Today marks the United Nation's International Day of the Girl, celebrating its fourth year. A global effort to ensure a world free of discrimination for young women and girls, the campaign is aimed at eradicating violence towards girls, encouraging empowerment and education, and promoting gender equality. A daunting task, but one sorely needed for the millions of young woman and girls worldwide left without the many freedoms and rights we often take for granted.
What does it take the raise a confident and healthy girl given the many burdens and obstacles so many face? We believe instilling a strong sense of self-worth, encouraging creativity and exploration, and providing the necessary educational tools will do wonders.
Just ask my mom - a working mother who also raised three successful, caring, and compassionate daughters with the mantra "anything is possible". Creating a home of unconditional love and support with unfettered access to all things creative, we each learned to nurture our talents in a safe and loving environment. The slow-building of confidence and self-worth, strengthened through self-development and learning through experience, helped create the strong and compassionate women we are today. And this mantra will be passed down to my little niece, who will be provided the same unconditional love, and tools, to reach her full potential.
But as the International Day of the Girl acknowledges, such important developmental aids are missing for so many young girls around the world. How you can help? Get involved, whether at the local level or on a larger scale. Donate, volunteer, spread the word. Most importantly? Be a role model for young girls and women. Demonstrate that hard work, compassion, curiosity, and unconditional support for your fellow women are the keys to success. We are all responsible for making this world a better place. Do your part, and we can all move mountains.
Top photo via Kisha Miller, a trainer and member of the Grenada Girl Guide Association.