Educate the Girls of Our World

International Day of the Girl is a day for girls and boys alike, all around the world, to reflect on the barriers that girls everywhere face in pursuit of getting an education. It is a day to campaign collectively and think about solutions to breaking down these barriers as a progressive world. It is a day to spread the news and raise the voices of girls all around the world who are left silenced and uneducated.

International Day of the Girl is important because educating the girls of our world can only bring positive change. Educated girls can be financially empowered and independent. Educated girls are healthier and decide when and whom to marry. They decide when to have children and how many. International Day of the Girl is the first step to informing women and men all around the world upon these women and girls’ issues and step two, to orchestrating a change.

Participating in International Day of the Girl was an experience for me like no other. I have never felt such a part of something so large and so important to people all around the world. It is every person’s duty to play a role to help girls to an equal playing field and conditions as boys, a large process that starts with informing and spreading the word. I am proud and honored to be a part of this first step in contributing and helping organize the International Day of the Girl assembly at LREI. Seeing the passion and excitement my classmates possessed was truly moving.

Myself sharing the struggles towards girls education (photo credit: Laura Hahn)

While sharing with my classmates, I discussed with the audience  a few of the many reasons that girls worldwide might be denied education. I spoke about how girls living in impoverished and underdeveloped regions are commonly obligated to stay home and do housework, take care of younger siblings while parents work, or are in many cases sent off to work to raise money for the family themselves. I also spoke about how if the family is able to put together enough money to put their children through school, boys, in many cases, are given priority over girls within the family.

I discussed how fewer than 50% of girls above the age of 11 attend secondary school in developing countries, and in many cases this is due to governmental or religious laws or restrictions towards women’s education. In these instances, boys are given priority over girls to go to school over girls. I mentioned how in many underdeveloped and poorer regions girls and women are victims of political unrest or rebellion activity, therefore making school unsafe for children and more specifically, girls. In addition, it is not safe for girls to travel long ways alone in order to go to school. In these situations and ones related to it, girls are subject to kidnapping, rape, and other physical abuse.

I feel that my classmates as well as I played a large role in enlightening our audience about the facts and struggles of girls all around the world as well as presenting some of the solutions to these problems. My particular section was a fact-based piece that informed the audience about the reasons for girls having a lack of education in many undeveloped and poorer regions around the world.

Through our feminism class we have studied different barriers set in the path of women in different regions of the world as well as in the United States. We have read, listened, and discussed the stories of many young women. We have discussed excerpts from the writings of famous feminist activists such as Audre Lorde as well as pieces dealing with intersectionality, an important aspect to understanding the true meaning of feminist theory, from authors like Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz.

In addition, we have traveled the world via documentaries and guest speakers to understand and learn about gender bias and gender barriers.  The PBS special Half the Sky explores the daily struggles girls face as they try to get an education in poor, underdeveloped countries such as India, Ethiopia, Vietnam, etc. In this film we learned about the lives of girls like Miyan, a young Vietnamese girl with a passion for learning. She travels 17 miles by bicycle and boat in order to go to school. She travels alone which brings a safety issue to herself like it does all girls in underdeveloped and impoverished regions.

Safety concerns such as verbal harassment, kidnapping, rape, and other kinds of physical abuse are all pressing for these girls. We also learned about the young girls in India whose dreams of an education are being threatened by the constant possibility of being sold into India’s commercial sex trade. Other organizations that we have explored include 10×10 and the Girl Effect, both of which stress the importance of educating girls.

Educating girls is a colossal issue worldwide and one that needs to be tackled as soon as possible and with great commitment and care.

My classmates and myself (photo credit: Laura Hahn).

9 thoughts on “Educate the Girls of Our World

  1. I liked how you started your piece by expressing the personal connection you have with International Day of the Girl. The facts you presented were all very sombering, however also realistic. To be delivered those facts is a realisation that the world isn’t as perfect as some may presume. I know I certanily take walking a couple of miles to school – and even going to school for granted. I liked how you also stated what it is International Day of the Girl is trying to accomplish and the ways in which they plan on going about it, and also how it is beneficial. This piece got me thinking about all the things that are still needed to be done in regards to women’s rights and the world as a whole, and the ways in which we need to accomplish these things. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

  2. I liked how you expressed that since this was the first time International Day of the Girl was recognized it was our job as a class to “enlighten” the audience and spread the knowledge. From there you go into depth of how we were enlightened through videos, articles, essays, and movies that we watched and read during class. You then describe how you were enlightened and what enlightened you, touching on the written pieces by people like Audre Lorde and Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz, the PBS special Half the Sky, and the 10×10 and Girl Effect Video. I feel that if you had your intro at the end as a conclusion it would’ve made your post flow through stages of presenting problems, presenting the steps you took, your enlightenment, and how important it is and how you felt. A process that would’ve made the piece very heartfelt. At the same time, having that as your intro immediately introduces the reader to your thoughts and grabs them, so it can work in either spot.

