In celebration of the 2nd Annual International Day of the Girl, I want to highlight The Girl Declaration – a document demonstrating the importance of girls in a world which has long ignored them.
“Girls were left out of the original Millennium Development Goals. The Girl Declaration has been written to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Bringing together the thinking of 508 girls living in poverty across the globe with the expertise of more than 25 of the world’s leading development organisations, the Girl Declaration is our tool to stop poverty before it starts.”
To read the full text of The Girl Declaration, click here. You will read the guiding principles of the declaration and its goals for girls’ education, health, safety, economic security, and citizenship rights. Perhaps most importantly, you will read the words of dozens of young girls throughout the world as they describe their fears, their hopes, their dreams, and their goals for a brighter future.
“I wish I could complete my studies and become someone important in the future so that I can help my fellow girls to prosper in the future.” – Kenya
“I wish I could have a decent education and wish that no one could control my personality. I wish to go to a decent school and I wish teachers would not humiliate us and give us a proper education.” – Egypt
“Even if the girl is not at fault, she still gets the blame.” – India
“I hate FGM [female genital mutilation]. It has caused many deaths. I even witnessed a girl in our area undergoing FGM, and she really bled…and died, so this is quite detrimental to our girls.” – Kenya
“I hope when I return from my Qur’an class I won’t walk alone. I have to be with my friends so I won’t be kidnapped.” – Indonesia
“My brother says I’m a ‘bad girl’ for going outside unescorted.” – Pakistan
“My wish is that parents should stop sending their children to have sex for money.” – Liberia
“I want to be able to stand on my own two feet…Please let me be home for some years before marrying me off.” – India
“My mother is the most important person to me…I have no one if I don’t have her.” – China
“Do people know that poor people like us exist?” – Rwanda
“I don’t understand why a girl’s life is valued less than a boy’s” – Indonesia
“I want to be an advocate for women so they do not feel inferior.” – Ethiopia
“Every day we experience war; there is enormous instability. The conflict explains why we experience so many attacks, and girls are raped so frequently.” – DRC
*All quotations are taken from The Girl Declaration (linked above).