October 11 is International Day of the Girl, and while a very important holiday, you may not know exactly what it entails or what International Day of the Girl activities you can do with your family. The theme this year is “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being,” which feels especially poignant. To celebrate International Day of the Girl, you’ll want to focus on teaching the
girls in your life about their rights — how they historically came to be and what needs to happen in order to protect them..
International Days in general are “occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity,” explains
the United Nations website. Essentially, they’re a powerful advocacy tool, the website says, and International Day of the Girl is no different. So what are some tangible ways for us to celebrate and try to engage in the above? These activities below can be something fun just to commemorate the day, or you can start small to enact the change you want to see in the world when it comes to women’s rights. Whether it’s brainstorming goals with the women in your life, or even joining a campaign, there’s much work and celebration to be done on this International Day of the Girl. 1 Stage an advocacy moment for your child.
With the focus on rights this year, one big part of the International Day of the Girl theme for 2022 is “supporting the leadership of adolescent girls” by listening to them, helping them with their decision making, and increasing resources for those girls. So sit down the girls in your life and talk to them about their rights — those they have, those they want, and those that are on the line — and open the floor for them to advocate for themselves and have a moment of talking through everything.
2 Educate yourself and your family. 3 Purchase books by women authors and books about inspirational women. 4 Learn something new.
Does your daughter want to learn photography? Check out a photography class. Rock climbing? I bet there are a ton of those classes available, too. I personally feel empowered when I learn something new, and I bet other women in your life will, too. Take the family to a cooking class, crafting class, wood working class, metal working class, painting class, a nature class, or whatever you can think of that may be a fun learning experience for the entire family.
5 Shop at a local woman-owned business. Women own 31% of small businesses or franchises in the U.S., and 17% of black women are in the processes of starting or running a new business, according to whattobecome.com. So be sure to take the fam to shop at your locally woman-owned business for an International Day of the Girl activity. They would love the support and for you to share your experience on social media to spread the word about their business. 6 Donate.
Check out local nonprofits and organizations near you that would be in need of your time, or items such as clothing, toys, school supplies and hygiene items. A great place to start is the
United Way website. Additionally, you can donate to other organizations on the Plan International website that will ensure women will have a safe place to rest and the ability to go to school and learn. Have your children pick out items to donate and go with you.
Other organizations for which you can donate include
Girls Who Code, She Should Run, WriteGirl, Care.org's Women Empowerment Fund, National Organization for Women, The Malala Fund, Planned Parenthood, and Global Rights for Women, among many others. 7 Have a craft party.
Have a crafting afternoon for the family, or even set up a craft day for your daughters and their friends. You can make
DIY Quote Mirrors, where you line a mirror with positive affirmations about yourself (which all girls and women need to hear), create a backdrop for a fun photoshoot with an empowering message, create an affirmation board or make affirmation cards where you include all of the things about you or the women in your life that you love and are inspired by. There are even Frida Kahlo crafts you can do. Simply searching for feminist crafts on Pinterest will give you a ton of ideas. 8 Lead by example and get involved.
One suggestion by UNICEF this year is to
engage government officials and policymakers, so sit down with your girls and write some letters, call some representatives — whatever works and feels right. Have them speak up about how they’re feeling, and lead by example so they feel confident in stepping up and speaking out when they need to. 9 Support women athletes. Tim Clayton - Corbis/Corbis Sport/Getty Images
Girl power can take over the world, but gender inequality is still stronger. This year, read some
interviews with Serena Williams, who spoke openly and honestly about having to step away from tennis because she wants to have another child and why it’s impossible for a woman athlete to be both a mom and a professional. Big, empowering stuff to discuss there. 10 Make a scrapbook of your achievements
Today is a day to celebrate you, girl. Women often don’t recognize or celebrate our own achievements, and we’re often told our achievements are small or unimportant in comparison to others. This International Day of the Girl activity includes some soul searching and self-love, as well as some glue, photos, a scrapbook, and other crafty things to celebrate what you’ve accomplished. Bonus points if you do this with and for your daughters as well.
11 Watch movies or TV clips of inspiring women or strong female leads
Doc McStuffins, Dora the Explorer, or Elinor Wonders Why for the younger crowd, and maybe work your way up to documentaries about famous women trailblazers for the older kids. Check out commonsensemedia.com for a list of TV shows and movies that inspire girl power that’s age appropriate for your kiddos. 12 Discuss current events affecting girls across the world.
death of Mahsa Amini has created a wave of protests in Iran after she was arrested for not allegedly not covering her hair and going against the country’s dress codes and then died in police custody. This is a story and a name that your own girls can hear, even the youngest ones. The fact that women in other countries can be arrested for not having their hair covered can feel so unreal, and discussing it, along with the protests, is a way to remind children just what it means to have rights.
No matter how you celebrate International Day of the Girl, make sure all the gals in your life know how important they are and how much they matter.
This article was originally published on
Oct. 7, 2021