Feeling Moved to Action by International Day of the Girl

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.

During the assembly, I presented on girls issues in India. (photo credit: Kate Peck).

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.

13 thoughts on “Feeling Moved to Action by International Day of the Girl

  1. I liked the way you incorporated the quote in the beginning of your post. I also like how you coined your own term of the “Indian Paradox”, and then defined it. I think that would’ve been very powerful if you had the opportunity to include that into our presentation.

  2. I really love the way you connected your personal statements to what we’ve been doing in class, the assembly and then back to current events.
    I find the fact that a 14-yr-old girl could be gunned down for her beliefs past my comprehension. It’s almost like a more extreme version of a Rosa Parks story. I can’t help but think that we are all connected sometimes and I like the way you reminded me of that.

  3. I felt really engaged while reading this piece. I love how you emphasized your connection with all of the issues you have learned in class, and from your own research. I agree that having been able to present your view at the IDG assembly about the “Indian Paradox” would have been very interesting as it gives a personal, yet informative opinion of such a matter that is absurd. I read about the 14-year-old girl being gunned down, the mere fact that she was still a child and they still did that is horrific. What I did find admirable though, was all the women who then went out in protest of her native country against her attempted murder… Those women who knew full well they could have been shot, still went out there into the midst of danger and risked their lives to speak up for that girl. It just goes to show that if you believe strong enough, you can face any obstacle to get your message across.

    This piece has really made me think, it’s great.

  4. You really show a lot of passion and care for the topics our class explores. I appreciated how you discussed the the young girl who’s dreams of an education were shattered by the Taliban. This tragic event really does represent everything that International Day of the Girl stands for and is only one of the numerous examples of education discrimination towards girls.

  5. This was nicely written, I appreciate the emotions you put in your piece. I agree with you that it bothers us that girls are aborted in India and the young girl who got killed for wanting to speak out on education for her and millions of other girls. But try to put on their shoes and ask yourself why in fact, do men try to oppress girls by aborting them and limiting their education?

  6. “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.” Great point and ending sentence! I loved that you brought up current events to show how what we are trying to teach people is current and happening now, and that the education of women is a necessary movement.

  7. This was a very engaging and informative blogpost. When you talk about the “Indian Paradox”, you say “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.” I remember thinking the same thing, and you articulated this point very nicely. I also found the story of the girl being murdered by the Taliban because she was speaking up for herself really horrific, but I also think that it has the potential to raise awareness for women’s rights and education in foreign countries.

  8. I absolutely loved that you talked about Malala, what happened to her is something that hit me extremely and I was so happy to find that same feeling of horror in your piece: “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.” Not only did you go even further then what we merely talked about in class but also you were actually touched by it in a similar way that I was and I could feel it through your writing.

  9. Although your whole blog was great, I thought your last two paragraphs truly tied you to the paper. I thought that by talking about the current events going on within this topic you added a tangible idea. You created a way for me and other readers to see the impact these issues are having around the world.
    “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.”
    This passage spoke to your dedication to change the tradgedies going on around us.

    Bravo!

  10. You introduced what International Day of the Girl is very well. I like that you used a direct quote from the website. Also, I think it’s interesting that you connected a different current event to what we had done in class. It is a good example to show what still needs to be done around the world.

  11. This blog post was a very touching and passionate piece all together. I can definitely hear you speaking as I am reading every word. I loved your Indian Paradox theory, which actually made me chuckle a bit to myself because I had been thinking the same exact thing. Without females to complete the birth process, there is no birth, which leads to a TOTAL population decline, including the males. It is comforting to find someone who had been voicing the same things.
    I also loved that you talked about Malala. It is so unnerving that a government could justify something as cruel as shooting a 14 year old girl, just a child, for speaking up about rights they should have had in the beginning. THIS is why we need International Day of the Girl and more feminists like her to fuel the movement. Thank you for such an engaging post!

  12. I totally understand the feeling of being “completely immersed and dedicated to spreading awareness”. The work that we’ve done as a class and the topics that we’ve covered are so interesting, and I’ve begun to find myself thinking about systems of oppression all day long. Any little thing brings me back to it, be it a magazine cover or a song on the radio. Once you become conscious of the ways oppression plays a role in everyday life, that lens becomes difficult to turn off.

    What is your “Indian paradox” theory? It sounds extremely interesting.

  13. I love that you connected the work in our class to Malala’s story of education activism in Pakistan and the fact that she was shot by the Taliban. It makes me sad that the very week that we marked International Day of the Girl, Malala was attacked. However, her attack highlights the fact that events such as IDG are not window-dresssing for issues that are abstract, but instead about issues that are actually happening: girls are being denied an education around the world, affecting their very livelihoods, health, and wellbeing. I am very moved that you felt so connected to the issues we covered in class and during the assembly. It was clear that you felt strongly about these issues. I am very much looking forward to reading more of your posts!

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