The International Day of the Girl focuses on the advancement of girls’ lives around the globe. Though the official date is October 11, my feminism class held our assembly on October 9 to spread awareness to the rest of our schoolmates.
I was very honored to be a part of such an amazing assembly for such an amazing international event. On the Day of the Girl website, it reads: “[Our goal is] to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” Nearly 100 countries around the world have identified with this mission, which led to the UN establishing it as an official day.
When my classmates and I first set foot into our classroom, one of the first things we were told about was our participation in the International Day of the Girl. We were informed about the difficulties girls faced around the globe, such as infanticide, illiteracy, and domestic violence. I would constantly think about these topics, as I was completely immersed and dedicated to spreading awareness to other classmates about the difficulties girls face around the world. I continually thought about what I could do for our class assembly.
My class collaborated with an all-girls school in Kolkata, India named Shri Shikshayatan. The students in the school also prepared their own International Day of the Girl assembly, and they sent us the PowerPoint Presentation that they put together. It touched on topics such as infanticide, education, and the trafficking of girls. It was truly a wonderful presentation, and it warmed my heart to see these girls so dedicated to working hard on their assembly.
When time came for our assembly, I had done much more research, read multiple documents, including our class’s excerpts of Playing With Fire by Richa Nagar. I was assigned the infanticide portion of the Shri Shikshayatan PowerPoint, which was coincidentally the portion I felt the most strongly about. Had there not been a time limit on our assembly, I would’ve brought up my theory on what I call the Indian paradox. I don’t understand why they desire more males for their country, but decide to abort the female infants that will in the future potentially give birth to males.
A few days after our assembly in our feminism class, I read an article that broke my heart. On the front page of the New York Times was a story about Malala Yousafzai, a 14 year old girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, after speaking up about her dreams for girls education.
The fact that a young girl was shot just for speaking up for her education disgusted me. This is not the first time she has spoken up. At the mere age of 11, she became a symbol for girls’ education by speaking out about her dreams to become a doctor. Malala is alive, but in critical condition. Though we have made progress, girls’ education is still a pressing matter and we must work together in order to give girls around the world the education that they deserve.