In 2011 the United Nations declared October 11th the International Day of the Girl Child. The day was designed to raise awareness about gender inequality across the world. Since its creation, organizations all over the globe have used this day to unite together for the common goal of advancing rights and opportunities for girls everywhere. This year, the theme of Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence was chosen to promote the work being done to eliminate violence in society, especially violence against women and girls.
Strong Women, Strong Girls joined The Girl’s Coalition of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s third annual Day of the Girl Pittsburgh Celebration. The event showcased local girl serving organizations including Girls on the Run, Blossom and Flourish, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and The Women and Girls Foundation. Together, these groups worked to celebrate girls and shine a light on their contributions that are making the world a better place.
At the SWSG table, girls had the opportunities to make strength butterflies, symbolizing the transformation and change that is possible, with a word that makes them strong in the center. Words girls chose to write on their butterflies included future, hope, and family. Our Program Associate, Hannah Yu, who had an opportunity to interact with girls at the celebration, noted the sense of community amongst all those who attended. When asked about the event, Hannah said, “It was exciting to have a chance to talk and share stories with the members of different girl groups in Pittsburgh. Everyone is doing such amazing work and it was great to be a part of the day.”
SWSG was pleased with how the event turned out. When working towards making the world a better place for girls and women, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. While we have made tremendous progress as a society there is still so much work to be done. However, when we have an opportunity like this to step back and look at all that we have accomplished and meet with like-minded people who are also working towards similar goals, suddenly nothing seems impossible. We will continue to do our part to promote strength and ambition in women and girls not just one day of the year, but every day.
“On this International Day of the Girl Child, I call on all governments to take action to end all forms of violence against girls in all parts of the world. Together, we must create a world where violence against women and girls is never tolerated and girls are always empowered to reach their full potential. “
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
-Written by Hannah Yu and Kelly Loose