On Friday, the Nobel Prize Committee recognized Malala Yousafzai for her fearless advocacy on behalf of girl's education. Her award is a cause for celebration -- but it is also a call for action, especially as we paused this October 11 to recognize the annual International Day of the Girl.
If I can succeed in raising my 10-year old daughter to be aware of the plight of children and to understand that she can be a part of a global solution seeking community, then perhaps I would have made the greatest contribution to the future.
What are their super powers? Education. Healthcare. Clean Water. Nutrition. Peace. Strength. Love. Determination.
On this International Day of the Girl, let us shelter and support young girls' dreams, and help those millions of tiny flames become a sun that lights the sky.
One little girl I met, seven-year-old Elizabeth, was living under a house with her older brother just steps away from where their mother's body had been taken over a month ago. They had come and burned all their belongings and sprayed down the room but the children would not go back inside. While they survived the 21-day incubation period, they now faced the prospect of starvation and stigma as people in their town are too scared to even look at them.
October 11 marks the International Day of the Girl, a day established by the United Nations dedicated to raising awareness of gender inequalities, calling attention to gender-based discrimination and advocating for women's empowerment.
Damascus was a beautiful city full of generous people who seemed charmed by my attempts at Arabic and eager to show me their city and country. Then came the Iraq war. I had to leave in March 2003 and I never made it back.
In this crucial period of political transition and troop withdrawal at the end of the year, it is imperative that young Afghan girls are empowered with the skills, knowledge and courage to stand up to violence perpetrated against them.
At 17-years-old, Malala is the youngest Nobel laureate in history. Even more astounding, two years ago this week she was in a hospital fighting for her life after being shot by the Taliban.
Imagine it is pouring rain. You are deep in a village, it is nighttime with no electricity, no phone, and you are miles from a road. These are often the circumstances when Ato Rose, a traditional midwife in Northern Uganda, attends a birth.
As a global public health nutrition professional, an important day on my agenda is World Food Day, as it provides me an opportunity to rally my friends, colleagues and nutrition advocates to reflect on what a world free from hunger and malnutrition would look like.
We mark International Day of the Girl each October, but there are organizations working to empower girls around the world year round.
When I left home at the age of 17, I had so many questions. For a while I thought I was gay. Then, I met a transgender woman and we became friends. I started wearing some of her clothes and growing out my hair. That was the beginning of my transition.
Remie's son survived, but has cerebral palsy. His therapies are demanding and expensive. Like his older siblings, he is now motherless. Tragedies like Remie's are a too common occurrence in Uganda. Each day, 17 mothers die from pregnancy or birth-related complications and 106 newborns die.
Real, cycle-ending change can look like not just making a one-time intervention, but transforming the current system into a new vision. When this happens, I believe communities are not simply ending cycles of violence; rather, they are transforming them into cycles of education, peace and prosperity.
Emerge poverty free works with the BCHC to help over 700 orphans who have been placed with foster families in Bunia. Years of conflict, between myriad rebel groups, in the resource-rich region have devastated local lives, separating families and destroying livelihoods.
Ensuring women have access to basic health care, particularly sexual and reproductive health care, have rarely been met in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the best of pre-Ebola circumstances, and are now even more critically important.
People are beginning to realize that toilets and sanitation are critical to making sure that we protect hard-won gains and keep up the momentum in all of the more traditionally attractive areas of development.
In order for US women to have access to midwives who are educated and able to provide high-quality, high-value care, a workforce transformation must take place. We need a government willing to invest in women.
It's time that the world supports girls. It's the smart thing to do for our societies -- and fundamentally, it's the just thing to do for girls and for all of us. Human rights belong to everyone -- girls and boys, women and men.