International Day of The Girl

by Kate Barnett
October 11, 2013
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When I told my boyfriend that today is UN sanctioned International Day of the Girl Child, he asked if that wasn’t a bit exclusive. I promptly flooded his inbox with infographics on the effect of girls’ education, which is largely accepted as the most efficient means to fighting poverty globally. Literally. Check out the infographic.

What’s even more surprising is that a major obstacle to girls’ education in the developing world is menstruation, which causes many girls to miss a quarter of their schooling. It never occurred to me that a woman’s period would prevent her from doing… anything. Except maybe wearing white, or swimming in shark-infested waters. I assumed everyone had some means of handling their flow and going on with their day-to-day lives. Not the case.

Which is why I fell in love with programs like Pads for Peace and Pads4Girls. In the case of Pads for Peace, an Eliminate Poverty Now project, not only are girls receiving washable menstrual pads – enabling them to stay on top of their school work and continue their education – the ‘RockPads’ are manufactured at a local sewing center at Little Rock ECD Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, creating jobs for women in the community.

Issues like global poverty are so mammoth it’s sometimes overwhelming for a single person wanting to help. The fact that these programs isolate an obstacle and offer an uncomplicated, effective solution is wonderfully refreshing. And the end result – girls receiving an education – is the best part.

REPLIES
  • Amelia Diamond

    Kate this is so important and I love this post.

  • Emily Pinto

    I’m so happy to see this issue brought up on a platform like this. Girls need help and support to gain rights, including access to education, around the world! I am the cofounder of ethical fashion brand, Estrella de Mar. We work with artisans in Guatemala who are paid fairly so that they can support their families and send ALL of their children (not just the boys as is so often done) to school! http://www.facebook.com/estrellademarbrand

  • Anna von Bertrab

    Thank you so much for sharing! It is refreshing to see manrepeller highlighting humanitarian peace building efforts.

  • Elizabeth Bentley

    You don’t bleed in water.

    • Anti Assholes

      Dude. Fuck off

  • Hannah

    Check this out. Also very cool: http://www.ruby-cup.com/en/

  • Erin

    I was at UNICEF yesterday for this event, moderated by Freida Pinto and David Miur. I was teary-eyed the whole time. Big takeaway– all over the world (including the US), when a girl is educated, she contributes her skills to the entire community. When a boy is educated, he is much less likely to do this.

  • Selena Aponte

    Although I had no idea these programs even existed for females, the practice of altruism is a key factor in boosting self-esteem. It seems so relevant on a platform such as yours to elaborate on the very luxuries we take for granted.

  • Lucy Korn

    Awesome. I love this. Have you guys seen the Girl Declaration? http://www.girleffect.org/2015-beyond/the-declaration/

  • Kathleen

    I didn’t think I could love this blog anymore than I already did. Wonderful piece. Thank you for sharing!

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