  3. Your introduction “International Day of the Girl is a day for girls and boys alike, all around the world, to reflect on the barriers that girls everywhere face in pursuit of getting an education.” Is incredibly powerful and to the point. Not only does it make me visualize the struggle, but you also successfully manage to put such a complicated affair in simple enough words for the reader to believe in a solution.
    I also liked that you kept on this topic of barriers, “Through our feminism class we have studied different barriers set in the path of women in different regions of the world as well as in the United States.” You keep your argument but develop it even further in your piece which I think not only helps the reader follow you though this journey of self discovery and this idea of “travele[ling] the world via documentaries and guest speakers to understand and learn about gender bias and gender barriers” Overall I don’t only think that your piece is very deep and moving but also incredibly written. Great word choice.

  4. Your post really stood out to me. I love how you mentioned, early on, that “International Day of the Girl is important because educating the girls of our world can only bring positive change.” I think it’s great to also mention how helping girls in developing countries would be beneficial to both them and the economy of their countries as well as mentioning the ways in which they are oppressed. I feel like it gives people greater insight into how their efforts would greatly benefit these girls as well as supplying them with the hope that they can actually bring a change. Great post. Keep up the good work!

  5. “Participating in International Day of the Girl was an experience for me like no other. I have never felt such a part of something so large and so important to people all around the world. It is every person’s duty to play a role to help girls to an equal playing field and conditions as boys, a large process that starts with informing and spreading the word.” I felt completely the same way! This class has made me feel as though I am a part of something extremely widespread and important to the future of our world. I have never felt so connected with an organization of people, from all walks of life, who are a part of this movement. It feels exciting to be a part of something that is so much bigger than you, but something within which you can still make an impact. I liked how you said it is everyone person’s duty to fight for the equality of women. As a society, a community, a world, is our job to make sure all people are treated fairly, no matter what race, sexuality, gender, or anything else they may be.

  6. I like the way you gave a synopsis of what was going on and a little background information unlike some who just focused on the emotional part or looking forward. You did a good job at informing your reader and bringing them into the conversation as well.

    “I am proud and honored to be a part of this first step in contributing and helping organize the International Day of the Girl assembly at LREI. Seeing the passion and excitement my classmates possessed was truly moving.” This really made me respect that you are in fact a boy in a feminist class. You give me an image of someone in the middle of a tornado of information and passion and activism. I can imagine that it’s somewhat baffling to be a boy learning about feminism. I appreciate how you realize that it’s a very diverse topic and that International Day of the Girl is not just about educating girls, but making sure that powerful female speakers get their voice heard and teach those who do not know the hardships of being a girl on the other side of the world. But at the same time, you stay true to the central theme of education getting across how important education is.

  7. First of all, I really appreciated that your opening included the fact that International Day of the Girl “is a day for girls and boys alike”. It’s crucial that it is noted that although IDG is a day about girls, it’s not exclusive to them. It’s extremely vital that boys/men are aware that everyone and anyone can be a part of celebrating IDG and feel welcomed to join the cause.
    I completely relate to you when you write, “I have never felt such a part of something so large and so important to people all around the world”. Before this, I never felt so moved and connected by a cause before. The strength of community that I felt was moving.

    A perfect example of how “in many underdeveloped and poorer regions girls and women are victims of political unrest or rebellious activity, making school unsafe for [girls]” is the horrific shooting of Malala Yousufzai, a 15 year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head and neck while on her school bus by male members of the Tehrik-e-Taliban.

  8. I have always stated that education is the key for everyone in life and I will continue to saying this. This belief that I have has been especially proven multiple times during our feminism course. All these girls in developing countries dream to go to school because they know that education will get them out of their poverty cycle that their families have lived through in so many of their generations. But there is another group that we have to educate about issues like these. We have to educate the audience and to all of those people who don’t know that not every girl in the world has the privilege to go to school. This is exactly what you did! If we educate everyone about these issues, then we can be sure even more girls will get an education worldwide.

  9. You did a great job during the assembly. I was proud of you for putting together the research statistics on girls’ education globally and sharing it with our school. Your post is very thoughtful and provides readers with a strong sense of the dedication our class had and has to these issues. Your post also does a nice job of mentioning the readings and films that meant something to you and that informed your understanding of the topics we covered. I’m looking forward to your future posts!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s