Today is a very important day, it’s a day where all around the world some thought and action is given to girls.
Young girls who may not have the same freedom as our daughters and girls in Australia.
Today is International Day of the Girl Child.
As a woman who has strived for independence since I was a girl, I think it’s important we shine a spot light onto the millions of girls who still have no choice or voice.
As a girl, I talked my mum into allowing me be responsible for a horse at the age of 13 and manage looking after this much wanted creature. This sounds superficial or lucky compared to the girls in some countries who manage the family’s livestock perhaps instead of going to school. We didn’t have much money but I needed to find a way to support my horse’s agistment. I did this by ironing clothes for the owner of the paddock and working in the local Chinese restaurant to pay for his feed.
On reflection, I think this led me to choose my own life experiences. After leaving school and saving up, I back packed around the world at the age of 21. When I came home a few years later, I knew how to manage and earn my own money.
I then chose to get a university education to further my marketing career.
But my real independence came when I realised that investing in property can provide solid investments into my future. I educated myself in property investment strategies which led to the establishment of Property Bloom, my business.
I was lucky. I was born in Australia and whilst back in the 1970s and 80s things were still pretty chauvinistic, we had choice and you could pave your own way. We were educated equally with boys.
Yet too many girls in too many countries are held back simply because of their gender. Those whose mother was also deprived of an education and who live in a poor community, or who have a disability face an even steeper climb.
Among girls who do make it to school, many face discrimination and violence.
While there has been significant progress in improving girls’ access to education over the last two decades, many girls, particularly the most marginalized, continue to be deprived of this basic right. Girls in many countries are still unable to attend school and complete their education due to safety-related, financial, institutional and cultural barriers.
Even when girls are in school, perceived low returns from poor quality of education, low aspirations, or household chores and other responsibilities keep them from attending school or from achieving adequate learning outcomes. The transformative potential for girls and societies promised through girls’ education is yet to be realized globally.
My wish is that one day girls around the world are recognised in the same light as boys. That seems so simple to imagine as here in Australia we have choice. I have two sons and a step daughter and I can’t imagine treating our kids, no matter what gender in different ways.
But some parts of the world have a long way to go. Discrimination and violence against girls and violations of their human rights still happen. The UN felt a need to raise awareness of the challenges that millions of girls face every day. http://www.un.org/en/events/girlchild/2013/sgmessage.shtml
What do you think? Wouldn’t it be awesome if girls, all around the world have the same opportunities as boys?