#DayoftheGirl: what it is it and why is it so important?

It can be quite a challenge keeping up with all the new social media hashtag trends. With the constant hashtagging of things like #internationalcoffeeday or #internationalpugday, meanings and messages can get lost. However, I want to draw attention to something trending at the moment that is actually quite important and meaningful, #DayoftheGirl. The question some of you might have is what exactly is it and why is it so important? Is it just another meaningless hashtag trend? The answer is no, it’s not meaningless and it’s important because it holds huge amounts of truth and education on the issues faced by girls today.

 

 

The UN has marked October 11 as the International Day of the Girl since 2012. They say that the day “aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights”. This year’s theme is “EmPOWER girls: Before, during and after conflict”.

 

 

Girls everywhere around the world face inequalities and experience violence.

Girls are often denied the right to an education, there’s the issue of child marriage where girls are forced into marriage before reaching adulthood and girls are most susceptible to being victims of sexual violence during conflict.

 

If we look in our own backyards the situation doesn’t present any better.

Girls are taught from a very young age that because of their gender they are somehow weaker or less. Even the word ‘girl’ is used as an insult. You often hear people tell someone they run like a girl, fight like a girl or are acting like a girl to insinuate an inferiority or a weakness and this kind of insult is common practice among the affluent West. Girls are told they can’t do things because they are girls. Girls learn to understand that as women they must put up with certain things such as gender inequality, sexual harassment or the pressures of unrealistic standards of beauty. Girls face issues that are often swept under the rug and more times than less not paid any attention.

 

 

We all know a girl, we all have a girl in our lives that we love and care for and some of us were even girls once. Take notice of this hashtag trend, learn about it and educate yourself on it. It is important and it could help to spread the word about these issues.

 

 

 

ARTICLES FOR FURTHER READING

https://www.unicef.org/education/bege_70640.html

http://www.un.org/en/events/girlchild/

https://data.unicef.org/topic/child-protection/child-marriage/#

http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/11/what-is-international-day-of-the-girl-and-how-is-it-recognised-6991352/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/hatch-program-body-image-video_n_7058098

 

SOURCES

www.unwomen.org

www.unicef.org

www.un.org

 

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