Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Girls Count/Count Girls

It feels sickly ironic to be celebration the United Nations Day of the Girl Child while in the throes of an election season in which the Republican candidate has displayed his total disregard for women. It is beyond comprehension how a major political party could endorse a candidate whose words and actions tell a well-documented tale of misogyny.

We are half the population, yet we count for nothing.

I fear for my daughter and her friends, I fear for the young daughters of my friends. And I fear for their sons--what does this mean for them and who they will become?

Of course the Day of the Girl reaches far beyond my personal circle or even the turmoil of the US election. From the UN Women website:

"There are 1.1 billion girls today, a powerful constituency for shaping a sustainable world that’s better for everyone. They are brimming with talent and creativity. But their dreams and potential are often thwarted by discrimination, violence and lack of equal opportunities. There are glaring gaps in data and knowledge about the specific needs and challenges that girls face.

What gets counted, gets done. The theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, on 11 October, “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement”, is a call for action for increased investment in collecting and analyzing girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data. One year into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, improving data on girls and addressing the issues that are holding them back is critical for fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals."

Do me a favor. Take an opportunity today to add this goal into your topics of conversation. Share one less thing about the election and share this instead; add to the numbers. Get things done. Shape the conversation by talking about how we can take action to empower girls--in Howard County. In the nation. Around the world.

"We girls hold up this world with a strength that's all our own. We'll see the different ways one day when we are grown. When we show our softer side that doesn't mean we are weak. We're made up of many emotions that make us each unique. Be proud to be a girl- know what it means to you. Be who you want to be- don't doubt the things you do. We know that discipline will turn princess into a queen. Kindness takes hard work- this is a life long lesson. Give from your heart and each day will be a blessing. We are sisters of this earth- members of one powerful tribe. Every color, age, and size, we're united by beauty inside. We're a new generation of girls- we will make this world better. We girls hold up this world standing united...Standing together."

--Jada Pinkett Smith



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