“My Voice, Our Equal Future”
International Day of the Girl Child exists to raise awareness of the unique challenges girls face while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. This year’s theme is “My voice, our equal future”. Here’s a picture of what an equal future could look like.
For starters, it looks like…
Families no longer preferring sons over daughters and putting an end to sex-selective abortion and female infanticide
Saving 140 million girls
Every girl, in every corner of this earth having access to an education
Investing in 130 million girls
Child marriage no longer being remotely possible
Preserving the childhood of 12 million girls per year
Every girl living free and fearless from violence like female genital mutilation and forced sex
Fulfilling the human rights of every living girl
A world that champions girls to be the world-changers they were created to be.
Producing a generation of young leaders shifting history
Malala Yousafzai is one young girl who has used her voice to advocate for an equal future. She was born in Pakistan, a patriarchal society where sons are more valued than daughters. However, her father exceptionally determined to give Malala every opportunity for her success. Early on in her adolescence, Malala began advocating for girls’ right to education. Because of this, Malala was shot in the head while she was aboard a school bus in 2012. She survived and continues to use her voice to fight for the next generation of girls.
“There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.”- Malala Yousafzai
Malala became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, started the Malala Fund, and graduated from Oxford University. When girls are afforded the opportunities and the empowerment they deserve, the world is gifted with forerunners like Malala that are leading the way into a more sustainable, equal, and thriving world.
If you’d like to participate in the International Day of the Girl Child, start by engaging in personal reflection. Here are some prompts:
- In what ways are men and women unequal in my worldview or values?
- In what ways do I participate in fueling the narrative of gender inequality?
- In my areas of influence, how can I empower and amplify voices of (other) girls and women?
- Is there anything I can use my voice to advocate for?
Paula Sampang – My story
I am a Theology student at Ambrose University called into full-time ministry. I feel a strong call on my life to lead the church into fulfilling her role in God’s barrier-breaking mission. However, many are uncomfortable with the notion that God has called me, a woman into church leadership. I once had an older woman who I admired tell me I couldn’t be a pastor because it was dishonoring to God and men. I am thankful that God has redeemed that situation through several people who have affirmed me in my vocational choice. These people see my gender and my leadership gifts as complementary not as incompatible. I desire to impart the same empowerment and affirmation for girls around the globe.