The Day of the Girl is about highlighting, celebrating, discussing, and advancing girls lives and opportunities across the globe. When girls come together to talk about issues that really matter to us, we can teach other people—grownups, boys, girls all across the world—a new way of thinking about issues like gender stereotypes, discrimination, and opportunity.
The United Nations General Assembly has adopted October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. We want President Obama to issue a proclamation for the national Day of the Girl in the U.S., where gender inequality and discrimination continue to be pervasive and widespread.
This campaign is a project of School Girls Unite, an organization of students and young women leaders working to advance the U.N. Millennium Development Goals related to gender equality and universal basic education, as well as child marriage prevention and other human rights issues.
The United States is ranked 19th by the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap report, the first time we've made it to the top 20. We rank behind countries like Lesotho, the Phillipines, and South Africa.
Even the top-ranked countries like Iceland have only about 85 percent gender equality.The study shows that low gender gaps are directly correlated with high economic competitiveness. Women and girls must be treated equally if a country is to grow and prosper.
The outlook for girls across the world is even worse. The lowest-ranked countries include Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Benin, Saudi Arabia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Pakistan, Chad, and Yemen. These are some statistics describing the problems girls face around the globe:
Girls deserve better.
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We are girls like your own daughters, Malia and Sasha. We want the freedom to be ourselves, to be seen as equals in the eyes of others, and to know we are equals in our own minds.
Opportunities for girls in the U.S. may have come a long way in recent decades, but there's still a lot of work to do to level the playing field for people of both genders. We want the opportunity to recognize the power and potential of girls while also addressing the gender stereotypes that continue to hold us back from true equality.
The United Nations has adopted a resolution to designate October 11 as International Day of the Girl, and girls in the United States want and deserve to be part of that movement. Other countries across the world have set aside days to honor their girls, including India and Bangladesh. The U.S. must be a leader in advancing opportunities and clearing barriers to success for girls.
All people should have the right to live up to their full potential, girls and boys alike. By creating a day devoted to girls, you can help ensure that we are recognizing and reaching our full potential.