One out of every 4 homeless women is homeless because of violence committed against her and over 92 percent of homeless mothers have experienced severe physical and/or sexual abuse during their lifetime. We need to make some really bold steps to eradicate these issues. We must bring conversations like these forward.
Stella’s Girls celebrated International Day of the Girl Child with Goodera last month. Founder, Kaprece James shared a few novel ideas about girl empowerment and virtual volunteering and spoke about many issues and the need for more women leaders in our society.
We went into the rabbit hole of challenges and opportunities created due to the pandemic. Sure it was a very tough period for all of us but humanity makes the best out of any situation. The silver lining shared by Goodera actually made us a little more hopeful as anyone in the world now can contribute towards social causes from their home leveraging technology.
One question asked by the Goodera team that catalyzed the conversation was “What can corporate volunteers do to help girls feel safer?” The discussion was fruitful and led us to talk about how virtual volunteers can help the girl beneficiaries by creating educational content for them in the form of quizzes, comic strips, or short videos creating awareness about gender-based violence and how to deal with them.
This campaign was extremely motivating. It was a pleasure exchanging dialogues with Goodera to amplify our cause of empowering girls through education and advocating for their rights. We hope that people around the world identify and acknowledge the crucial role that young girls play and their contribution to society and help make the world a better and safer place for them.
Read our full conversation here.
International Day of the Girl Child is a worldwide celebration that promotes the importance and equal treatment of the female child. It is observed every year on October 11. United Nations declared such observance to raise awareness against inaccessible education, discrimination, violence, female foeticide, and forced child marriages. International Day of the Girl Child was formally proposed by Canada to the UN as a part of their "Because I am a Girl" campaign. On December 19, 2011, the general assembly made the following resolutions:
"Recognizing that empowerment of and investment in girls, which are critical for economic growth, the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals, including the eradication of poverty and extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them, are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights, and recognizing also that empowering girls requires their active participation in decision-making processes and the active support and engagement of their parents, legal guardians, families, and care providers, as well as boys and men and the wider community"*
Thousands of girls, one in five to be exact, are subjected to child marriage globally. In non-developed countries, the number steeps lower where 40% are married before the age of 14, and 12% are married before 15. Countries from the African and South Asian continent have made it to the top 10 highest rates of child marriages. Similar heinous crimes like abortion of the girl child, harassment are increasing day by day (One in three women is subjected to sexual and non-sexual violence at least once in their lifetime). The least safe countries for women include South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, India, Thailand, and more. To stop this, events like "The International Day of the Girl Child" should be used to foster information and advocate for female rights.
As summarized in Linda Nochlin's famous essay, "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists," it has been made clear that institutions have shown bias in guiding students based on their genders. Lack of mentorship and guidance has bound women to not excel in various fields. If girls are supported effectively during their adolescent years, they have the potential to change the world.
Girls are breaking down barriers every single day now. They are prospering in all fields, including sports, science, literature. Every minute, new records are set, inspiring more girls to come forward and showcase their talent. As politicians, astronauts, athletes, poets, doctors, engineers, and much more, they create an environment that encourages gender equity.
*Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on December 19th 2011; 66/170. International Day of the Girl Child