Every day, girls from a diverse range of countries and cultures are breaking boundaries and barriers, tackling issues like child marriage, education inequality, violence, climate justice, and inequitable access to healthcare. Girls are finding their voice and beginning to use it with courage and confidence.
Today is the UN’s International Day of the Girl and under the theme, “My Voice, Our Equal Future”, they are putting the spotlight on adolescent girls and listening to what they see as the change they want, the solutions- big and small- that they are leading and demanding across the globe.
Our church has always been a champion of girls and women, their worth and value and their strength and capacity to bring positive change to their families, communities and nations.
Yet there are still girls that are still fighting to overcome barriers that leave them wrongly despised, abused, ill-treated or undervalued, purely because they are girls.
- Worldwide, nearly 1 in 4 girls aged 15–19 years is neither employed nor in education or training compared to 1 in 10 boys of the same age. By 2021 around 435 million women and girls will be living on less than $1.90 a day — including 47 million pushed into poverty as a result of COVID-19.
- 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence. Emerging data shows that since the outbreak of COVID-19, violence against women and girls (VAWG), and particularly domestic violence, has INTENSIFIED.
- At least 60% of countries still discriminate against daughters’ rights to inherit land and non-land assets in either law or practice.
But we know that God has placed potential and value within every human heart and that when girls are taught from a young age that they have worth, value and unique gift and talent placed on their life to bring life and hope to others, there is nothing that can take that away and this planet will be better for it.
All of us have girls in our world we can champion, from the very young to those with length of days under their belt, we can actively choose to be in their corner: choosing to let them speak for themselves, listening to their concerns and fears, amplifying their brilliant ideas, teaching them to love their bodies, speaking up and defending them when they are being subjected to shameful comments and behaviours.
And to all the girls out there, in the words penned by Pastor Bobbie Houston in her book The Sisterhood,
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not included or able. Wear the mantle of your calling with ease – allow it fall around you and be comfortable in who you are. Don’t ever doubt that you are able – because you’re not able – but with God’s Spirit working in and alongside, and with God’s Word framing your every move, you will grow into the stature needed. Allow Him to redeem you and grow you into all He has designed.”
The Colour Sisterhood