According to Unicef,  since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

I am not one to cast a shadow on challenges of others…if you believe you are going through a problem, you, my friend are going through it. When people would say “I wish I were rich, I wouldn’t be going through this problem,” I often argue that wealthy people have a whole other set of issues that money can’t resolve. Unfortunately, as women in a 90% patriarchal world, we collectively go through a lot of the same issues.

Unequal pay, telling women they are playing “victim” when they go through rape, national leaders telling us what to do with our sexual organs (even condoning mutilation), fat shaming, barring access to education and driving, and the list goes on an on. And as much as I wish we were living through lines of Tupac’s “Dear Mama” song, we’re not.

I don’t advocate to be a feminist, but I do advocate for our human rights! I believe that we deserve to treat each other with the utmost understanding and respect. And even if it’s too late to do it now, we gotta start with youth…we shouldn’t have to condition young girls and women into believing that this is all society has to offer them. At the bare minimum, OUR HUMAN RIGHTS!

Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If efficiently supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders. An investment in realizing the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability. – Unicef.

So please, if you see a little girl today–even if it’s for three seconds, let them know they are appreciated and that they can put anything they set their mind to! When I was younger, images of women running shit were far and few. I wish I could have told myself that the buck doesn’t stop with what “they” tell you to do…keep pushing sis.

Char.