Thursday is the United Nations International Day of the Girl, a single day highlighting, celebrating, discussing, and advancing girls lives and opportunities across the globe. As a girl and as the mother of a girl, frankly I think every day should be International Day of the Girl but then I am a bit biased. The campaign to start this amazing day and promote international awareness of and to advance the UN Millennium Development Goals related to gender equality and universal basic education, and other human rights issues began right here in the United States and was led by School Girls Unite, an organization of students and young women leaders. If you are a girl, have a girl in your life, love a girl or simply want to support this amazing day, I encourage you to get involved. Below I've listed several organizations around the world who have prepared special campaigns and activities. Here are some ways you can be involved.
1. Sign up your company and/or organization to support and endorse International Day of the Girl through the Day of the Girl website.
2. Sign Care's petition to fight child marriage by sending a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Child marriage is a global epidemic. One in seven girls will be forced to marry by age 15, robbing her of a chance to get an education, lead a healthy life and reach her full potential. Signing the petition takes little effort on your part and can change girls' lives throughout the world.
3. LitWorld's Stand Up for Girls campaign is part of LitWorld's larger effort to rally their network of literacy champions around the world to advocate for every girl’s right to a quality education. Take the pledge, sign up for activities, join events throughout the world and Stand Up for every woman's right to a good education.
4. Plan International launches its Because I'm a Girl campaign on October 11th. This campaign aims to bring global focus to the widespread denial of basic rights to girls, and the ‘invisibility’ of girls in the global development agenda, help to make girls and their rights more visible, help to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and work to enable girls to gain an equal position in society. You can get involved by donating to Plan or sponsoring a girl in a developing country. Believe it or not, the US is considered a developing country where girl and women's initiatives are concerned.
5. 10x10, a social action campaign, created and launched by an award-winning team of former ABC News journalists uses the power of storytelling and leveraging of strategic partnerships to delivery a single message: that educating girls in developing nations will change the world. You can participate in the International Day of the Girl Tweet-a-thon or host your own event. Sign up on the 10x10 site now and take advantage of their incredible resources and create social change in your own area, in your own way.
6. Be a part of the first Day of the Girl Summit! Take the pledge, leave a Shout Out! and participate in the live summit discussions. Educate yourself on what you can do today and every day to improve the lives of girls in your life and around the world!
7. Continue supporting girls throughout the world or right in your own neighborhood beyond October 11th. Dayofthegirl.org has eleven amazing ideas you and your family can do any day of the year to make girls' lives better.
I encourage you to click on the links above, find an organization whose cause and mission speaks to your heart, think about the girls in your life and give of yourself on October 11th and to a worthy, worthwhile, ongoing need to celebrate girls and to ensure they are empowered and able to meet their basic needs and rights. And I encourage you to go to the web search engine of your choosing, type in "International Day of the Girl 2012" and find other campaigns and opportunities to give of yourself if you don't find something on my list that touches your heart. And help the spread the word of this incredibly important day!!
Jeri writes on life and the insanity that comes from discovering who you are, making a career out of your passions and raising a teenage daughter, an ex-husband and four furry beasts at Lifeinflux.com.
More from living