There’s nothing better than finding new and different ways to support other girls and women at home and abroad. Supporting women should be a priority every day of the year, but International Day of the Girl is the perfect opportunity to focus on celebrating and empowering girls worldwide. If you’re not familiar with International Day of the Girl, it was designated by the United Nations in 2012 to occur on October 11 each year. In addition to empowering young girls, the day also aims to highlight and address the problems and inequities they face.
From attending International Day of the Girl events at stores like Athleta Girl (and coming home with clothing that sends a message of female empowerment) to writing letters to your local representatives, October 11 is the perfect day to celebrate girls and find ways to do so all year round. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.
1. Support Organizations That Empower Girls
There are a number of organizations that could use donations of your time, money, or both. Here are a few that are doing amazing work to support girls worldwide — their websites provide information about how to volunteer and donate.
- The Malala Fund: 130 million girls are currently denied access to education. The Malala Fund invests in local education activists, advocates to hold leaders accountable (at local, national, and international levels), and amplifies girls’ voices through Assembly, the organization’s digital publication and newsletter.
- Girls Not Brides: This global partnership of over 1,200 civil society organizations is committed to ending child marriage, which is defined as a union in which one or both parties are under 18. Every year, 12 million underage girls get married. This issue is a problem in many countries and Girls Not Brides is dedicated to making child marriage a thing of the past.
- CAMFED: The Campaign for Female Education is an international nonprofit organization aimed at poverty alleviation. In order to achieve this goal, the organization supports marginalized girls in their educational pursuits and empowers them to step into leadership roles. CAMFED’s Africa-led movement has already supported the education of 3.3 million children who would have otherwise been denied this basic right due to their socioeconomic status.
- Girls Leadership: Organizations that serve girls across the U.S. only reach 12 percent of the population of school-age girls in grades K-12. Girls Leadership is working to close this gap and bring organizations closer to each and every girl across the country. Athleta Girl has worked with Girls Leadership to help girls know their power and use it to change their world.
2. Attend International Day of the Girl Events at Athleta Girl Stores
On the weekend of October 5, International Day of the Girl Events will be held at all Athleta Girl store locations. The theme is “Own Your Power” and the company has partnered with Girls Leadership to challenge the status quo on how the world speaks to girls — for example, ask them “how do you feel?” rather than “how do you look?”
In addition to the events, they’ve designed a t-shirt featuring the “Own Your Power” mantra for the special girl in your life to rock as she celebrates, on this day and every day. While you’re in store, here are some suggestions of other awesome Athleta Girl gear to check out – it’s great to support a brand that is so committed to empowering girls and young women.
Shop the collection: Stop the Clock Colorblock Tight, $49 at Athleta Girl; Sherpa Full Zip Jacket, $78 at Athleta Girl; Inner Strength Funnel Neck, $54 at Athleta Girl; Bright Side Twist Tank, $32 at Athleta Girl; Stash Your Treasures Tight, $54 at Athleta Girl; Printed Upbeat Bra 2.0, $28 at Athleta Girl; Limitless Power Tee, $36 at Athleta Girl.
3. Be a Mentor To The Girls in Your Life
Every young girl benefits from the support and mentorship of a woman. Whether it’s your nieces or the daughters of friends, strike up conversations that place a focus on their education, hobbies, and goals. Replace questions like “do you have a boyfriend?” with ones about their favorite classes and extracurriculars.
You can also look into mentoring an underprivileged child through a program like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, which provides the opportunity for you to spend quality time with a young girl and matches are based on mutual interests. Some examples of recommended activities include reading together at the library, going to museums, taking a hike, attending a sports game, or going to see a local theater production.
4. Contact Your Elected Officials About Women’s Issues
Talk to the girls in your life about issues impacting women, and then work together to contact your elected officials and urge them to advocate for change. For example, reauthorization of The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) recently passed in the House of Representatives, but it has been ignored by the Senate. When it was active, VAWA provided funds towards investigating and prosecuting crimes committed against women and imposed mandatory restitution on those who were convicted of these crimes.
5. Spread the Word About “Girls Speak Out”
Spread the word about “Girls Speak Out,” which is directly tied to International Day of the Girl. Encourage all the girls you know who are under the age of 18 to share their story using the prompt, “What is it like to be a girl like you where you live?” Girls can tell their stories through creative writing, video recording, acting, photography, illustrations, or a song.
Certain presentations will be selected and shared during the Girls Speak Out 2019 event at the United Nations in New York City — and everyone who sends in a submission will get a shout-out on The Day of the Girl Summit website or on their October 11 webcast.
6. Host An International Day of the Girl Event
Invite the women and girls in your life to your house or another public space to celebrate the empowerment of women. Talk about the issues faced by girls all over the world, such as lack of education access or the gender parity in sports, and encourage them to find a cause they care about and volunteer. Write letters about some of the aforementioned issues to your elected officials together — it’s a way more enjoyable activity when you have company.
Ask the girls about the issues they’re facing in their everyday lives and give advice, encouragement, and a reminder that you’re available to lend an ear or a helping hand when necessary. Emphasize the importance of supporting other girls and women rather than competing with them — as we’ve seen over the past few years, there’s power in numbers and female solidarity is a beautiful thing.
This post was created by SheKnows for Athleta Girl.