October 11 marks the International Day of the Girl. Declared by the UN in 2012, this day celebrates girls around the world in an effort to create an equitable future. While progress continues to be made every year, we still have MUCH work to do for our girls. In light of the current events, it feels more important and urgent than ever to advocate for girls who will become tomorrow’s future leaders and change-makers.
At Swell Made Co. we celebrate girls everyday with 5% of our sales going to Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl project. Thank you for supporting this cause when you make a purchase. As a mother of a daughter and son, this issue is close to my heart. This year on October 11, Swell Made Co. will be donating 100% of our sales to this cause*.
The Reality for girls
Globally, girls face double discrimination because of their age and gender. In many parts of the world they face challenges, such as:
Barriers to education and opportunities to make a living. 130 million girls between ages 6-17 are not in school.
Early and forced marriage. An average of 12 million girls marry before the age of 18 every year.
16 million girls aged 15-19 will give birth each year. 2 million girls under age 15 will become pregnant every year. Many of these girls will die from complications during pregnancy or childbirth.
Violence. Every 10 minutes a girl loses her life to violence.
Poverty. Globally, millions of 1.1 billion girls worldwide face poverty on a daily basis and throughout their lives.
These issues require specific, urgent and consistent attention. By making progress in these areas, girls will have the tools to create a better life for themselves and to help lift entire nations out of poverty. Here’s why*:
For every extra year a girl stays in school, her income can increase by 15 to 25%.
A woman who is educated will marry later and have fewer, healthier children.
Women invest more of their income in their families than men do.
Globally, girls have too few women to look up to in positions of leadership. In Canada, for example, only 15% of CEO positions are held by women. Female leaders represent fewer than 10% of the UN’s 193-member states. This must change.
How You Can Help
Get involved with (or donate/sponsor) organizations with projects dedicated to supporting girls. In Canada, Plan Canada’s Because I am Girl project has tremendous support from the Federal government and people, like you. With a variety of global programs to address these specific challenges, 82% of donations goes directly to supporting programs benefiting children and families. The remaining 18% provides administration, operating and fundraising costs.
Other organizations include the Malala Fund, Girls Not Brides, The Period Purse, She’s the First, Day of the Girl and many more. These organizations take on single or many specific issues including child marriage, menstrual health, sexual harassment, gender based violence and education. Choose a cause that’s important to you and act. Next, share that cause and become an advocate.
Join the conversation and spread the word about girls issues. This year, Plan Canada is challenging the global community to #DefyNormal. Rather than accepting the challenges girls face as “normal”, they’re asking for us to step and defy the status quo. Talk about these issues with your family, friends, and community. How can we support girls today (and always)?
Support girls in your own communities. Today, and everyday, remind girls that they're powerful, they matter, and they're a critical part of our future. Work together to put those words into action, because it's up to us to create a better world for all girls.
If you would like to help our world’s girls reach their full potential, you can challenge yourself to #DenyNormal and donate to Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl project today on the #DayofTheGirl.
Statistics from Plan Canada and the World Bank.
*Sorry! Excludes wholesale orders.