No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens”
– Michelle Obama
In these turbulent times, inspiration is needed more than ever
Since 2012, October 11 has marked the International Day of the Girl in an attempt to draw attention to the challenges facing girls around the world.
Now in its fifth year, the United Nations continues to “promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights”.
In a message from the director-general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova explains how this year’s International Day of the Girl comes during “turbulent times”.
“With the world facing the rising challenges of forced displacement, climate change and violent extremism,” she makes it clear why it is needed now more than ever.
“Whether caused by armed conflict or natural disaster, humanitarian crises always hurt woman and girls the most – they account for more than 75 per cent of the refugees and displaced persons at risk from war, famine, persecution and natural disaster.”
Many of the 1.1 billion girls in the world are forced to endure a life where they will be subjected to violence and inequality; sometimes without even realising that the abuse they are suffering is unacceptable.
International Day of the Girl is an important step the world needs to take each year to ensure that the futures of girls are invested in.
The UN works to help girls continue their education, learn about puberty and reproductive health, and aims to protect them against violence such as FGM and child marriage.
To celebrate 2017’s International Day of the Girl, here are 10 quotes from incredible women who have and continue to empower women and girls around the world:
I hope that my presence on your screens and in magazines may lead you young girls on a similar journey, that you will feel the validation of your external beauty, but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.”
– Lupita Nyong’o
I raise up my voice – not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”
– Malala Yousafzai
I do not wish [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.”
– Mary Wollstonecraft
A feminist is anyone who recognises the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
– Gloria Steinem
Why on earth have I, because I’m a woman, got to be nice to everyone?”
– Caitlin Moran
To all the little girls who are watching, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”
– Hillary Clinton
In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”
– Sheryl Sandberg
We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half.”
– Emmeline Pankhurst
We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise you would threaten the man.
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie