October 11 marks the fourth annual International Day of the Girl, a day started by the United Nations committed to raising awareness of gender inequalities advocating for women's empowerment 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’s theme is "The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030". According to the United Nations, an inadequate investment has been made over the past 15 years in addressing the challenges girls face as they enter into adolescence. If we, as a global community, recognize the potential of these adolescent girls and invest in their well-being, we enable them to be a powerful force of positive change.
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. Here is our list of five ways you can immediately become a part of this effort:
- Educate yourself and learn more about gender equalities and women empowerment.
- Volunteer! Be a role model, a big sister, tutor or coach. Any amount of service will translate into positive change for these adolescent girls.
- Invite your friends and/or family to learn more about the effort. The more awareness, the more change!
- Donate to a cause or organization that is important to you. To act with Anchal click here. No action is too small.
- Join the social conversation and tweet using the hashtag #DayoftheGirl. Share your thoughts on this year’s theme, the effort and how you can effect change.