Just two years ago, the UN declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl to raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality around the world. It’s a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere. This year, the theme is "Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence".
Eliana Stanislawski, the United States Actions Coordinator for International Day of the Girl, said that “we need a Day of the Girl. Girls experience inequality in every aspect of our lives. It is vital that our society not forget the massive amount of girls not enrolled in school, not receiving equal opportunities in athletics, being discouraged from reporting assault, being forced to marry or work in the before the legal age, or being brainwashed to think that their physical appearance and sexual desirability is their most important value. There are a shockingly large amount of ways that the female gender is oppressed in our society and shockingly small amount of attention being paid the issues of young girls. That’s why there is this Day. We need to open our eyes and take action against these injustices.”
We couldn't agree more. Anchal has been an advocate of girl's rights since it's inception in 2010 and we've learned that supporting women is one of the best ways to simultaneously support girls. Anchal artisans currently earn 30%-50% more than they did prior to joining Anchal, and are 90% more likely than men to invest their gained income back into areas integral to India's development such as education, food and medicine creating more opportunities for the next generation and closing the gap between gender equality.
In November of 2013, 100% of Anchal Artisans pledged to keep their daughters away from the exploitative sex trade, breaking the once inevitable cycle of intergenerational prostitution. This makes Anchal both an interventionist and preventative program. The sooner we act, the more women and girls we can support.
There are many, exciting ways to be part of this effort. Promote girls education, athletics and empowerment programs in your own schools or community. Be a role model, a big sister, tutor or coach.
To act with Anchal click here. No action is too small.