Happy International Day of the Girl! It was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011 to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights as well as focus attention on the challenges they face. I wanted to celebrate Day of the Girl by sharing information about Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation that aims to empower girls.
There are more than 1,900 Girl Up clubs registered in 48 U.S. states and territories and 98 countries. They are in high schools, community centers, and college campuses.
If your teen does not have club near her, the Girl Up folks will help her start her own. I know this for a fact, as my daughter did just that. You can find info on the clubs here.
She also attended the Girl Up Leadership Summit this summer and seeing her hear from some of her heroes, learn how to be an effective leader and be empowered to head to Capitol Hill to talk to lawmakers from our state about increasing access to education for girls around the world made this mom’s heart soar.
Girl Up engages girls to stand up for girls. The group says, “because when girls rise, we all rise.”
I love that they give girls opportunities to become leaders. The staff at Girl up empower girls with resources. They give them a platform to start a movement for social change wherever they are.
They also give girls a chance to express themselves. For example, for International Day of the Girl they encouraged girls to share their #girlhero (or heroes). My girl shared four on her social media account and I was surprised to see who she selected – Malala, Monique Coleman (of High School Musical fame and a speaker at this summer’s Summit), Susan B. Anthony and Mallory Hagan (a former Miss America and congressional candidate). It was a great conversation starter. I got some insight into the way her mind works, and every teen parent is grateful for those moments, right?
One example of Girl Up’s good work the 1,000 bicycles it has provided to girls around the world through its SchoolCycle program in partnership with UNFPA (United Nations Populations Fund). The bikes allow girls to travel quickly and safely to school and obtain the education they need to choose their own future.
Girl Up has some high-powered corporate partnerships, too. The big news on that front today is that Disney announced it would donate a dollar for every photo or video shared on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #DreamBigPrincess. Disney will donate a minimum of $500,000 and a maximum of $1 million. Fingers crossed that people donate enough photos to reach the $1 million mark!
On Disney’s Dream Big, Princess website, you can see short films about trailblazing women in fields like technology, entertainment, medicine, law, sports, arts, science, fashion, and politics. It’s a great dose of girl power inspiration. They also have some new products at ShopDisney that reflect and recognize the inspiration and power behind the International Day of the Girl, including this mug that I’m a little obsessed with.
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