In 2011, the United Nations declared Oct. 11 International Day of the Girl Child, and the reasoning behind their decision was simple. According to the event’s website, International Day of the Girl Child was established “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”
But it isn’t just the U.N. acknowledging this holiday. For the last several years, writers, journalists, politicians and celebrities have taken time to speak out about Day of the Girl Child, and this year is no different. Today, celebrities like Michelle Obama, John Legend, Savannah Guthrie and Jennifer Lopez hopped onto social media to share empowering messages centered on the idea that women of all ages matter and deserve our support.
1. Melinda Gates
— Melinda Gates (@melindagates) October 11, 2018
Melinda Gates joined friends Zari and Raya on Sesame Street to talk about the amazing qualities all girls have.
2. Pharrell Williams
This one goes out to one of the greatest gifts to existence; GIRLS. I WISH YOU REPARATIONS IN EQUALITY. love, P #DayOfTheGirl
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) October 11, 2018
Rapper Pharrell Williams used #DayoftheGirl to thank women for being exactly who they are.
3. Gillian Anderson
— Gillian Anderson (@GillianA) October 11, 2018
The X-Files star reminded everyone that today is about women being seen and heard. Finally.
4. Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman
— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) October 11, 2018
Keith Urban and wife Nicole Kidman took a few moments out of their day to share a special song, which was filmed by their own daughters, Sunday and Faith.
5. Emma Watson
#DayOfTheGirl🧠💪🏼💗 I encourage you to check out @FRIDAfund – focused on supporting the organising of young feminist activists all over the world 💝 because their work is critical to expanding & sustaining social justice movements, now & in the future! ✨ https://t.co/v7dwB8ICUq pic.twitter.com/bcT5tl6CbF
— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) October 11, 2018
Emma Watson used International Day of the Girl Child to promote Frida: The Young Feminist Fund, an organization that focuses on supporting young female activists.
6. Michelle Obama
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Right now, more than 98 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school. I see myself in these girls. I see my daughters in these girls. I know a lot of you see yourselves and your families in them, too. That’s why today on the International #DayoftheGirl, the @ObamaFoundation is launching the @GlobalGirlsAlliance—a program to empower adolescent girls around the world through education. We believe that change happens from the ground up, so we’re working to support grassroots leaders and to spur action from people like you, all around the world. We can accomplish more together than we can on our own, so I hope you’ll join our alliance—because the future of our world is only as bright as our girls. #GlobalGirlsAlliance
Former first lady Michelle Obama took a moment out of her day to talk about the disproportionate number of young girls not in school and to promote the Obama Foundation’s new initiative, the Global Girls Alliance — a program dedicated to empowering “adolescent girls around the world through education.”
7. Savannah Guthrie
The Today cohost shared a special moment with her daughter, Vale, and former first lady Michelle Obama during Today‘s celebration of International Day of the Girl Child.
8. John Legend
Today on International #DayoftheGirl I'm proud to join @MichelleObama and the Global @GirlsAlliance to stand up for adolescent girls’ education – because the future of our world is only as bright as our girls. Join us: https://t.co/YZB5WAf3Gi. #GlobalGirlsAlliance pic.twitter.com/BjPIL0wWh0
— John Legend (@johnlegend) October 11, 2018
Much like the first lady, John Legend also used #DayoftheGirl to speak out about the Global Girls Alliance.
9. Madeleine Albright
On the International #DayoftheGirl, this video from @ONE reminds us of the sexist barriers facing millions of girls in extreme poverty around the world. Our leaders must fight for every girl to have the future she deserves. https://t.co/jZFpP5Vf37
— Madeleine Albright (@madeleine) October 11, 2018
Former Secretary of the State Madeleine Albright used International Day of the Girl Child to address how poverty affects young women, specifically young girls.
10. Jennifer Hudson
During her appearance on Today‘s special celebration for International Day of the Girl Child, special guest Jennifer Hudson shared on Instagram that women can achieve their dreams if they hold onto them.
11. David Beckham
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When girls receive an education, amazing things start to happen! Poverty goes down. Economies grow. Families get stronger. Babies are born healthier. And the world, by all accounts, gets better. That’s why on the International #DayoftheGirl, I’m proud to join @MichelleObama and the @GlobalGirlsAlliance to stand up for adolescent girls’ education. Join us— because the future of our world is only as bright as our girls. #GlobalGirlsAlliance
Soccer star David Beckham joined Michelle Obama and John Legend in their fight for educational equality.
12. Jennifer Lopez
An educated girl can lift up her family, her community, and her country. That’s why I’m proud to join @MichelleObama and the Global @GirlsAlliance to stand up for adolescent girls’ education worldwide. Join us: https://t.co/C1Q0eoissJ.#GlobalGirlsAlliance pic.twitter.com/DV7D2nYe6a
— Jennifer Lopez (@JLo) October 11, 2018
Jennifer Lopez also spoke about the importance of education and the Global Girls Alliance.
13. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde took a moment out of her day to thank her daughter, teacher and best friend, Daisy Jo — and to wish her a Happy Birthday.
14. Justin Trudeau
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Today is about our daughters, granddaughters, sisters & nieces. It’s about making sure they grow up in a world where their voices are heard & they have the support they need to chase down their dreams. #DayoftheGirl 🇨🇦 Aujourd’hui, nous célébrons nos filles, nos petites-filles, nos sœurs et nos nièces. Nous devons bâtir un monde où leur voix sera entendue et où elles auront le soutien nécessaire pour poursuivre leurs rêves. #JournéeDeLaFille
Justin Trudeau posted an adorable photo of his daughter sitting with her feet up on Dad’s desk.
15. Amy Schumer
And comedian Amy Schumer honored her dear friend, @jarielys_goodman, who she says,”[I]nspires me to enjoy every second and fight for what I believe in!”
While these messages are important, sentimental and great, it is imperative we honor girls — and women — not just today but every day. It is the only way things will change.