October 11, 2012 is the first International Day of the Girl and it is time to truly appreciate girls around the world.
In Third World countries one in seven girls are married by the age of 15. That means they have not been able to experience being a girl before they enter womanhood where they are expected to take on responsibilities beyond what should be asked of a 15-year-old. No one should be vulnerable to this. But, in many cases, girls are neglected and are not valued in their communities causing them to loose sight of their importance.
As a student at an all girls' school, I have been guided to understand the power us girls actually have -- especially with an education. In our world, it is not uncommon that girls are unable to exercise their right to be empowered and to be conscious of their self-worth.
With an education (one that does not cause the student to limit her faith in herself), she will be able to contribute to her society through her new found self-awareness. A girl, who knows that she is in fact powerful, will affect the world positively.
As a global society, it is our responsibility to take the steps necessary to enhance every child's experience. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone is entitled to receive an education that focuses on "the full development of the human personality." To allow for a child to fully blossom to what they are actually capable of, children must be in an environment that encourages their success, not forces them into a life of struggle or potentially, poverty.
The human personality includes an individual's ability to recognize their leadership potential. Girls are natural born leaders. They are empathetic to the people around them and can be nurtured to be self-motivated. They know how to be a part of a team. Isn't that someone you would want to have in government? Working side by side with the men who have maintained their leadership role, women will bring another dimension to the management of a country.
Globally, we need help. Even though girls have slowly acquired leadership, there is plenty of room for improvement. There is no question that with the proper education and environment, a girl is capable of great things -- in fact, the tenacity that girls consistently show proves that they will lead the world to this realization.
So, in honor of the International Day of the Girl, I challenge the global community to take a stand to any limits that have hindered any girls' life experience. This day is a great start.