October 11 is the International Day of the Girl Child, a day officially designated by the United Nations in 2011 to recognize the unique challenges girls face around the world.
On this day groups all over the world highlight, discuss and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere. Many are groups organized by young people themselves, including School Girls Unite, the group that started in Kensington, Maryland, and lobbied hard for the Day of the Girl designation. These are some of the reasons:
A more complete list, visit the Day of the Girl website.
The Day of the Girl is a perfect opportunity to get students thinking – and writing about – the need for such a day. Students can choose a question to answer:
1. Why do you think it’s a good idea to have a Day of the Girl?
2. How do you see girls treated differently or unfairly in your own life?
3. What action could you take as an individual, class or group to help improve the lives of girls?
You may also have students who would prefer to write about why there should be a Day of the Boy or a Day of the ???
This writing project can be expanded or adapted in many ways.
· Have students write their reasons for the Day of the Girl as a phrase or a 140-character tweet.
· Post the students' tweets or phrases on a bulletin board, as in the photos here and more on the Day of the Girl website.
· Make this a social studies project and encourage students to act on some of their suggestions. School Girls Unite has an online action guide called Girls Gone Activist! How to Change the World through Education.
Other websites with information about challenges faced by girls and the Day of the Girl include the Malala Fund, The Day of the Girl Summit and the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child (with videos and web-stories).