October 09, 2014

Five things you can do on International Day of the Girl Child

Ewan Watt

Online Editor, Theirworld

Every day, more than 30 million girls around the world do not go to school. Every day, nearly 40,000 girls under the age of 18 become brides. Every day, girls who do go to school are attacked just because they want an education.

These are the everyday facts of what it's like to be a girl in some parts of the world. But this sorry picture can be changed. International Day of the Girl Child is on October 11 and organisations around the world will be calling for action around this year's theme of Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence.

Education for girls can change lives and save lives. Those with at least a basic education earn more, they and their children are healthier and they are more likely to escape poverty. 

Almost 800 women die each day from preventable causes. Educated women are more likely to use public health care services, have fewer children and not give birth as teenagers.

Education can give girls freedom and can help avoid child marriage and discrimination. This year A World at School is putting a particular focus on ending child marriage as part of the #EducationCountdown. Of the 15 million girls under the age of 18 who get married every year, many are not in school.

Lack of educational attainment is not only the greatest predictor of the likelihood of child marriage - education also ensures that girls stay in school, one of the most effective ways of preventing child marriage.

Here are five ways in which you can help to bring about change for girls across the world:

1. Sign the #UpForSchool Petition

 

#UpForSchool petition signing

The #UpForschool Petition is demanding that world leaders keep to their promise to get every girl and boy in to school by the end of 2015 - no matter who they are or where they are born. It has been backed by celebrities, activists and politicians. You can sign the petition here and get the latest news from the campaign.

2. Share this report on the state of the world's girls

 

Plan Because I am a Girl report

What will shift the unequal power relations that mean every girl and woman in every country of the world suffers some form of gender discrimination, inequality and injustice? That's the question Plan is asking in its annual State of the World's Girls report.

Using research, interviews and the voices of girls themselves, Pathways to Power: Creating Sustainable Change for Adolescent Girls investigates who holds power, how is it used and can it be a force for positive change. You can read a summary or the full report by downloading it here. Then share it on social media with the hashtag #EndChildMarriage.

3. Donate to the first child marriage-free zone in Pakistan

 

young girls in Pakistan

In Pakistan, 40% of girls are married by the age of 18 and 13% by the age 15. These girls suffer marginalisation in learning, health, and livelihoods.

Ensuring girls stay in school is one of the most effective ways of preventing child marriage. Act now and donate to the first Child Marriage Free Zone in Pakistan.

Learn more about our #EducationCountdown campaign targets on child marriage and read our fact sheet.

4. Share the Rise #UpForSchool video

 

 

The Rise #UpForSchool video tells how young people across the world are standing up for the rights of children to get an education. Watch the video and share it with your friends and family and on your social media pages.

5. Share these images

 

Join the movement to get every girl into school. You can download these images here and share them on your social media pages. You can write your own message or cut and paste the messages we've supplied below each image.

Girls Stand #UpForSchool

Tweet: Young people make their voices heard at the #UpForSchool rally in New York. Make yours. Sign upforschool.org

Facebook: Young people join the #UpForSchool Rally in New York - they know that nothing changes without pressure. They're part of the global movement of young people who created the #UpForSchool Petition, motivated by the fact that 31 million girls are out of school around the world.

Today is International Day of the Girl Child, rise #UpForSchool with them, and sign and share the petition at upforschool.org

Girls Rise #UpForSchool

Tweet: 10,000 children signed #UpForSchool Petition in Pakistan to get every girl in school. Join them. Sign upforschool.org

Facebook: Schoolgirls in Pakistan sign the #UpForSchool Petition. They're part of the global movement of young people who are leading the petition, motivated by the fact that 31 million girls are out of school around the world.

Today is International Day of the Girl, rise #UpForSchool with them, and sign and share the petition at upforschool.org

Girls #UpForSchool

Tweet: Munira's standing #UpForSchool to help #EndChildMarriage. This #IDG2014, stand up with her! Sign upforschool.org

Facebook: Munira speaks at the #UpForSchool rally in New York, shortly after being awarded the 2014 Youth Courage Awards for her education campaigning. Having fled the gruesome Somali civil war at 13 she founded an NGO, Lighting the Way, to galvanise East African youth to work together to empower girls through education. Under Munira's leadership it has already helped make preventing child marriage a priority in US foreign policy.

Today is International Day of the Girl. Join Munira in standing #UpForSchool:  Sign and share the petition at upforschool.org

You can also help to support the International Day of the Girl Child campaigns being run by our partner organisations...

Plan has produced this brilliant video showing what it's like to be a girl. Watch the video below and share it - you can use this tweet:

There are a billion girls in the world. And they are changing things. Will you stand with them? fb.me/3HGY4uVfQ #itsaGirlThing

Girl Rising is running an I Am Courage photo challenge. They want to discover powerful stories in your own neighbourhood, sharing stories of hope, resilience and courage.

One image and a few words can get to the heart of the matter like few things can. Find out more about the challenge here and tell everyone about it - you can use this tweet:

Join @girlrising & @PlanGlobal to empower girls everywhere. Snap a picture with our “I am Courage”. #BeBold4Girls ow.ly/BW7Ug

The Global Campaign for Education (United States Chapter) wants to know what your dreams are for girls around the world. It is asking people to share their thoughts using the #girlsdreambig hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can share this using this tweet:

All girls should be able to dream big! #girlsdreambig #dayofthegirl bit.ly/1rTfgxO

BLOG: A World at School Global Youth Ambassador on ending child marriage.

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