever I teased my sister about her love for education, she would say, ‘I fought for it and I won. I will study till there is nothing to learn anymore.’”
With her arranged marriage to an old man imminent, Olutosin’s sister fled home at the age of 15 in order to continue her studies. She went on to become a distinguished linguist, teacher, and community leader in Nigeria. Remembering her sister’s fight for her right to education, Olutosin now speaks out against child marriage in rural India, Nigeria, and around the world. Read the full story here.
Day 3: The World Will Be Her Oyster
Radiocami | Venezuela/USA
"This is a call to action inviting you to sponsor ONE girl’s education…The significance of the gift will not only transform her world, her attitude towards life and herself, but will awaken a desire to give back as she has received."
As a girl growing up in Venezuela, Radiocami received the gift of education and the world opened up to her. The incredible impact of that gift has motivated her to advocate for people everywhere to sponsor girls' education. Read the full story here.
Day 4: Should We Eat? Or Study?
Shahd Layth Hamid | Iraq
“The last ten years have been a setback for thousands of women and girls in Iraq. We can’t let another generation of women suffer a life of insecurity. Let’s build a future where no girl or woman in Iraq has to give up her dream...”
Shahd and her sisters lost access to education when the family was uprooted by sectarian war. While Shahd was later able to return to school, many other displaced girls have not been so lucky. Here Shahd highlights the educational challenges displaced Iraqi girls face. Read the full story here.
On the International Day of the Girl, watch this video message from young women at the Maman Shujaa Media Center in Democratic Republic of Congo as they call for a better future for girls in the Congo: