Today marks the fifth annual International Day of the Girl. It’s not a holiday celebrated with fireworks or parades, but one meant to bring global attention to the challenges adolescent girls face worldwide in an effort to fulfill their basic human rights and ensure they are given equal opportunity.
The United Nations, who first recognized the day in 2012, writes of this year’s EmPOWER theme: "Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. In humanitarian emergencies, gender-based violence often increases, subjecting girls to sexual and physical violence, child marriage, exploitation and trafficking. Adolescent girls in conflict zones are 90 percent more likely to be out of school when compared to girls in conflict-free countries, compromising their future prospects for work and financial independence as adults."
That’s a lot to be disheartened about. But while we are still fighting against suppression, violence, education restrictions, and trafficking, the UN reminds us that girls all over the world are raising their voices and demanding better. And if you need more hope, just watch Project Everyone’s new campaign meant to bring awareness to the UN’s Global Goals, which aim to create a world free of injustice by 2030. The 2017 #FreedomForGirls video features young girls, ages 5 to 11, confidently dancing to Beyoncé’s anthem ‘Freedom.’ It. Is. Fierce.
MJ Delaney, who directed the video, told Glamour, "Happy, smiley joy doesn't really cut the mustard now. A lot has happened globally, and I wanted to do something defiant and angry and demanding."
Watch the inspiring video below, then click over to the Global Goals website for more information on the partnering groups, including Unicef, With And For Girls, Save the Children, Girls Not Brides, and more.